New UCL Master’s degree aims to reduce impacts of humanitarian crises


Wars, disasters, pandemics and the growing impacts of climate change demand new understanding and new ways of working. In response to this global priority, UCL has launched a new Master’s degree in Humanitarian Policy and Practice.

The Humanitarian Policy and Practice MSc will equip students with the practical skills to work in the humanitarian field. By gaining a solid academic background through eight core modules drawing on a variety of disciplines, students will be better able to understand, analyse – and when appropriate, challenge – issues in complex humanitarian situations.

Learning from people on the ground

This programme offers the chance to reflect on policies and practices in the past and present that inform today’s crises responses. Methods of preventing and responding to humanitarian emergencies will be taught by a range of different experts. These experts include specialist academics, people with practical experience from the field, people affected by crisis themselves, advocates and activists. By bringing together a range of people, students will have the chance to consider the full spectrum of perspectives.

The story behind the news

Students will be encouraged to delve into the full story behind news reports. They will explore what’s being done to better support those affected by disasters and develop an understanding around the conflicts, emergencies, disasters and catastrophes.

Who this course if for  

This programme is designed for students with an interest in humanitarian issues and a relevant first degree. We accept applications from people with a wide range of qualifications, and we will consider professional experience where students do not have a relevant first degree. We are especially keen to receive applications from students with lived experience of humanitarian situations.

Preparing graduates for humanitarian careers

The course is taught by a team with several decades of experience in humanitarian research and operational response and is specifically designed to position graduates to enter and advance their careers within the humanitarian sector.

Those graduating from the programme will be well placed to pursue implementation, advisory and research roles with governmental departments, non-governmental organisations, and civil society and community networks that are engaged in different aspects of humanitarian policy formulation and response.

Programme Director Professor Maria Kett says: “The launch of the new MSc demonstrates that UCL is committed to producing graduates who can make a real difference in the world. I look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students, who I’m sure will go on to become the next generation of experts.”

Find out more and apply

For more information about the course visit our website and register your interest to hear about upcoming events and virtual meetings with the programme directors

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