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MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies

About the MSc programme

This programme is based in the Department of International Development and offers the following benefits: 

  • Core courses on key issues in international development and humanitarian crises.
  • Work on a team-based policy project for a humanitarian or development sector organisation.
  • A choice of options from a wide range of highly rated courses within the Department and in other departments specialising in political economy, public policy and management.
  • Contact with a highly selective group of fellow students, bringing practical experience from all over the world.

Programme details

All students must take the core courses and complete a dissertation of up to 10,000 words. Students also participate in a practical policy project which forms part of their total assessment. You have the opportunity to attend a departmental weekly lecture series that brings to the School prominent scholars and practitioners who discuss the findings and methodological dimensions of development research and/or problems of development practice.

The programme also benefits from its own voice of experience lecture series (previous speakers have included senior staff from major UN and NGO organisations), a free weekend workshop on humanitarian programme management and evaluation, and an opportunity to attend an optional three day trip to Geneva in order to visit key humanitarian organisations. 

Compulsory courses

  • Key Issues in Development Studies* provides an overview of the key issues and debates in international development.
  • Humanitarian Consultancy Project* students gain practical experience of dealing with current policy issues and best practice in the fields of humanitarian assistance or international development by working on a live consultancy team project for a real client.
  • Managing Humanitarianism* covers key issues in the development and functioning of the UN and NGO elements of the humanitarian system as well as a disaster case study.
  • Dissertation.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of one and a half units from options in Anthropology, Development Studies, Government, International Relations and Social Policy. 

Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations.

The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.

Graduate destinations

Recent graduates have secured promising professional careers in public, private and voluntary agencies dealing with development and humanitarian problems at both national and international levels.


Application code: L9U2 (check availability)

Start date: 24 September 2015

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time 

Intake/applications in 2013: 51/385

Minimum entry requirement: Good 2:1 in social science, or in another field with relevant work experience (see entry requirements)

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £12,024; overseas £18,600

Financial support: Graduate Support Scheme (see Fees and financial support)

Application deadline: None - rolling admissions. Early application is advised