Specialist Certificate in Disaster and Terror Medicine

Course overview

  • 6 months part time
  • On Campus (Parkville)
  • Available to domestic and international students
  • Summer Intake - January


Disasters and terror events are taking place with increasing frequency across the globe. In Melbourne, Australia we have experienced the ravages of bushfires, the impact of thunderstorm asthma, the mortality associated with COVID-19 and the tragedy of the Bourke Street Mall terror attack all within a short, three-year period.

The knowledge and experience of disaster and terror medicine specialists is critical when it comes to managing such events in community and healthcare settings. Health practitioners, service managers and leaders must be prepared to respond quickly and decisively.

The Specialist Certificate in Disaster and Terror Medicine is the first program of its kind in Australia, providing an evidence-based introduction to the key elements of this specialty.

With a focus on the fundamentals of disaster and terror response, it equips clinicians, first responders, health service managers, relevant agency staff and policy makers with essential skills to effectively prepare for, and manage, a range of disaster and terror events.

Developed at the Department of Critical Care in consultation with industry, the program draws on the deep knowledge and real-world experience of international experts in the field, including leading emergency physician, Professor George Braitberg AM, who heads up the department's emergency medicine program.

It is delivered online with two, two-day face-to-face intensive programs involving practical exercises and simulation activities led by internationally renowned experts. The two-day workshops can also be undertaken as standalone, assessment-free programs.

Please note this course has been approved for 340 CPD hours by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM CPD hours) and the College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM CPD Accreditation Category 1B: Active or Interactive Self Learning). The course can also be claimed towards CPD for the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).

Course aims

This course is designed to equip you with essential skills to prepare your health service, community, or hospital and trauma unit for natural disasters and terror events, and to effectively manage and recover from such events when they happen.

Who is this course for?

Disaster and Terror Medicine and Health Management is a system-orientated specialty that intersects clinical medicine and a diverse group of responding agencies. The course is relevant to critical care clinicians (including doctors, nurses, clinical leaders); emergency services (including paramedics, ambulance workers); hospital administrators; government and policy makers; social workers; and the military.

“The need for a unique course such as this is unfortunately self-evident. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ an event will occur. As clinicians, administrators and officials who are charged with ensuring the safety of our community, understanding the principles of disaster and terror management, will mitigate the impact when these events happen.” Professor Braitberg AM.


Credit obtained in the Specialist Certificate in Disaster and Terror Medicine provides a pathway into the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice.