Thank you for your interest in our certificate online course “Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response”.  Whilst Asia is ranked as the most disaster prone region of the world in both natural and man-made disasters, research and training in the Asia-Pacific region is limited. We believe that better understanding of the disaster epidemiological profile and human health implications of disasters will enhance the response and preparedness capacity to mitigate future adverse human health impact.


A child carrying a disaster response bag in a remote, disaster-prone village in China. Photo by CCOUC 2011 - Some rights reserved

Course Overview

The "Public Health Principles in Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response" online course was developed by CCOUC in an attempt to make lessons learnt from previous disasters available and comprehensible to key stakeholders in disaster risk mitigation and the civil society. Students enrolled in the course will gain insight and theoretical understanding of the public health issues related to disaster and be empowered personally and professionally to take necessary actions in the individual, community, and national levels to reduce the health risk posed by the increasing frequency and intensity of disaster.

Course Features

  • The course teaching assistant may assist students in solving any challenges regarding the course content and answer any questions in the process;
  • The course is supported by a mobile application available for download  here;
  • The course enrich students' learning with the use of real disaster case studies, online tools and relevant international publications;
  • The course offers exceptional flexibility for participants to manage their study schedule with course material accessible online anytime, anywhere!

Target Audience

The target audience for this course is individuals studying and working in health, policy, education and humanitarian sectors. Students may be civil servants, healthcare personnel, frontline disaster relief practitioners, and postgraduate students of closely-related disciplines. 


As part of CCOUC’s knowledge transfer endeavour, this course is offered free of charge.

Course Completion and Certification

Students who obtain 60% or above in the final assessment will be issued a printable certificate in recognition of completing the course.   

Access to the Course

Cohort 5 is open for registration until 15 November 2016 and will be available for registered students to study until 15 December 2016. To access the course, you will first need to register and create an account. Once you have registered, you will be able to access the course from this page by clicking on the Cohort 5 course title below and logging in using the account details you created. The first time you access the course you may be asked to click a button to enrol yourself.

    Available courses

    Course Structure and Delivery Format

    The course is delivered through an online virtual learning space developed by the Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning unit of the Department for Continuing Education of Oxford University. 

    The course involves a total of 7 lessons, 4 short quizzes and one final assessment. Each lesson requires about one to three hours of study. All assessments are in the form of multiple-choice questions to be completed online with unlimited attempts. To progress through the course, students must obtain 80% or above in each short-quiz. Students enrolled in the course may access all learning materials and go through all learning activities online within a maximum period of six months. Topics covered in the course are as follows:

    • Lesson 1: Public Health Approaches to Medical Disaster Response
    • Lesson 2: Disaster Concepts and Trends
    • Lesson 3: The Impact of Disasters
    • Lesson 4: The Human Health Impact of Disasters
    • Lesson 5: Responding to Health Needs in Disaster (I)
    • Lesson 6: Responding to Health Needs in Disaster (II)
    • Lesson 7: Public Health Emergency Preparedness