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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, international organisations or national ministries.


LSTM education courses are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future. 

This course aims to: 

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.

Give participants an opportunity to conduct an independent in-depth research study of a specialist aspect of humanitarian interventions in the field

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.

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.

Facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.

Develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.


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 practice at a senior level in organisations involved in the prevention of, and response to, humanitarian crises. Past students have gone on to take a wide variety of positions, including Head of Policy and Strategy for MSF (Doctors without Borders), through to country director roles, with project placements all over the world. Many have also gone into other fields such as the public sector in the UK NHS (intercalating medics), social enterprises, law, social work, Political Advisor in the British Parliament, and so on.

Visit the Humanitarian Studies - MSc page on the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine website for more details!




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