NOHA Joint Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action

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The NOHA Experience

The NOHA Joint Masters Degree in International Humanitarian Action provides students with a wide range of academic and professional training opportunities in the field of humanitarian action:

  • The programme affords students the opportunity to study at up to three universities across Europe and around the world engaged in education and research on pressing issues relating to humanitarian action;
  • The programme also offers placements at key humanitarian organisations (donor agencies, international organisations and NGOs) as a core component of the programme;

‘Once a NOHA, always a NOHA’

Join the 3,500+ NOHA graduates currently employed in the humanitarian and development sectors around the world!

The NOHA Programme Structure

The Joint Master’s Programme in International Humanitarian Action is an inter-university multidisciplinary postgraduate programme that provides hig
h quality academic education and professional competences for personnel working or intending to work in the area of humanitarian action.

Joint Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA+)

Total Credits:  120 ECTS (Modules) 

The learning path:


Component 1 – Intensive Programme Semester 1 (5 ECTS credits)
Component 2 – Foundation Semester 1 (25 ECTS credits)
Component 3 – Thematic Specialisation Semester 2 (30 ECTS credits)
Component 4 – Individual Specialisation  Semester 3 (30 ECTS credits)
Component 5 – Master Thesis  Semester 4 (30 ECTS credits)
Semesters: 4 (2 year programme)
Fees:  € 12,000 

Semester 1 – Intensive Programme (5 ECTS; Location: University of Warsaw)

At the beginning of September, around 175 NOHA students meet in Warsaw to start the NOHA Masters with a 7-10 day Intensive Programme, bringing together approximately 40 high level international humanitarian practitioners, lecturers and researchers to introduce key humanitarian issues to the NOHA Masters students.

Semester 1 – Foundation (25 ECTS; Location: UCD – Home University)

Five common core course units (Geopolitics, Management, Public Health, Social Anthropology, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) ), jointly developed by academics of the NOHA universities, are taken over the course of semester 1. The learning outcomes are designed to reflect the competencies required of a humanitarian professional: a solid knowledge and understanding of humanitarian and skills such as problem solving capacities to work effectively in the field.

Semester 2 –Thematic Specialisation  (30 ECTS; Location: Host University)

The purpose of the Orientation period (February- June) is to develop a thematic specialisation at one of the NOHA host universities. This component enables students to develop a deeper knowledge and skillbase in specific aspects of humanitarian action, strengthening the areas where the candidate attaches significant importance.

  • Societies in Transition – University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland
  • Post-conflict rehabilitation with emphasis on Public Health and Geopolitics – Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium
  • International institutions in humanitarian emergencies – Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB), Germany
  • Legal and geopolitical approach of Humanitarian Action – Aix Marseille Université (AMU), France
  • Disaster Analysis and Intervention – Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands
  • Peace-building and management of Humanitarian Action: The Challenge of Protection – Universidad de Deusto (UD), Spain
  • Conflict, Peace-building and Religion – Uppsala Universitet, Sweden.
  • Humanitarian action in the times of changing security, economic and legal conditions – University of Warsaw (UW), Poland

Refugees flee bombing in Nuba Mountains for relative safety in South Sudanebola3_smlNepal_Earthquake_sml
A girl fills a container with muddy water in the Ajuong Thok Refugee Camp in South Sudan (Pic: Paul Jeffrey); Ebola outreach at St John of God Hospital, Lunsar; Searching goes on in Kathmandu, Nepal after the earthquake hit the region. (Pic:Mark Condren)

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.  The focus of the semester specialization is on how humanitarian actors can assist affected people and communities to become agents in their own recovery.  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 achieve the following:

  1. give students the theoretical knowledge and transferable skills to appreciate the dynamics of the transition context,
  2. design and manage contextualised transition interventions; and
  3. research and analyse the transition situation in order to guide interventions that are sensitive to the needs and aspirations of affected populations.

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.

CHA Students and Staff sign the Peace Wall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2016

Semester 3 – Individual Specialisation (30 ECTS; Location: Home University or Third Country Global Partner University)
Regional Training TrackJoint Structure of the NOHA IHA Regional Partners & NGOs

Elective courses in regional humanitarian studies at a partner university in or outside Europe:




Work Placement

Advanced career development training and placement at a humanitarian organisation:

Semester 4 -Master Thesis  (30 ECTS; Location: UCD-Home University )

Aims to prepare students to select and analyse research material, confront new problems in their multifaceted dimensions, understand reality and elaborate innovative solutions.


To apply go to: 

Deadline second round:
May 1 – August 30, 2017

What is NOHA?

Established in 1993, the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) is an international association of 12 European and 5 global partner universities that play an essential role enhancing professionalism in the delivery of humanitarian aid through collaborative education and training, research & publications and international projects.

NOHA was created as a result of concerted efforts on the part of the Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA) Universities, working in close collaboration with two Directorates-General of the European Commission: the DG for Humanitarian Action and Civil Protection (ECHO) and the DG for Education and Culture.

The NOHA Masters is an inter-university multidisciplinary graduate joint Masters programme in international Humanitarian Action (NOHA Masters). The programme comprises of 4 semesters (120 ECTS) and gives students the opportunity to study in up-to 3 universities to get a Joint Masters Degree in International Humanitarian Action. More than 3500 NOHA Graduates currently work in the humanitarian and development sector.