Aston University is home to the Aston CRISIS Centre. Academic members of the Centre have worked on European projects related to evacuation, crisis management, emergency services and logistics in disasters. The academic staff have used the experience and expertise acquired in different projects to deliver relevant knowledge on the topics useful for your future career. In addition, our links to crisis and humanitarian organisations inform the design and support the delivery of our modules.
With the rise of social media, the threat of cyber-attacks, appearance of pandemics e.g. Covid-19, and the impact of climate change on natural disasters, there has never been a more pressing time for organisations to establish effective crisis and disaster management strategies and to deploy the appropriate skills to handle them.
From product recall and industrial action, to accidents and natural disasters and pandemics, organisations need the ability to do and say the right things under pressure when it matters most, including strategic plans, critical decision making and effective communications.
Our Crisis and Disaster Management MSc will give you a solid understanding of the core approaches to manage crises and disasters (such as Covid-19 and other similar ones) and of the wider impact on stakeholders, including the implications of mismanaged situations through relevant case studies, discussions and exercises. In the second semester you will also advance your knowledge in either the humanitarian stream or business crisis stream, helping you to progress your learning and career path in the area that interests you most.
An Introduction to Crisis Management
Through the analysis of real-world examples, this module introduces you to crisis management theory. You’ll critically examine the life-cycle of crisis and management theory, so that you are equipped with the knowledge and foresight to understand how a crisis unfolds and to take steps to resolve or mitigate a crisis at each stage of the crisis life cycle.
Crisis Management and Decision-making
This module introduces you to the practical application of decision-making within chaotic and urgent circumstances. We critically examine the stages of the crisis life-cycle and align them with an appropriate decision-making method, such that you will be equipped with the tools to take appropriate action to resolve or mitigate a crisis at each stage of the crisis life cycle.
Ethics in a Crisis
This module provides background, context and structure to ethical decision making in crisis situations in order to test whether specific response and recovery operations are fair and just.
Crisis Technology and Analytics
The aim of this module is to provide you with a broader and deeper understanding of the growing role of technology and analytics stemming from the heterogeneous digital data streams in crisis management. The module will examine the advantages, limitations and barriers to adoption of technological solution in the domain using relevant theories which will be supplemented with real-life case-studies.
This module will look at the research methods used in this area of study and work practice. You’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of methods and techniques used to collect and analyse information. You’ll be guided through the stages of the research process to ensure information is valid and reliable.
Simulation for Managerial Decision Making
This module aims to combine the challenge of learning the theory of simulation modelling with collecting data in an external organisation using simulation modelling software and group work to meet a deadline for the presentation of results. This skillset is useful as simulation is used in many organisations and consultancy units to provide descriptive predictive and prescriptive analytics.
The Aston Global Advantage
The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
Business Project or Dissertation
The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.
Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.
Non-state actors and human rights in crisis management
The aim of this module is to map and examine the role of non-state actors (companies and NGOs), in shaping the strategic and operating environment of humanitarian crisis and complex emergencies. To use concepts and principles of international human rights norms to critically evaluate some key issues that arise in relation to crisis management.
Humanitarian supply chain Management
This module aims to provide an overview of the supply chain in disaster situations. The module introduces an analysis of current considerations associated to the different dimensions of supply chain during disaster events to identify potential alternatives to enhance operations in chaotic environments. It aims to provide you with knowledge about the range of tools/techniques/methodologies needed to plan supply chain activities during disasters.
Global risk and resilience management
This module aims to provide students with a high level of conceptual and practical understanding of risk management and resilience management processes and practices in the crisis and disaster management context. This module will explore current thinking on risk management strategy, culture, risk issues and risk identification techniques. It will also examine processes and practices in building business resilience for crisis and disaster management.
Advance tools and techniques for crisis Management
Note – This programme has two streams:
*Humanitarian stream – Includes the modules “Humanitarian Supply Chain Management” and “Non-state Actors, Human Rights and Crisis Management”
*Business Crises stream - Include the modules “Advances in Crisis Management” and “Global Risk and resilience management”.
These optional modules will be selected by students and will take place at Teaching Period 2.