Master in Social Dynamics, Natural and Technological Risks

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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Academic year




Course Type

2nd Cycle Studies - Lifelong Learning Master Programme

Qualification Awarded



2 Year(s)

ECTS Credits



Lifelong training second cycle

Course Coordinator(s)

Lúcio José Sobral da Cunha (luciogeo@fl.uc.pt)

General Objectives of the Course
The degree programme aims to provide solid theoretical and technical training in the different areas concerned with risk issues, both from a prevention and intervention perspective in the cases of catastrophes caused by natural and technological processes. As the programme was designed to a diversified group of students, including social sciences, natural, exact and technological sciences, the contents promote an integrative rather than a specialized approach, which combines the ability to interpret quantitative data with qualitative methodologies for evaluating and perceiving risk in human communities. The fundamental concern is to stress the importance of the social structures and dynamics of local communities in risk prevention, as well as in the acquisition of analytical and intervention tools that allow the diagnosis and definition of guidelines in the event of a catastrophe or other events.
Learning Objectives and Intended Skills
The acquired skills will help to design policies for preventing, minimizing, managing and producing information about risk, so that at any given time, namely before, during and after the occurence, the ability to mobilize and rehabilitate the affected communities can be measured. Thus, it is important to provide students with planning techniques, focusing on the communication they will be supposed to establish with local, municipal and national stakeholders in order to implement the necessary measures. The role played by civil protection authorities will be emphasized as they are the main responsible for prevention and management measures concerning natural risks. Legal, economic and logistic aspects will also be discussed as they are fundamental in planning and carrying out specific actions in an extreme emergency or catastrophe in cooperation with the civil protection national network. The in-depth knowledge of the legal and compensatory instruments and of the responsibilities of the different local and national public entities will be encouraged. Media skills will be also promoted as they are crucial in the production of campaigns and debates to draw people’s attention to the risk situations in the country or in both regional and local communities. This diversified programme is composed by relevant and updated components makes the distinction between the Social and the Physical areas clear. Furthermore, it allows tools and methodologies to be developed, aimed at the development of personal and systemic competences, that are essential to the creation of diverse professional frameworks and to prepare students to write and defend their thesis.
Mode of Study
The course is delivered in the daytime schedule.
Access to Further Studies
Admission Requirements

Those who can apply are: holders of a first cycle degree, or a Bachelor’s degree (undergraduate degree), who prove to be familiar with the programme’s subject area and to have the skills to complete the degree of Master (2nd cycle degree). Exceptionally, in duly justified cases, and upon proposal of the scientific-pedagogic committee of the programme, the scientific councils may admit candidates holding legally equivalent degrees, as well as candidates with relevant curriculum or professional experience that prove to have the capacity to complete this study cycle, even if they do not hold an higher education degree. A solid knowldege of the English language is also recommended.

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Recognition of Prior Learning
Relevant curriculum or professional experience that prove to have the capacity to complete this study cycle, even if they do not hold an higher education degree, may be exceptionally, in duly justified cases, and upon proposal of the scientific-pedagogic committee of the course, the scientific councils may admitted.
Candidates holding legally equivalent degrees, as well as candidates’ holders of a first cycle degree, or other Master degree, who prove to be competent on subject´s area may have credits on programme upon proposal of the scientific-pedagogic committee of the course, to the scientific councils.
A solid knowldege of the English language is also recommended.
Qualification Requirements and Regulations
Decree-Law no. 74/2006, 24th of March, amended and republished by the decree: DL no. 107/2008, 25th of June; Ordinance no. 782/2009, 23rd of July. The course plan was published in the Dispatch no. 23650/2009.
Professional Goals
In research centers related with risk analysis, in national and municipal entities responsible for emergency planning and management, national and international public and private organizations associated with Natech risk management
Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading
As assessment is a pedagogical activity inseparable from the teaching process, its aim is to establish the students' competencies and knowledge, their critical sense, ability to recognize and resolve problems, as well as their written and oral presentation skills. Students may only register for exams for classes they are currently registered for under the terms of number 6 of article 4 of the University of Coimbra Pedagogical Policy. The following are examples of assessment items: Oral or written exams, written or practical work, individual and group projects that may require an oral defense, as well as class participation. Assessment for each class may include one or more of the above mentioned items. Grading is based on a scale of 0 to 20 and a grade of 10 is required to pass. Whenever assessment includes more than one item, the final grade is calculated by taking into account the relative weight of each item according to a formula published in the course outline under the terms of number 2 of article 7 of the UC Pedagogical Policy.
Graduation Requirements

In order to receive the degree, the student must achieve the minimum number of 120 ECTS

Study Programme
- A3ES
Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
  • 2017-01-05 a 2023-01-04
R/A-Ef 1560/2011 - DGES
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior
  • 2011-03-18