What are the dominant issues in humanitarian action? What is the so-called aid industry? And can professionalization prevent dependence on aid? Find out in this programme.

The 120 ECTS Joint Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action is an inter-university multidisciplinary master programme that provides high-quality academic education and professional competencies for personnel working or intending to work in the area of humanitarian action. The programme is offered by 8 European universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Malta, France and Poland. These universities are united in the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA). The students can follow the regional training programmes (3rd semester) in various global universities.

Interdisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual teaching and training by interfaculty members, a combination of in-house experts and field-experienced quest lecturers. In this programme, you will learn to evaluate humanitarian emergencies. You will study the causes of conflicts and different coping strategies for conflicts and disasters, assess intervention and reconstruction programmes. Also, you will acquire practical skills such as management skills and cross-cultural communication skills.

Graduates have the capacity to act at all levels of humanitarian relief operations and to function in a variety of ways to enhance professional delivery of assistance and sustainable actions.


  • 1st year

    Semester 1: An initial inter-university joint course that brings together all NOHA students, introduces them to key principles and concepts underlying humanitarian action and main actors in the field of humanitarian relief, their policies and strategies. Semester 1: Common courses (NOHA modules): World Politics, Legal Dimensions of HA, Management, Public Health, Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects. Location: Home University

    Semester 2: Allows students to get deeper knowledge and competences in specific aspects of humanitarian action and is supplemented by a set of common courses. Location: Host University

  • 2nd year

    Semester 3: You can choose between a research track or a professional track. Research track: Elective courses in regional humanitarian studies at a partner university in of outside of Europe. Professional track: Advanced career development training and placement at a humanitarian organisation.

    Semester 4: Master Project & Thesis. Aims to prepare students to select and analyse research material, confront new problems in their multifaceted dimensions, understand reality and elaborate innovative solutions.

Study abroad

Study abroad is required

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
assessment interview optional
grade list The programme is highly selective. Priority is given to students with better results.
language test obligatory for non-English speakers
previous education University Bachelor degree in law, health, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, management, theology or other humanitarian action related field.
professional experience Relevant working experience is a major advantage.
reference letter obligatory
written request obligatory
other admission requirements Students will be selected based on an assessment of their prior learning, motivation and, if applicable, earlier field experience.

NB. February admission only for second-semester students.

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Programme form
EU/EEA 2017-2018 €6000 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2017-2018 €6000 full-time

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
EU/EEA students 01 May 2018 01 September 2018
non-EU/EEA students 01 May 2018 01 September 2018

Job prospects

Some 3,500 graduated professionals work in the field of humanitarian relief and international co-operation. They hold various positions of responsibility in all kinds of international and national NGOs, institutions, agencies and government both in the field and at headquarters level all around the world. Such positions include programme managers, protection officers, field/country directors, emergency team leaders, administrators, researchers, academics and consultants.

Job examples

  • protection officers
  • consultants
  • researchers
  • field/country directors
  • emergency team leaders
  • programme managers
Program taught in:

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
24 months
6,000 EUR
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