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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 selected group of fellow students, bringing practical experience from all over the world

Programme details

All students 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

(half unit*)

  • 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.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School's Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the Updated graduate course and programme information page.

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: 22 September 2016

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

Intake/applications in 2014: 50/338

Minimum entry requirement: Good first degree (equivalent to a 2:1 in the UK system) in any subject with social science or humanities an advantage (see entry requirements). As there are a large number of qualified students applying, we place importance on students’ personal statements for applying to the programme

English requirement: Standard (see English requirements)

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: UK/EU £12,504; overseas £19,344

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

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