6 February 2023

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Methods

*This course is offered every other year. Next course is in Spring Semester 2026.

Get a solid basis for disaster risk reduction planning. Learn how to perform vulnerability and capacity assessments of both chronic vulnerabilities and those related to extreme events and hazards.

This course will enhance your skills in disaster risk reduction planning along with decision analysis and planning for uncertainty.

We focus on the entire vulnerability and risk assessment process, from using different methods to analyse risk to evaluating their results.

The concept of vulnerability is vital in this context, as it allows us to understand why some individuals or systems are more at risk than others, thus widening our scope of possibilities for risk reduction. IFRC’s Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) tool is applied for a case study during the field trip. 

The field trip to a South-Asian country (Bangladesh, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka) include 1 week of training and lectures; 1 week of fieldwork; and a week of visits to different organisations working in the field of disaster risk reduction. After the field trip, you will have 1 week for a written assignment, which takes place online.










On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand how risk perception influences the evaluation of risks.
  • Critically analyse different types of vulnerabilities to hazards and their potential consequences.
  • Develop a set of guidance and recommendations for vulnerability and risk reduction in the case study.
  • Identify a variety of tools and techniques applied in VCA concentrating on use, characteristics and caution measures.
  • Examine critically an actual VCA plan produced from a real life case.  

See all learning outcomes in the course curriculum.

















Emmanuel Raju, Associate Professor, Global Health Section, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.

Anne Bach Nielsen, (Co-Course Director) Postdoc, Global Health Section, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.


















Course details

Duration: 4 weeks
Dates: 2 - 27  February  2026
Place: South Asia  (Bangladesh, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka) 
Course fee:

New course fees effective from 2025
EU/EEA citizens:
Master student: 13,500 DKK + expenses for field trip
Single course student: 21,000 DKK + expenses for field trip

Non-EU/EEA citizens:
Master student: 19,250 DKK + expenses for field trip
Single course student: 25,000 DKK + expenses for field trip

*Expenses for the field trip: flights, travel insurance, accommodation, subsistence and vaccinations.

Terms and conditions

Level and credit: Master's course; 5 ECTS
Examination date: See exam dates
Application deadline: 8 December 2025
Admission: To be admitted, you must meet the admission criteria for Master of Disaster Management

Download course curriculum