Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction


Earthquakes and extreme weather events are triggers for disasters in many parts of the world. The effects of climate change and ongoing urbanisation are increasingly impacting our daily lives. Our exposure and vulnerability to landslides, (flash)flooding, volcanic eruptions, and other hazards are continuously changing. Do you want to take up the challenge of analysing why - and when - natural hazards happen and turn into disasters? Are you eager to use remote sensing and geospatial information technologies to predict how disaster risk may change in the context of climate, land use, or urbanisation? Then the specialisation Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction is what you are looking for.

Bart Krol, Lecturer at ITC’s department of Applied Earth Sciences

This specialisation attracts students with a background in earth science, geography, civil engineering, and environmental science. They want to learn to use geospatial information and remote sensing technologies to study the different aspects of natural hazards and disaster risk. We prepare them to become experts in contributing to disaster risk reduction challenges.

Bart Krol, Lecturer at ITC’s department of Applied Earth Sciences

Master's Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation

Registration for this course is now closed. If you wish to be informed of the upcoming registration dates, please provide your contact information.

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Thank you for your interest in the course Geo-information Science and Earth Observation. We received your information and will let you know as soon as the new registration period is open.

Should you have any further questions about the course content, tuition fees, available scholarships and more, please visit the course page and feel free to contact us through the email if you need any further assistance.

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University of Twente | Faculty ITC

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What is natural hazards and disaster risk reduction

In this specialisation you will learn methods and strategies to analyse hydro-meteorological (floods, landslides, and erosion) and volcanic and seismic (earthquakes) hazard processes in geospatial context. The use of statistical and process-based models will help you answer questions such as: How do landslides developWhat conditions trigger the development of  extreme weather events? Where can a flooding take place? You will also focus on geospatial approaches to conducting quantitative and qualitative risk analyses and providing this information to various stakeholders. This way, they can come up with risk reduction alternatives and analyse post-disaster solutions to increase communities' resilience to natural hazards. For instance, how can governments make communities less vulnerable to the effects of floods or develop neighbourhoods in such a way that they are less susceptible to landslides?

Examples of courses you will follow during this specialisation:
  • In the course Data-Driven Hazard Modelling, you will focus on the use of multivariate statistical techniques to predict where landslides may occur in the future. 
  • Learn how to prevent new disaster risk and reduce existing disaster risk through the use of quantitative and/or qualitative risk assessment and risk reduction planning in the course Disaster Risk Management.    
  • Extreme weather is a trigger for many natural hazards. In the course Weather Impact Analysis, you will use a time series of meteorological data to analyse the interaction between weather and earth surface processes.

Thanks to the state-of-the-art geoscience labs, visualisation and usability labs, and satellite and sensor databases available at ITC, you will gain hands-on experience and work on real-life problems and solutions. You might analyse the root causes of extreme rainfalls in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany that have had serious repercussions for the communities in the affected areas and whether this can occur again in the future. Also, think of investigating the aftermath of a typhoon in the Philippines and predicting if it will hit the southern or northern part of the country next time, so you can provide this information to an organisation such as the Red Cross to prepare humanitarian aid better.

What will you learn

As a graduate of the Master's in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation with a specialisation in Natural Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction, you have acquired specific scientific knowledge, skills, and values that will help you in your future career.


After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:


After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:


After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

Other master's and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe our specialisations in Urban Planning and Management and Natural Resources Management suit you better. You can also find out more about related Master’s at the University of Twente: