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Entry requirements

A minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. Candidates with a lower class degree but with degree-relevant work experience may be considered.

Months of entry

April, October

Course content

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.

Information for international students

For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment70
five written online assessments (‘etivities’*)30

Course contact details

Development Studies
+44(0)20 7898 4895