MA in International Humanitarian Action


Program Description

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 program.

The 120 ECTS Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree Master in International Humanitarian Action is an inter-university multidisciplinary master. It provides high-quality academic education and professional competencies for personnel working or intending to work in the area of humanitarian action. It is offered by 8 European universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Malta, France, and Poland. The students can follow regional training (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 guest lecturers. In this program, 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 programs. Also, practical skills are acquired 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.

Why study this program in Groningen?

  • Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree program;
  • Joint degree diploma of two European universities;
  • Unique, multilingual, interdisciplinary and inter-university program;
  • A Consortium of European and Global partner universities;
  • A unique combination of hands-on practice and theory;
  • Career-oriented internship in humanitarian organizations;
  • Possibility to study at one of our Global partner universities.


Year 1

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.


  • Intensive Programme in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
  • Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects of Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
  • Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
  • Management in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
  • Public Health the in Humanitarian Action Context (10 EC)
  • World Politics and Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
  • Advanced Management in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
  • Humanitarian Analysis and Intervention Design (H-AID) University of Groningen (20 EC)
  • Methodology and Research Methods in Humanitarian Studies (5 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is required
  • For an average of 40 weeks
  • Maximum of 90 EC

The first semester is spent at the HOME university. The second semester is spent at one of the NOHA partner universities in Europe. During the third semester, students choose between research specialization in one of the Global partner universities or a professional placement Free choice of location for writing the master's thesis.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch and international diploma

Specific requirements More information
knowledge minimum Written a bachelor's thesis.
previous education

Bachelor's degree in law, health, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, management, international relations or any other humanitarian action related field.

professional experience

Relevant working experience is an advantage.

other admission requirements

Students will be selected based on an assessment of their prior learning, motivation and, if applicable, earlier field experience.

NB. The program starts in September. February admission only for second-semester students.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

15 April 2021

01 September 2021

EU/EEA students

15 April 2021

01 September 2021

non-EU/EEA students

15 April 2021

01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Note: admissions through NOHA Network. The tuition fee for full-course (2 years): 12.000 Euro

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 program 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
  • Program managers
Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
Groningen , Leeuwarden + 1 More Less