MSc in Humanitarian Action

Total Credits: 90 ECTS  (Modules)

Semesters: Three (15 months; September – November)

To apply: UCD

This programme provides an advanced multi-disciplinary postgraduate degree in humanitarian action. The programme provides a dynamic learning environment, involving a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, simulations and field-trips. The MSc in Humanitarian Action brings together experts from academia and the field to lecture on the different modules. The Masters programme has always attracted students from diverse backgrounds with varying degrees of experience in humanitarian and related fields. This programme is well suited for The structure of the MSc in Humanitarian Action is as follows:

Introductory Programme (5 ECTS)

Students begin the course with a 2-day intensive introductory programme to introduce them to the humanitarian principles, stakeholders and key challenges. The programme finishes with a half-day simulation exercise designed to give a firsthand experience of working in a humanitarian organization.

Core Modules (25 ECTS)

After the Introductory Programme, students join the NOHA Masters students to follow the common core course period (September- January).  This semester consists of five common core course units namely- Geopolitics, Anthropology, International Law, Public Health, and Management in Humanitarian Action. Each has a workload of 5 ECTS credits. The learning outcomes are built around the profile of a humanitarian professional which requires a solid knowledge and understanding of humanitarian action as well as a number of competencies and skills such as problem solving capacities to work effectively in the field.

Thematic Specialisation (30 ECTS)

The purpose of the second semester orientation period at UCD’s CHA is to provide students with competencies to work professionally in societies in transition. Transition is a multi-dimensional concept, which is increasingly being used by humanitarian stakeholders to describe the complex process or period of change in societies emerging from natural or political emergencies. The orientation semester comprises three compulsory modules of 10 ECTS each (total 30 ECTS) which are designed to give students the theoretical knowledge and transferable skills to appreciate the dynamics of transition context, design and manage contextualised transition interventions and research the transition situation for evidence-based action.

UCD CHA brings together highly qualified academics and practitioners to engage and challenge students through quality teaching and incorporation of the best disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge. Classroom lectures and group discussions are complemented by a 3-day field trip to Northern Ireland and a day trip to the UN Military School in Ireland to help appreciate the challenges of societal reconstruction and civil-military coordination in transition contexts.  All teaching and research activities are informed by active research within the Centre based on studies in Europe, Africa and Asia. A brief description of the three taught modules is provided below.

Research and Work Experience (30 ECTS)

In the third semester, all students have to complete a Minor Thesis on a topic chosen by them in agreement with their allocated supervisors. All students are encouraged to undertake internships/ work experience based on their prior experience and their future career prospects. In the past, students have successfully completed internships/ work experiences in local, regional, and international organisations working in the area of humanitarian action such as Oxfam, Red Cross, CARE, and Doctors Without Borders; and in international agencies and institutions such as the European Commission’s DG for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

Class Orientation   IMG_1496

More detail on this programme is also available here.

Applications are now open: Apply here