Humanitarian Action

The NOHA Masters in International Humanitarian Action offers students the opportunity to grow both academically and professionally within the field of crisis relief and development. Offering access to a worldwide professional network, the NOHA Masters is an inter-university and multidisciplinary postgraduate programme that combines the provision of high quality academic education with skills and competencies needed to work in the area of humanitarian action and related areas. It is a postgraduate course which aims to develop skilled professionals who have both the theoretical and practical knowledge needed out in the field.

The 2-year programme is divided into four semesters and structured around five main components:

Intensive Programme Semester 1 5 ECTS credits
An initial inter-university joint course that brings together all NOHA students, introducing them to the key principles and concepts underlying humanitarian action and the main actors in the field of humanitarian relief, their policies and strategies, as well as contemporary issues and challenges facing humanitarian actors. Location: Warsaw, Poland.

Humanitarian Disciplines Semester 1 (25 ECTS credits)
Common courses (NOHA Modules) which provide a space to debate the essentials of humanitarian action and its current trends: World Politics, Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action, Management, Public Health, Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects. Location: Home University.

Thematic Specialisation Semester 2 (30 ECTS credits)
Allows students to gain deeper knowledge and competences in specific aspects of humanitarian action (e.g. protection, international humanitarian law, forced migration), and is supplemented by a set of common courses (Advanced Management, Methodology & Research Methods in Humanitarian Studies). Location: European Host University.

Individual Specialisation Semester 3 (30 ECTS credits) (Research Track or Professional Track)

Research Track
Elective courses in regional humanitarian studies at a partner university in or outside of Europe

Professional Track
Advanced career development training and placement at a humanitarian organisation

Master Project & Thesis Semester 4 (30 ECTS credits)
Aims to prepare students to select and analyse research material, confront new problems in their multifaceted dimensions, understand reality and elaborate innovative solutions.

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSc. in Humanitarian Action (NOHA Masters) is an inter-university, multi-disciplinary postgraduate programme that provides high quality academic education and professional competencies for personnel working in or intending to work in the area of humanitarian action. The programme aims to provide students with a broad foundation in the area of international humanitarian action, in which both critical thinking and research skills are emphasized. The goal is to deliver high level, committed, interdisciplinary trained personnel who can function with enhanced professionalism in the broad field of humanitarian relief, and are informed by their theoretical insights and humanitarian principles. The programme design integrates professional and research orientation that is intended to bridge the gap between academic research and the humanitarian work-field. It adopts a competence-oriented, interactive and student centred approach to learning. Teaching practices include group and project work, lectures and seminars, student presentations, simulation exercises, individual study; individual internship and individual thesis research. The programme is suitable for both recent graduates and experience practitioners working or intending to work in the field of humanitarian relief and international co-operation as project managers, administrators, researchers, evaluators, consultants in national and international organisations, both in the field and at headquarters around the world.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a minimum of an upper second class degree, or international equivalent, in a cognate subject.

Given that this is an Erasmus Mundus programme, knowledge of languages of the place(s) of study is an asset. Practical experience in the area of humanitarian action and / or development is valued.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 Option

Resilience Policy & Practice HACT40030
Applied Research Design HACT40040
Localising HA Response HACT40050
Advanced Management in HA HACT40060
World Politics and Humanitarian Action RDEV40110
Intensive Programme RDEV40130
Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action RDEV40140
Management in Humanitarian Action RDEV40170
Public Health RDEV40200
Minor Thesis RDEV40220
Anthropology and Intercultural Studies RDEV40330
Orientation Period - Aix RDEV40390
Orientation Period - Deusto RDEV40410
Orientation Period - Groningen RDEV40420
Orientation Period - Bochum RDEV40430
Orientation Period - Uppsala RDEV40440
Orientation Period-Warsaw RDEV40660
Contextualisation RDEV40680
Addressing Gender-based Violence in Emergencies RDEV40700
Orientation Period- Malta RDEV40710




2 years full-time


MSc Humanitarian Action (D061) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 12000
nonEU fee per year - € 12000

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability

Some 3,500 NOHA graduates currently work in the field of humanitarian relief and international co-operation. They hold various positions of responsibility in all kinds of international and national agencies, institutions and organisations, both in the field and at headquarters level all around the world. Such positions include programme managers, protection officers, field/country directors, delegates, emergency team leaders, administrators, researchers, academics and consultants.

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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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