Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies
MSc Humanitarianism, Aid & Conflict
SOAS University of London
MSc Humanitarian Action (online)
SOAS University of London
Why study a master in Humanitarian Studies?
Studying Humanitarian Studies is a rewarding experience. Humanitarian Action is about saving lives and alleviating suffering caused by conflict and natural disasters. In a humanitarian Master’s you will learn to address the multidimensional challenges during humanitarian crises.
What can I do after I studied a master in Humanitarian Action?
Humanitarian Aid Workers most commonly work in humanitarian relief programmes. This may include emergency relief and development work in UN agencies, Non-governmental organizations or entities of the International Red Cross. Humanitarian Aid Workers need to have endurance and resilience. They are often placed in disaster-hit, sometimes dangerous locations where they provide relief services under extreme conditions. Humanitarian Aid Workers are at the frontlines of human suffering and provide help to the most vulnerable groups in the world.
What will I learn in a Humanitarian Action master?
Students of Humanitarian Master’s gain a critical understanding of ideas, limits and possibilities of humanitarian action and relief. You will explore case studies of war and natural disasters and learn how to respond to humanitarian emergencies. Depending on the master degree you choose it may entail elements of conflict resolution, peace and security, war technologies and disarmament, and international cooperation. In most master programs you will analyse the effects of war, natural disasters, social dislocation, public health and well-being. You will also familiarize with current policies and guidelines, laws and approaches to be prepared to tackle the challenges of today’s humanitarian challenges.
How much does a masters in Humanitarian Action cost?
The cost of humanitarian masters varies strongly. In some countries like Sweden and Norway there are no tuition fees. This essentially means you can study for free. Humanitarian masters can be quite expensive in some countries such as the United States and in the United Kingdom. Tuition fees can reach an amount of $50000 and above. Luckily there are scholarships and other funding options available for most master programs.
What scholarships and stipends are available to study a humanitarian masters?
Many masters around the globe offer scholarships and stipends. Most commonly these scholarships will cover the entirety or parts of the tuition fees, the accommodation and the living costs. We have collected many master scholarships for you on our website.
How can I get work experience while studying a humanitarian master?
Practical experience is important. Some master programs have internships included in their curriculum and you will work during your studies, report back to your supervisor and share your experiences with your study colleagues.
Can I study humanitarian studies part-time?
Many humanitarian masters take only one year, offer a part-time solution or have a flexible online schedule.
I am already slightly older, should I still study humanitarian work?
If you are passionate about humanitarian work the answer is simple: Yes, you should. However, keep in mind that humanitarian work can be physically and mentally exhausting. Be prepared to be exposed to immense human suffering and at times very difficult working conditions. Make sure you feel emotionally and physically capable to endure such difficult situations.
Where should you study a humanitarian work?
Many people choose to leave their own country to study. The experience of studying abroad will provide you with a wealth of incredible memories. You may have the opportunity to study a language, discover a new city, network with other students from around the world. Some people also find it easier to make friends when they are outside of their typical routines. The choice of location is also important with regard to the specialisation of the master’s programme. Many programms offer topical or regional specializations that prepare you for the work in a specific setting. If you aren’t sure yet how to specialise, take an online course to discover your passion.
Is the tutoring language of the humanitarian master important?
Yes, because it will define in which language you can best handle the terminology and ultimately communicate about a specific subject matter. The official UN Languages are Spanish, English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and French. If you are working towards a job at the UN, choosing one of these languages is a good choice.
Is a humanitarian master required to work in humanitarian aid?
The short answer is ‘no’. Since organisations need all kinds of skillsets many people who work in humanitarian sectors do not have a master in humanitarian aid. Although it might not be a requirement, studying humanitarian work is incredibly useful for working in the sector and it might be more difficult to have an advantage over other applicants if you cannot match their expertise in humanitarian studies.
Where can I search for humanitarian masters?
We have compiled several articles for you that relate to humanitarian masters. For example the page you are currently reading but we also published other articles that are more specific. If you are undecided consider taking one of the free online course in humanitarian work that can help you get inspired.