2 years part-time
This dynamic course explores the changing nature of humanitarianism and is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in its approach.
We offer an opportunity for you to engage with the philosophical and theoretical emergence of the concepts of humanitarianism and explore fast-changing, contemporary debates over the theory, policy and practice of humanitarian affairs. You will have the opportunity to network with like-minded experts, academics and policymakers from around the world who are responding to disasters, conflicts and complex political emergencies.
Our team brings experiences and expertise from Sub-Saharan and West Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America and in responding to real-time tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, civil conflicts and many other disasters. Our team is conducting research and practice-oriented projects in most disaster and conflict affected countries in collaboration with the UN, INGOs, national governments and communities to challenge policy and practice to be effective, efficient and relevant.
This course will enable you to:
This course has two core academic staff members within the Department of Health Sciences, Dr Janaka Jayawickrama and Dr Jo Rose. More broadly, the Department of Health Sciences' teaching and research teams also contribute to the teaching and learning of the course. Our associates and collaborative organisations also contribute to enhance your networking and learning experiences while on the course. See our full list of MIHA staff and associates (PDF , 72kb).
This course is delivered in three main stages over two years: Taught Component (Year 1), Taught Component (Year 2), and MSc (Year 2 with the completion of the dissertation).
To successfully complete the course you will have to complete a 15,000 word dissertation based on an original research project.
The dissertation will allow you to design, implement and finalise your own research project with a final research report. The module encourages you to conduct your dissertation research on a subject matter or research question that is stimulating to you as well as important to the field of contemporary humanitarian affairs.
You will receive a personal supervisor for your dissertation who will offer you support throughout the research period.
The course is primarily taught through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). All your course materials will be provided through the VLE.
We combine a variety of learning techniques including interactive discussion groups and seminars led by practitioners, academic staff and course partners. We are constantly updating and exploring new learning technologies and developing new ways to provide the course material using the most effective methods.
You will enjoy the use of a wide variety of learning tools on this course including:
As a distance learner you will also have the opportunity to access e-support from the Writing Centre at the University.
You will be assessed throughout the course in theory, policy and practice elements. You will have to successfully complete all areas to be able to progress.
A variety of assessment methods including critical essays, analytical reports, posters and proposals will be used. You will be given individual written assessment feedback for every piece of assessed work. You can request detailed verbal feedback either through an email or a Skype meeting.
Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and many are working full time jobs in real-time humanitarian responses where they can take full advantage of the flexible nature of the course.
The learning and teaching on the course enables you to build upon the practical knowledge gained from your professional experience with cutting edge theory and an insight into humanitarian policy making. Successful completion of the course leads to a globally recognised qualification.
Our graduates have gone on to leading roles in governmental and non-governmental organisations, the United Nations and charities, working in areas affected by disasters and conflicts around the world. Their work spans the humanitarian and development spectrum, from camp management to advising the UN and governments on humanitarian responses. Many go on to further study at York and other leading universities.
Upon successful completion of this course you will gain:
Applicants are expected to have at least an upper second-class (2:1) honours degree or the international equivalent in an appropriate subject. However, we are willing to consider applications from those who do not have the appropriate qualifications but have suitable humanitarian and development experience through working with the United Nations, international humanitarian and development organisations, government authorities, community-based groups or local charities.
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 7.0. Further details of the University of York's English language requirements.