The EMDM, Advanced Master of Science in Disaster Medicine, is a level-two master programme jointly organised by CRIMEDIM, the Center for Research and Training in Disaster Medicine, Humanitarian Aid and Global Health of the Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO) and ReGEDiM, the Research Group on Emergency and Disaster Medicine of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The course is aimed at all postgraduate health professionals involved in health disaster management and humanitarian health response at local, national and international level.

The EMDM is an inter-university and international course

This fact is translated in:

  • the composition of an International Faculty of qualified professionals in disaster medicine and humanitarian health coming from European and extra-European countries, affiliated with academic and worldwide renowned institutions.
  • the multinational composition of the EMDM classes. Since inception students from over 75 nations, spread over the 5 continents have attended the course;
  • the bilateral agreements between the Organizing Universities, CRIMEDIM of the Università del Piemonte Orientale (Novara, Italy) and ReGEDiM of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium), and the Associate Universities and Institutions such as the Center for Disaster Medical Sciences at the University of California Irvine (Irvine, US), Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (Geneva, Switzerland), Katastrofmedicinskt Centrum (Linköping, Sweden), Hacettepe University (Ankara, Turkey), School of Nursing & Human Sciences at Dublin City University (Dublin, Ireland).
  • the support of international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) and the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EuSEM);
  • the high-level academic profile of the Strategic Management Board and the Education Committee, which are responsible for the elaboration, review and evaluation of the program.
  • the international network of disaster medicine professionals established in the EMDM Alumni Association.

The EMDM is supported by international organizations and scientific societies with interest in disaster medicine and humanitarian health:

  • European Society for Emergency Medicine (EuSEM)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM)

The EMDM faculty is a unique group of international professionals, who has acquired field experience in large-scale natural and technological disasters, complex humanitarian emergencies and armed conflicts, mass casualty incidents and terrorist attacks, affiliated with academic and worldwide renowned institutions.

The EMDM consists of:

  • A one-year e-learning course
  • A two-week residential session in Novara (Italy)
  • A final online examination
  • The writing and defense of a Master’s thesis based on a research study



The EMDM consists of:

  1. A one-year online course (self-directed study under faculty guidance) composed of 10 units. The didactic contents and activities are provided on the EMDM e-learning platform.
    This will allow the student:

    • to learn the core content of the program and to decide what to study in a greater detail at different levels;
    • to interact with the Faculty and facilitators for a better understanding of difficult points;
    • to collaborate with other students to learn how to deal with team-work;
  2. A two-week face-to-face training period (the EMDM residential session) during which the students meet the Faculty and fellow students to interact in debates, practical exercises and simulations. The objective is to drive the students to deepen and apply the knowledge acquired by distance learning and to equip them with the specific technical and nontechnical skills necessary to efficiently address and coordinate the medical preparedness and response during disasters and humanitarian emergencies. The location and date of the EMDM residential course will be fixed by the Strategic Management Board.
  3. A Final on line examination provided on the EMDM e-learning platform, consisting of an electronic simulation exercise and a multiple-choice questionnaire on the content of the programme units.
  4. The writing of a Master’s thesis on a topic approved by the Education Committee and under the supervision of a thesis supervisor, chosen among the Faculty.

Evaluation methods
The e-learning platform allows the Course Director and the Faculty to follow the progression in knowledge performance of each student. At the end of each module, the access to the following one is subjected to the successful completion of an evaluation test. The final online exam is composed of a multiple choice questionnaire and an electronic exercise of a simulated disaster to assess the knowledge and the problem solving abilities gained during the course.
Academic requirements

The minimum admission requirement is a degree in medicine (at least 300 ECTS), or a Bachelor’s + Master’s Degree in a health-related subject (equivalent to at least 300 ECTS) from any University across the world. Applications from students holding a Master’s Degree in different subjects will be evaluated case-by-case by the Strategic Management Board.

Research experience in the fields of disaster medicine, emergency medicine or humanitarian assistance is fundamental. Practical experience in disaster management and humanitarian assistance (in governmental or non-governmental organizations) and in emergency medicine, public health and humanitarian health is positively valued.

The selection will be performed by the Strategic Management Board based on the documentation provided with the application.


New information technologies, particularly related to distance learning and interactive multimedia exercises are easily applicable to teaching disaster medicine. These educational methodologies are the backbone of the EMDM.

Residential Session

The two-week residential session gives the students the possibility to meet each other and the whole Faculty. The participants will have the opportunity to interact and actively participate in debates, presentations and lessons. Moreover, practical exercises, virtual simulations and a full-scale exercise are proposed.


The Master’s thesis forms an important and compulsory part of the EMDM study programme. It gives the students the possibility to critically apply the acquired knowledge, to develop skills and attitudes concerning the design and organization of scientific research on a specific topic and to contribute to the further academic development of disaster medicine.


XXII edition – 2023-2024