The MIHA is unique as an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme in international humanitarian affairs that is offered exclusively online. It is delivered by the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute (HPG-ODI).
After several years searching for a quality, distance-learning program, I was thrilled to learn about the MIHA. For me, one of the key aspects is that it allows me to continue working full-time while pursuing an advanced degree. Through tailored reading assignments and a creative use of communication platforms, like discussion boards and skpe, I feel as though I am learning valuable information and skills to help me in my career. The MIHA staff are very helpful and it's obvious how much they believe in the program and its students.
The MIHA provides an academic setting for professionals:
You will be taught by a dedicated team of academic staff from the PRDU, at the Department of Politics. You will also have direct access to leading humanitarian policy experts at HPG-ODI.
The MIHA can be taken part-time and in three main stages over three years:
At the postgraduate certificate level, students will complete the following three modules during Year 1:
• Module 1: The Politics of International Humanitarian Affairs,
• Module 2: Protection and Assistance in International Humanitarian Law, and
• Module 3: Evidence-Based Policy Making and Programming.
These three modules will be content-led and will focus on developing the relevant academic knowledge and expertise, the value of theory, and demonstrating how to theorise practice.
Students who continue to the postgraduate diploma will gain a better grasp of three major subdivisions of this field through specialised modules in Year 2 that cover:
• Module 4: Emergency Shelter, Early Recovery and Community Resilience;
• Module 5: The Governance of Health and Nutrition in Fragile States; and
• Module 6: Education in Emergencies.
Modules 4, 5 and 6 will be issue-driven and will adopt a problem-based learning approach. They will build upon the knowledge gained through the certificate stage and will aim to develop students’ confidence (academic and professional) through evaluative models and frameworks.
In Year 3, at the Masters level, the programme aims to allow students the opportunity to further specialise within a sector/area of their choice through the completion of an independent study project in the form of a 15,000 word dissertation, with support from academic faculty and policy experts.
MIHA students will gain a unique and rich learning experience and an advanced postgraduate qualification. In small groups and under the close guidance and support of the MIHA academic and administrative staff at York, students can enjoy a dynamic range of learning tools that include:
Assessment is a fundamental part of the learning experience, which ultimately aims to increase the employability of our students given the range of competencies that are expected of humanitarian professionals.
The different types of assessment above will help each student to develop and demonstrate a range of knowledge, skills and capabilities. The goal is to better equip our students to plan, implement and manage policy and operational strategies for humanitarian assistance and crisis response.
The annual tuition fees for those undertaking the MIHA will be reviewed each year by the University.
For the academic year 2013/14 they are:
UK, EC and Overseas candidates: £4,130 (part-time)
For more information on fees and funding please visit the University's Graduate School Website
Daniella Ritzau-Reid - Daniella completed her undergraduate degree in Social and Political Sciences BA (hons) at the University of Cambridge, with a particular focus on contemporary world politics and the intersection between religion and conflict. Daniella's professional background is both operational and theoretical, having worked in human rights research at 'The Centre of Governance and Human Rights' and in emergency response with Save the Children. Daniella is happiest when based in the field, and has been privileged to work on humanitarian responses in South Sudan and most recently Myanmar, as well as supporting the East Africa crisis, grassroots work in the oPT and work on inter-agency humanitarian capacity building in Asia-Pacific. Daniella has a particular interest in protection, gender and rights in humanitarian contexts, and a strong regional interest in the Middle East.
Muhyadin Saed - Muhyadin Saed is Project Coordinator at Finn Church Aid Somalia. He has been working on peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Somaliland for the last 5 years. He is currently working with FCA grass roots Peace Initiative Program in Somaliland that works with Somali traditional and religious leaders together with women and youth to transform some of the pastoral and urban conflicts arising from multiple factors including sharing resources such as land and water and structural causes of conflicts. Before joining FCA Muhyadin has been working with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Hargeisa as a researcher and lecturer. “I live and work in Somalia which has been in a deadly and protracted conflict for the last two decades. This has both created and perpetuated a severe humanitarian crisis in the country of famine, poverty, diseases and displacements of people. This study program at York in International Humanitarian Affairs will give me the necessary knowledge and skills needed to address these problems in my day-to-day responsibilities in a methodical manner. My expectation is also that during the program, I will get an exposure to appreciate and utilize other best practices in different or similar humanitarian contexts in the world”.
Click here to view more student profiles.
To start the course in September 2013, the deadline for completed applications is Friday 30th August 2013. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as there are a limited number of places available.
We are seeking applicants with at least a 2.1 university degree. Candidates without a university degree may also be considered where they have extensive relevant professional experience and can demonstrate the necessary academic ability through the application process.
Applicants who are not native English speakers will have to demonstrate English language proficiency in order to be eligible for the programme. Minimum language requirements will include: IELTS 6.5; TOEFL paper-based 580; TOEFL computer-based 237; TOEFL iBT 92; Cambridge Proficiency A, B, C.
Experience of Policy and Practice
As a MIHA student, you will already have experience in humanitarian policy, practice and/or research.
Alternatively, you will have experience in a related field and you may want to use this innovative programme to develop a growing interest in humanitarian affairs, and as a way to begin a career in this rapidly growing industry.
Studying while Working
The MIHA strives to meet the diverse educational and professional needs of its students. Therefore, you will be able to complete this programme part-time while remaining in full-time employment.
This programme will promote the value of an ‘international politics’ or strategic approach to understanding humanitarian policy and practice. Students will also examine the importance of evidence in designing policy and practice and demonstrate how to use a range of methods and research skills to collect and analyse evidence from the field.
Given the increasing specialisation within humanitarian assistance, MIHA students will gain technical expertise in four core areas/sectors: international law, health, shelter, and education.
Students in their 3rd year will specialise further by completing the independent project/15,000 word dissertation.
If you require any further information on the application process please email email@example.com
Dr David Connolly - Programme Director and Module Leader
David specialises in the role of third parties in humanitarian intervention, forced internal displacement and the role of education in emergencies. He has more than 10 years experience working with some of the key international humanitarian organisations, including: UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Click here for more on David's research interests and professional background.
Mark Clegg - Teaching Fellow and Module Leader
Mark specialises in civil-military relations in humanitarian emergencies and international mechanisms for cooperation in the provision of humanitarian aid and civil protection. He has more than 22 years experience in the policy and practice of international humanitarian interventions. Click here for more on Mark’s research interests and professional background.
Emma Piercy - Programme Administrator
Emma has been at the University of York since 2009, previously working in the Professional and Organisational Department before moving to PRDU. Emma has been studying International Studies and Politics through a distance learning course at The Open University for several years.
The MIHA has been created and designed during 2011 - 2012 by Dr David Connolly (PRDU/Politics Lecturer) and Professor Sultan Barakat (PRDU Director), with research assistance from Ms Alexandra Lewis (PhD candidate, PRDU/Politics).
The modules are written by academic staff at the PRDU, PRDU associates (Mr Gianni Rufini, Dr Simon Robins), and policy experts at HPG-ODI, among other humanitarian specialists.
As an important part of the design process, all parts of the MIHA have been reviewed and guided by an advisory group composed of scholars and policy experts as well as specialists in distance learning.
MIHA Advisory Group
External Academic Reviewer
The MIHA team would like to express its gratitude to all those above who contributed to the design and development of the programme during the extensive consultation and review process.
The Administrator, PRDU
University of York
York YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 1904 322640
Fax: +44 1904 322641
Elvis Chifwafwa - Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources management from the University of Zambia. Elvis was then a part time tutor at the University of Zambia and then to the National AIDS Council of Zambia to work as an assistant researcher on an AIDS project. Later Elvis joined World Vision as a District Coordinator, rising through the ranks to be a Program Manager in Zambia. In 2011 Elvis joined Family Health International as a Provincial Program Officer based in Ndola, Zambia. Elvis hopes the MIHA will increase his knowledge through academic work, networking with other students and gain deeper theoretical and practical knowledge.
Michelle Cooney - Graduated Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science before completing an internship with the U.S. Embassy in Germany. She spent 2 years working as a civilian contractor deployed to Bosnia in the aftermath of the Bosnian war. Michelle began working for World Relief and spent 10 years managing a U.S. government-funded refugee resettlement program. Michelle spent 5 years working as an R&P Resettlement Manager, and spent 4 years as Director of R&P and Refugee Services, managing the resettlement of approx 6,000 refugees per year in 22 field locations. She was seconded from World Relief and the International Catholic Migration Commission to UNHCR in New Delhi, India, to work as a Consultant/Expert on Mission, and referred Myanmar and Afghan refugees for third-country resettlement. Michelle's motivation for enrolling in the MIHA program is to supplement her experience and broaden her knowledge of the international humanitarian field.
Maxwell Madzikanga - Has graduated with a B.Sc in Politics and Administration, B.Sc. Special Honours in Psychology, MPH, and a Master of Bioethics degree. Maxwell has worked in the voluntary sector for twenty years including work for Family AIDS Caring Trust (Zimbabwe), Zimbabwe National AIDS Council, Africa University, The American Friends Service Committee, The British Red Cross, The Right to Health Unit (University of Essex) and the National Health Service. Maxwell hopes the MIHA programme will deepen and sharpen his humanitarian programing competencies, enhance his knowledge and skills in humanitarian planning, coordination, management and strategy development.
Atta-ur-Rehman - Completed his post-graduation degree in Political Science andInternational relations at the University Of Peshawar, Pakistan. Research, monitoring and evaluation remains his key focus area in humanitarian sector. Currently Atta is working with UNDP Pakistan for its parliamentary development and good governance project in the region. Atta is engaged with Coffey International Development to carry out assessment and research studies in FATA/KP region of Pakistan for its Peace building support project. Atta's focus for the programme is to broaden his understanding about social development and peace issues and multiply his professional learning with new themes and colors of networking and experience sharing.
Michelle Seage - Works as the Defense Liaison Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She works directly with the Tanzanian military to facilitate capacity building training and exercises in Maritime Domain Awareness and counterpiracy efforts. She also interacts with many government agencies and NGO’s that provide humanitarian assistance in a variety of areas, such as education, nutrition and refugee issues. Ms. Seage has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, where she focused on International Relations and Comparative Politics. Prior to Tanzania, Ms. Seage worked in Afghanistan and Brazil where she was given first hand exposure to humanitarian assistance efforts attempting to address basic human rights issues in difficult, often dangerous, environments. Ms. Seage is especially interested in the role of civilian-military coordination in the implementation of humanitarian assistance in armed, complex emergencies.
Inna Yunosova - graduated from the Intercultural Communications Department of the Russian-Tajik (Slavonic) University in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Inna went onto work on commercial projects implemented and stationed in Tajikistan and Russian Federation. In 2006 Inna had a career shift to humanitarian and development cooperation and started to work with INGO Oxfam with a focus on humanitarian/relief issues and post-conflict development. Since 2008 she has been employed by UNDP Country Office in Tajikistan. Inna hopes the MIHA will help her obtain academic knowledge of humanitarian issues and international politics to align with existing practical experience, and allow for the personal contribution to the development of her country.
Claire James - Works for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Prior to joining AusAID, Claire worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in protection roles in China, Kosovo and Liberia. Claire is undertaking the University of York Masters in Humanitarian Affairs as an opportunity for in-depth study of contemporary humanitarian challenges.
Marian A. Hassan - Grew up in Puntland, in a Somali region in the northeast of the country. She studied her secondary studies within Somalia, got a scholarship and moved to Kenya to do her higher education where she did Telecommunication Engineering at MMU University, she is also doing her PG in Conflict transformation & women’s peacebuilding leadership at Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia (USA). She worked as a researcher in the field of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. She has always advocated for women’s empowerment. Had the passion of advancing women’s roles in the community and making it visible to be appreciated and documented. She participated in data analysis and research. One of the publications she participated is the Pillars of Peace- Mapping the Foundations of Peace.
Alix Nijimbere - is from Burundi and has worked in East of Chad, in West of Cote d’Ivoire and recently in Sierra Leone. Alix has been in charge of communication and advocacy for NGOs like Oxfam GB and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). Alix is also a specialist in Education for Emergency (EiE) and has worked as a Unicef Staff to coordinate an Education Cluster on the field in Emergency. Alix's motivation to study the MIHA stems from his experience working in the humanitarian field and the opportunity to share experiences, practices, readings and with fellow students and tutors.
Lawnsome Etum Akezi - Ugandan, Lawnsome is currently working with Christian Communication Centre as Executive Director, a faith based charity development organization based in Northern Uganda, since 2001. Lawnsome's motivations for studying the MIHA is to enhance his professional career development to manage humanitarian affairs, economic governance and social research for social change to meet the needs of least advantaged communities Northern Uganda, Uganda and Africa.
Rachel Bernu - Is an experienced human rights advocate who has worked & travelled across the globe. She is dedicated to social justice and supporting the most vulnerable and/or marginalised groups in society, including those lacking formal education, minority communities and women and girls. Rachel is now looking to combine her previous experience with the academic framework provided by the MSc in International Humanitarian Affairs in order to pursue a career in international relief and recovery.
Álvaro Sosa Farías - Currently working with International Committee of the Red Cross as Air Operations Manager. During the last four years in Chad and Central African Republic Álvaro coordinated the activities of the aircraft related to ICRC and MSF. He served as UN peacekeeper as an Air Medevac Team Coordinator in Eritrea and Ethiopia, and later as Airfield Support Unit Coordinator in Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a former Uruguayan Air Force Officer (Pilot), ranked as Major (Wing Squadron Commander). Álvaro has developed a special interest in the efficient implementation of humanitarian support and assistance during armed conflict and reconstruction´s process.
Victoria Hopkins - Victoria has an MA in International Affairs with focus on trade and investment in developing countries and has worked across East Africa and most recently in South Sudan with the international NGO, Save the Children. While in South Sudan, Victoria managed emergency programming in remote locations and developed new programmes/ projects as part of the advisory team. She is currently pursuing a short-term contract with the International Development Research Centre’s Think Tank Initiative, before moving to Mali in the summer to continue work in the field. Victoria joined the MIHA programme to engage in a period of critical reflection on the humanitarian sector, with particular interest in expanding my knowledge of the laws and policies that govern emergency interventions globally.