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MSc Humanitarianism, Aid and Conflict

SOAS University of London

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    SOAS, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

The MSc Humanitarianism, Aid & 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 students 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.

In this unique programme is specifically designed to allow students to focus on and develop wide-ranging knowledge of the field and the tools to critically engage with the pressing questions of power dynamics, politics, accountability, security and access that are facing the humanitarian organisations, academics and local communities today.

The core modules on the programme provide an in-depth and critical overview of the key issues and debates in the humanitarian studies and practice, while the optional modules enable you to shape your studies to your own needs and interests, in areas such as migration, gender, political economy, food insecurity, protracted conflict, labour and livelihoods, climate and the environment and urban development.

The programme links theory to practice through engagement with a wide range of materials, including academic literature, case studies, archival documents, policy reports, popular culture and media.

What Makes the Programme Special?

Students studying Humanitarianism at SOAS will benefit from our critical and engaged tradition in development studies, the knowledge of our world-leading faculty and staff on global responses to complex crisis and our unique expertise on specialist regions. SOAS University of London is the leading Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

Throughout the year our students will partake in a variety of activities which will support their academic development and knowledge of current debates in the Humanitarianism, Aid and Conflict. Termly Humanitarian Seminars will be held on current issues in the field. The seminars will allow students to engage in real-time with a wide variety of academics, government officials, aid workers, researchers and civil society advocates from the UK and around the world. In addition, students will be able to attend and benefit from the vibrant and engaged research community at SOAS and attend public lectures, workshops and special events organised by the Development Studies Department, and other Departments and Centres across the School.

Who Should Do This Programme?

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.

Application deadline

30 June 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 22,840per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

SOAS University of London

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, Camden, WC1H 0XG, England

SOAS is one of the leading centres for international foundation and pre-master's study in the UK, bringing 35 years' expertise to innovative programmes.
The programmes allow students to create their own pathway to a degree by combining options from social sciences, humanities and business/economics.
SOAS is one of the UK's most international universities, with around half of SOAS' students coming from outside the UK.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    36th out of 123 8

  • Entry standards

    / Max 209
    153 70%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    75 75%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.79 76%



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