Taught course

Humanitarianism, Aid & Conflict

SOAS University of London · Department of Development Studies

Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher.

In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications..

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc Humanitarianism, Aid and Conflict builds on the strength of existing expertise in violence, conflict and global development within the Department of Development Studies and SOAS in general.

The programme is designed to provide you with analytical training and an in-depth understanding of the challenges of contemporary humanitarian aid, its interaction with conflict and development and new directions in the field.

The programme presents students with comprehensive knowledge of the history of the architecture of aid in humanitarian contexts, key local, regional and international actors, and engages with theoretical, conceptual and policy debates relating to the political and logistical challenges of the global responses to conflict, natural disasters and complex emergencies, the diverse range of critiques that have been made of it, emerging innovations, context-specific challenges and agendas from the Global South.

Why study MSc Humanitarianism, Aid an Conflict at SOAS?

  • We are ranked second in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings 2022).

  • We offer a range of exciting degree programmes on-campus and online, at BA, MSc and PhD levels. Our degrees are inter-disciplinary, combining political-economy, politics, anthropology, and history approaches to analyse processes of development in different contexts around the world. Students have the opportunity to take placements as part of their BA or MSc degrees, and we offer internships in the department and in partner organisations.

  • Our academic staff create an intellectually stimulating and challenging space across the many branches of international development and humanitarianism that make up Development Studies. All modules engage with questions of climate crisis, recognising its impact and interaction with processes of inequality and change.

  • Our staff specialise in a range of thematic areas including sustainability and climate change, migration and displacement, conflict, humanitarian action, labour, political ecology, and aid and institutions.

  • Combined with exceptional resources and our interdisciplinary approach, we offer a unique learning and research opportunity for our diverse and vibrant student community.

This programme focuses on student-centred and engaged learning, and critical thinking. Modules span a wide variety of topics allowing students to focus on special areas of interest and utilise innovative and cutting-edge pedagogies such as podcasts, visual presentations, learning diaries and fieldtrips.

Who should apply

We welcome students with a strong background in the social sciences, management, humanities or social science of medicine in their first degree, and those who have worked in the area of humanitarian aid, development, or in a related field.

This course will provide a solid foundation and practical skills for students with an interest working in humanitarian aid, policymaking, global development, migration, civil-society and advocacy, philanthropy, the NGO sector, or academia and research careers.

Information for international students

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

Fees and funding

For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Studies
+44 (0)20 3510 6974