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MSc Humanitarian Action - online degree

SOAS University of London
Training date
Registration deadline

The MSc Humanitarian Action is a new programme that builds on the strengths of the department in areas of violence, aid and security. It aims to attract applicants with a variety of academic and working backgrounds. We welcome applications from those who have worked in the field of development and/or conflict, but we also from students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in humanitarianism and have a strong first degree, preferably in a social science. The degree has been developed to meet the needs of people working, or hoping to work, in international agencies, humanitarian organisations, and NGOs.

The core module for the MSc Humanitarian Action has three parts: humanitarian principles, architecture and practice. This structure enables students to build up a critical understanding of the ideological underpinnings, constraints and politics of humanitarian action, alongside an empirical grounding of humanitarian providers and the relationships between them. Analytical and empirical depth will be provided through a series of case studies that examine the practicalities and institutional learning in natural disasters, complex emergencies and humanitarianism in Europe. The module will present humanitarianism, the critiques that have been made of it, institutional learning and the persistence of some challenges in approach and delivery.

Highlights include:

  • Humanitarian Principles and practice
  • Humanitarianism in Europe
  • Needs assessment, early warning and 'political will'
  • Evaluation, monitoring and knowledge creation
  • Critiques and longevity of humanitarianism
  • Security and remoteness
  • Bilateral and multilateral donors – funding types and decisions
  • INGOs and NGOs
  • Private contractors
  • Resilience and remittances
  • Natural emergencies
  • Permanent/complex emergencies
  • Humanitarianism in Europe
  • Students can draw on SOAS's unique expertise to specialise further in particular regions or topics.

Fee information

£12,000. Further information about fees can be found at:

How to Register

The deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • 30 September 2019 for a 15 October 2019 start
  • 31 March 2020 for a 16 April 2020 start

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