MSc Humanitarian Studies

Liverpool School Of Tropical Medicine

Program Description

MSc Humanitarian Studies

Liverpool School Of Tropical Medicine

The programme reviews historical and current policies and practice in humanitarian assistance, analyses the effect of war, natural disasters and the international economy on social dislocation, health and wellbeing, investigates the evidence base for current operational guidelines and explores novel approaches in responding to the challenges of today’s humanitarian problems. It is responding to the need for a professional, integrated, accountable and ethical approach to humanitarian interventions in which humanitarian workers are often called upon to operate in environments where demands extend beyond conventional professional boundaries. Opportunities for in-depth study include regional and country case studies and a choice of modules addressing specific aspects of humanitarian interventions. In addition, the programme offers participants an opportunity to develop and undertake a research project, usually overseas, in an area of special interest indicated by client Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), International Organisations (IOs) or National Ministries.

Academic requirements:

Open to graduates of health-related disciplines with relevant humanitarian assistance, developing countries’ or other appropriate professional experience. Applications from international students are welcomed.

Recognition of prior learning:

All programmes of study will permit entry with credit attributed to previous certificated study up to a total of one third of the credits required to be awarded a MSc Degree, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Award.

Work experience:

Non-graduates with considerable satisfactory work experience with humanitarian / development organisations and evidence of appropriate in-service training will also be considered. Field experience is desirable but not essential.

English language requirements:

The programme is taught in English. Students whose first language is not English must provide evidence of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all learning components, or a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 88 for the Internet-based Test (iBT), with minimum scores of 21 for Listening and Writing, 22 for Reading and 23 for Speaking. Tests should be within their validity period of 2 years.

Specific aims:

  • Provide experienced humanitarian workers with a deeper understanding of the political economy of humanitarian emergencies including the internally displaced, refugees and migrants: the historical context; regional and country case studies; the effect of war and natural disasters and the international economy on social dislocation, health and wellbeing
  • Provide an interdisciplinary forum in which participants from a variety of professional backgrounds (e.g. health, political and social sciences, engineering, agriculture, development, international humanitarian law, human rights, administration and media) can review critically and debate key issues of mutual interest
  • Facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research
  • Give participants an opportunity to conduct an independent in-depth research study of a specialist aspect of humanitarian interventions in the field
  • Produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles in humanitarian interventions
  • Develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future


Many alumni of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) hold prominent positions in health ministries, universities, hospitals and international organisations throughout the world. Graduates are competitively placed to begin PhD programmes, seek employment as research assistants, work in developing countries with a wide variety of employers, or return to previous employers with enhanced knowledge and skills with which to advance their existing careers. The MSc Humanitarian Studies (MHS) aims to strengthen links between academic institutions and operational humanitarian organisations. The skills, knowledge and understanding of humanitarian issues gained during the programme equip graduates to practise at a senior level in NGOs, IOs and Ministries involved in the prevention of and response to humanitarian crises.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 15, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 year
Full time
8,100 GBP
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom Liverpool, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Sept. 11, 2017
Duration 1 year
Price 8,100 GBP