Cancelled Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Methods

Course content

The course is focused on the basics of vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) including definitions of risk, methods for risk analysis, decision analysis, management of uncertainty, and analysis of chronic vulnerabilities as well as those related to extreme events and hazards. The course is based on IFRC’s Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) Methodology. A central part of the course is the case study and fieldtrip, which involves performing a vulnerability and capacity assessment for an area/city/village/community. The students will work with the case throughout the course.


Master of Disaster Management

elective course

*** This field course is cancelled in Spring 2022 due to the Covid-19 situation in South Asia.

The course will be offered in Spring 2023.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:


  • Understand how risk perception influences the evaluation of risks.
  • Understand the differences between VCA and the more conventional research and risk assessment methods, and the strengths of application of each.



  • Critically analyse different types of vulnerabilities to hazards and their potential consequences.
  • Critically analyse central underlying aspects that influence the vulnerabilities and capacities of individuals and societies.
  • Develop a set of guidance and recommendations for vulnerability and risk reduction in the case study.
  • Work with international and local agencies in a field setting to undertake a VCA.



  • 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.

Combination of Theory lectures on VCA as a methodology and a series of exercises on practical applications of VCA and risk assessment methods. This is followed by a field visit to South Asian country to take part in one or more projects dealing with DRR and CCA where VCA had been applied and was at the centre of decision-making. In a South asian country, the students will be split into teams each working to develop a VCA assignment and report back and share the findings with the community and the facilitating organization.

This course is offered by the School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen as part of the programme Master of Disaster Management.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

Collective written feedback will be published via Digital Exam

Type of assessment
Written assignment
The examination is based upon an assessment of a written individual report in which the students present their risk analysis of a given case, as well as their reflections around issues raised by the course management regarding the risk assessment process. Parts of the report can be written in cooperation with other students that belong to the same case group.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

To achieve the maximum grade of 12, the student shall be able to:


  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) methodology as applied by the RCRC movement.
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of different methods of vulnerability assessment and their strengths and limitations and be able to critique them.



  • Develop a vulnerability and capacity assessment profile and an action plan for risk and vulnerability reduction for a practical case during the course in Bangladesh.



  • Show professional conduct during working alongside more experienced professionals and community members on the practical part of the course and fully engage in producing the practical output required from the assignment.

Part time Master and Diploma courses

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 18
  • Preparation
  • 10
  • Exercises
  • 20
  • Field Work
  • 40
  • Practical Training
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 30
  • English
  • 138