Rome's university La Sapienza, in conjunction with Italys health and emergency organisations, has launched a first of its kind Master's course in dealing with "extreme emergency" situations.

The aim of this course is to equip doctors and medical staff to cope with serious emergencies involving large numbers of injured or dead, such as in the case of natural disasters, epidemics and terrorist attacks.

This specialised course will focus on reconstructing hypothetical scenarios and simulating adequate responses. It will also focus on organisational skills, which are critical in emergency situations. The one-year course, backed by the ministry of health and the civil protection unit, will commence in the 2006/2007 academic year.

It is aimed at medicine and surgery graduates and those with a specialised degree in nursing.

At the end of the course students will receive a second level Master's diploma. The deadline for registry is 15 December.

For more information, see www.uniroma1.it/studenti/laureati/master.