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PhD Humanitarianism and Conflict Response

PhD Humanitarianism and Conflict Response

Different course options

Full time | The University of Manchester | 3 years | SEP

Study mode

Full time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Conflict Management (Business) Humanities / General Studies / Combined Studies

Course type


Course Summary

Programme description

Our PhD in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response is inspired by the need to conduct rigorous, in-depth research and analysis on the impact and outcomes of contemporary and historical crises.

It is driven by a desire to inform and support policy and practice, to optimise joint working between partner organisations, and to foster increased understanding and debate within the field of humanitarianism and global health.

The PhD is a three-year course of study (or six years of part-time study) in which you prepare a thesis under the guidance of two supervisors with specialist expertise.

Your progress is monitored at regular meetings of your research panel (two supervisors plus a reviewer who is independent of the supervisory team), which also provides guidance on research training and career development.

We welcome applications from students wishing to study in the interdisciplinary research areas of global health, disaster response and humanitarian aid.

As a postgraduate researcher in HCRI, you will join an active and accessible research community. Our interests are varied in terms of disciplines, geographies, time periods, and topics.

We also encourage researchers to connect with other departments across the University.

Integrated with our research goals, the HCRI PhD programme offers a flexible approach to the provision of teaching, to identify and challenge current assumptions about issues such as aid, conflict response and governance.

It aims to prepare the next generation of crisis response researchers and practitioners, while also seeking to understand the experiences of people affected by crises, to engage with their perspectives and help make their voices heard.

This PhD therefore reflects the need for structured forms of professional development and reflective thinking that can function effectively across multiple academic and non-academic contexts.

It will introduce students to a range of dynamic and challenging concepts and methods with which to reflect critically and constructively on their professional context and experience.

The aim of the programme is to produce students who are critical, independent researchers, and you are from the outset encouraged to disseminate your work at seminars and conferences and by publishing in high-quality forums.

The programme culminates in the submission of an 80,000-word dissertation (or alternative format) that makes an original contribution to knowledge.


We aim to:

  • Generate new critical, academic perspectives on conflict and crisis, emergency interventions, health and social justice, through engagement academic disciplines such as history, applied arts, emergency medicine and global health, geography, politics and anthropology, on the basis of field work and case studies.
  • Provide a structured programme of action and reflection at an advanced level to support candidates' contributions to the development of new methodologies, techniques and concepts.
  • Support the development and transformation of existing professional experience and expertise into research outcomes that will extend knowledge, understanding and practice in response to humanitarian assistance issues or organisations.
  • Provide candidates with opportunities to deepen and broaden knowledge and understanding of the historical, social, political, medical and ethical dimensions of their research and/or practice, in an interdisciplinary environment.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

A Bachelors (Honours) degree at 2:1 level or above (or its international equivalent) in a related subject; and A UK Master's degree with an overall average of 65% or higher, with a minimum of 65% in the dissertation and with no mark below 55% (or its international equivalent) in a related subject.