Shelter after Disaster


Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: One semester (four months)

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Architecture

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Our Shelter after Disaster course provides you with the knowledge to understand and discuss the essential components of shelter response after a disaster.

Safe shelter is a critical need immediately after a natural disaster. This course aims to develop reflective practitioners who can combine:

  • understanding of practical strategic issues of development and emergency practice
  • an appreciation of the wider political context in which they operate.

You will learn about development and humanitarian practice. AS well as the role of the practitioner intervening in post disaster reconstruction.

We have developed good relationships with agencies working in the shelter field. Occasionally we can offer you internship possibilities within these organisations.

The course is suitable for students with technical as well as non-technical backgrounds. There is no need to have any previous knowledge in building, construction, architecture or engineering.

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Group of Shelter after Disaster, PGCert students helping to rebuild wooden house on placement

Course details

Course structure

The course uses a modular credit system. Modules combine a ratio of taught to self-led study. A module of 20 credits approximates to200 hours of student effort. Up to 40 hours will be devoted to lectures, seminars or individual tutorials. The remainder of the time is devoted to student-led study.

You will need 60 credits to complete the PG Cert. The core module accounts for 20 credits. You will achieve the extra 40 credits with a combination of 10 and 20 credit modules.

Two female Shelter after Disaster, PGCert students studying together on campus at Oxford Brookes University

Learning and teaching

Our teaching methods are mostly class-based. Teaching and learning methods include:

  • lectures
  • one to one and group tutorials
  • whole group discussions
  • workshop format
  • small group work
  • personal reading
  • individual written assignments and project design.

We invite guest speakers, such as practitioners from humanitarian agencies, to lead sessions and comment on student work.

We also use workshops with live problems, sometimes field-based, working with communities, practitioners and development agencies. The emphasis is on action methods and reflection on your own role as an activist and practitioner. The objective is to enable you to build both knowledge and skills more suited to the urgency and complexity of people’s changing demands and environmental conditions.


The assessment pattern reflects the programme’s learning outcomes. It is intended to demonstrate that graduates possess the skills and knowledge required in practice.

Coursework involves a variety of different methods of assessment, including:

  • essay and report writing
  • individual and group presentations in class
  • personal attendance and participation in class
  • case study reports.

Study modules

Taught modules

Optional modules

Disasters, Risk, Vulnerability and Climate Change (20 credits)

Critical Enquiry, Development and Emergencies (20 credits)

Humanitarian Action: responding to crises in 21 st Century (10 credits)

Programming and Partnerships (10 credits)

Working with Conflict : practical skills and strategies (10 credits)

The Refugee Experience: forced migration, protection and humanitarianism (20 credits)

Conflict, Violence and Humanitarianism (20 credits)

Human Rights and Governance (20 credits)

Globalisation: environment and development (20 credits)

Independent Study

Optional modules

Independent Study (10 credits)

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


We have an international reputation in research, in areas including:

  • sustainable design
  • modular buildings
  • design for wellbeing
  • vernacular architecture.

Staff in the school regularly secure research funding from the UK's research councils and the European Union as well as industry, with an annual research grant income averaging £1,000,000 in recent years.


A good number of our former students have found work in the shelter sector and we are building an alumni network to help current students get in contact with organisations who work in the shelter sector.

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.