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MSc in International Humanitarian Affairs

Course Description


The MSc in International Humanitarian Affairs (MIHA), is delivered by the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York. The MIHA is unique as an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary postgraduate programme that examines the changing nature of humanitarianism. It is delivered exclusively online.


The MIHA is delivered in three main stages over two years: Post-graduate Certificate (Year 1), Diploma (Year 2), and MSc (Year 2 with the completion of the dissertation).

It provides an academic setting for professionals:
• To develop how they understand and respond to humanitarian needs in complex operational contexts such as violent conflict, natural hazards and political crises.
• To examine and analyse contemporary issues, challenges and dilemmas using social, political, cultural, economic and environmental perspectives, lived experiences of affected communities and changing policy debates as well as the technical approaches of the main humanitarian sectors.
• To gain advanced academic and policy skills, and learn how to use theory to maintain good practice.

The Masters course in International Humanitarian Affairs attracts a wide variety of students from different backgrounds. As the Masters is divided over three years part time study, many of our students are professionals already working in the field, looking to broaden their knowledge and theory base to further the work that they are doing.


This programme offers an opportunity for field practitioners to engage with the philosophical and theoretical emergence of the concepts of humanitarianism, contemporary theory, policy and practice debates as well as changing landscapes of humanitarian affairs. It also, allows you to network with like-minded experts, academics and policy makers from around the world that are responding to disasters, conflicts and complex political emergencies.

Furthermore, the MIHA team brings experiences and expertise from sub-Saharan and West Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America 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.

Current students

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 in MIHA enables them to build upon the practical knowledge gained from their professional experience with cutting edge theory and an insight into humanitarian policy-making.

How to apply

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.

To apply to the course, follow the steps here, on the University of York's application process. For any further information, contact

Other postgraduate courses run by the Department of Health Sciences Include:

MSc Applied Health Research (https://www.findamasters.com/search/masters-degree/i376d151c194/msc-applied-health-research)
Masters in Public Health (MPH) (https://www.findamasters.com/search/masters-degree/i376d151c192/masters-in-public-health-mph)
MPhil in Health Sciences (https://www.findamasters.com/search/masters-degree/i376d151c197/mphil-in-health-sciences)

Visit the MSc in International Humanitarian Affairs page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

At least a 2.1 university degree and some relevant professional experience. Candidates without a university degree may also be considered where they have extensive relevant professional experience and can demonstrate the necessary academic ability.

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