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MSc - Master of Science
Humanities / General Studies / Combined Studies International Studies
The MSc Humanitarian Action is a new online programme that builds on the strengths of SOAS’ expertise in the areas of violence, aid and security.
MSc Humanitarian Action (Online) is an online degree that engages critically with the history, politics and practice of humanitarian action. Students take the core module, followed by a selection of elective modules and a final dissertation.
How and where is humanitarian aid given, and how does it interact with the political and military complexities of emergency contexts? How have critiques of humanitarian aid, including from recipients, impacted on humanitarian action? How does South-to-South assistance in emergencies change, challenge or complement the concepts and practice of humanitarianism?
What you will study
The core module for the MSc Humanitarian Action has three parts: it starts with the groundwork in humanitarian principles and architecture, and then presents the critiques and voices from the Global South. It deals with practice and the contradictory contexts for humanitarian work, exploring the politics of security decisions, Responsibility to Protect, witness and asylum. This part presents the opportunity to examine and assess competing priorities in situations of multi-layered insecurity.
This module draws on a range of literatures, including the academic work on humanitarianism, publications, data sets and relevant websites from NGOs, humanitarian thinktanks and UN bodies. It also includes blogs, crowd-sourced data and journals from the Global South.
The module challenges the conventional tropes of North to South assistance by examining how agents within the Global South have responded to humanitarian disaster, and also how humanitarianism has been transformed with the establishment of operations in Europe to assist refugees and other destitute people migrating across the Mediterranean.
Analytical and empirical depth will be provided through a series of case studies (Calais, Sri Lanka, Syria, for example) that examine the practicalities and institutional learning in famines and complex emergencies. The module presents processes and mechanisms of institutional learning as well as the persistence of some challenges in approach and delivery.
A degree from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS will further develop your understanding of the world and how society is organised, with specific focus on violence and conflict, the role of aid, refugees and forced migration. Graduates leave with a range of transferable skills, including critical thinking, analytical skills and cultural awareness.
For this course (overall cost)
For this course (overall cost)
We welcome applications from those who have worked in the field of development and/or conflict, but we also encourage students without relevant work experience who can demonstrate a strong interest in humanitarianism and have a strong first degree, to apply.