Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesInternational Relations (120 EC)International Humanitarian Action (120 EC)
Header image International Humanitarian Action (120 EC)

International Humanitarian Action (120 EC)

What are the dominant issues in humanitarian action? What is the so-called aid industry? And can professionalization prevent dependence on aid? Find out in this programme.

The 120 ECTS Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree Master in International Humanitarian Action is an inter-university multidisciplinary master. It provides high quality academic education and professional competencies for personnel working or intending to work in the area of humanitarian action. It is offered by 8 European universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Malta, France and Poland. The students can follow the regional training (3rd semester) in various global universities.

Interdisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual teaching and training by inter faculty members, a combination of in-house experts and field-experienced guest lecturers. In this programme you will learn to evaluate humanitarian emergencies. You will study the causes of conflicts and different coping strategies for conflicts and disasters, assess intervention and reconstruction programmes. Also, practical skills are acquired such as management skills and cross-cultural communication skills.

Graduates have the capacity to act at all levels of humanitarian relief operations and to function in a variety of ways to enhance professional delivery of assistance and sustainable actions.

NB: Application through NOHA network: www.nohanet.org

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in International Relations
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60819
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Arts
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree programme
  • Joint degree diploma of two European universities
  • Unique, multilingual, interdisciplinary and inter-university programme
  • Consortium of European and Global partner universities
  • Unique combination of hands-on practice and theory
  • Career-oriented internship in humanitarian organizations
  • Possibility to study at one of our Global partner universities
Programme

Semester 1: An initial inter-university joint course that brings together all NOHA students, introduces them to key principles and concepts underlying humanitarian action and main actors in the field of humanitarian relief, their policies and strategies. Semester 1: Common courses (NOHA modules): World Politics, Legal Dimensions of HA, Management, Public Health, Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects. Location: Home University

Semester 2: Allows students to get deeper knowledge and competences in specific aspects of humanitarian action and is supplemented by a set of common courses. Location: Host University

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Intensive Programme in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects of Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Management in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Public Health the in Humanitarian Action Context (10 EC)
World Politics and Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Advanced Management in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Humanitarian Analysis and Intervention Design (H-AID) University of Groningen (20 EC)
Methodology and Research Methods in Humanitarian Studies (5 EC)

Semester 3: You can choose between a research track or a professional track. Research track: Elective courses in regional humanitarian studies at a partner university in of outside of Europe. Professional track: Advanced career development training and placement at a humanitarian organisation.

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

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Regional training + internship or professional specialization (placement + career development training) (30 EC, optional)
Master thesis (30 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is required
  • For an average of 40 weeks
  • Maximum of 90 EC

The first semester is spent at the HOME university. The second semester is spent at one of the NOHA partner universities in Europe. During the third semester students choose between research specialization in one of the Global partner universities or a professional placement Free choice of location for writing the master's thesis.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

Written bachelor's thesis.

previous education

Bachelor degree in law, health, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, management, international relations or any other humanitarian action related field.

professional experience

Relevant working experience is an advantage.

other admission requirements

Students will be selected based on an assessment of their prior learning, motivation and, if applicable, earlier field experience.

NB. The programme starts in September. February admission only for second semester students.

IMPORTANT: Application through NOHA network: www.nohanet.org

Registration procedure

All applications need to fulfill the requirements and follow the procedure as stated on the NOHA network website: http://nohanet.org

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

Written bachelor's thesis.

previous education

Bachelor degree in law, health, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, management, international relations or any other humanitarian action related field.

professional experience

Relevant working experience is an advantage.

other admission requirements

Students will be selected based on an assessment of their prior learning, motivation and, if applicable, earlier field experience.

NB. The programme starts in September. February admission only for second semester students.

IMPORTANT: Application through NOHA network: www.nohanet.org

Registration procedure

All applications need to fulfill the requirements and follow the procedure as stated on the NOHA network website: http://nohanet.org

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees

NOTE: admissions through NOHA Network. Tuition fee for full-course (2 years): 12.000 Euro

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

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

You can find a lot of useful information on the NOHA Alumni website: http://www.noha-students.org/

Job examples

  • protection officers
  • consultants
  • researchers
  • field/country directors
  • emergency team leaders
  • programme managers
Research

Research

The list below shows an overview of all NOHA Lecturers and Associate staff. Visit their personal university staff page to read more about the research topics our staff is involved in and to see an overview of their publications.

1st semester:
2nd semester:
NOHA Associate staff
Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

If you want to know more about the programme International Humanitarian Action (120 EC), please contact:

  • 
						Testimonial of

    Work experience NOHA alumna

    Read more

    Experience

    In 2003, she worked on a project interviewing Brazilian soldiers who had been in the Second World War in order to build up a Digital Database for students and researchers. When that project was concluded, she took a break from university and went to England to learn English and work babysitting, gardening and waitressing.

    After England, she lived and worked as a volunteer in Israel during the conflict with Lebanon. Next stop was Nepal, and there she worked in an orphanage taking care of children, teaching them English and arts, helping with the daily work, and orientating about health care. In India she gave conversation English classes to refugees from Tibet and later on she went to Australia to work as a waitress.

    Back to Brazil, three years later, she worked at the BBC History Magazine (Brazilian version) as an editorial assistant and after that in the website of the Ministry of Tourism, where she was a reporter and photographer. At the same time she finished university and started to work on the project of the documentary film "Beyond Madness". a film about the exclusion of people with mental disturbs. A year and a half later, the 23-minute documentary, won the category of TV's 5th edition of the Journalism Award of the ABP 2010.

    In the second half of 2010 she left to Asia and Middle East to work as volunteer and as a freelancer journalist. In 2012, she went to France to learn French and work as a volunteer in a spiruline (nutritious algae) farm. In the beginning of 2013, already back in Brazil, she started working as a photographer and as a volunteer teacher.


    Nationality: Italian and Brazilian
    Pre education: BA in Social Communication

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Cynthia Sahan

    An international and multidisciplinary academic study that promotes networking, cooperation and expertise

    – Cynthia Sahan
    Read more

    'The Joint Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action is a one and half year intensive programme that is advantageous for those who would like to perform in the humanitarian sector looking at the complexity and particularity of the humanitarian world.

    The complexity of humanitarian actions around the globe makes it indispensable to master the humanitarian principles and to be well equipped with the necessary tools for proper interventions. Hence a number of specific tools are provided in a way that will facilitate your ability to intervene in settings where humanitarian aid is needed to save lives in dignified manners.

    It is an international and multidisciplinary academic study that promotes networking, cooperation and expertise for the delivery of high quality services to the ones in need. Since the NOHA programme is basically rooted in a network of universities, during the second semester, students get the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of humanitarian action of their choice, which is meant to deepen and strengthen their knowledge in this particular area. The specialisation in international humanitarian action is unique and offers both theoretical and practical insights regarding the humanitarian field. On the one hand the practical facet allows you to apply the theories. And on the other hand it is an experience that gives the opportunity to shape your professional career as a humanitarian worker.'

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Koen van der West

    What I liked most within my internship is that I worked with people with a different background, which gave me other perspectives on certain issues.

    – Koen van der West
    Read more

    Within the Master International Humanitarian Action an internship is a mandatory part. Throughout my studies I have become very interested in the interaction between military and humanitarian actors, and therefore I decided to get an internship within the specific field of civil-military interaction. During my studies I got in contact with several civil-military professionals, who gave me advice on possible internship placements.

    My internship at the CCOE gave me the experience of working within a multi-cultural professional (military) organization. More specifically I learned how to work within a team on a specific project. Furthermore I gained a lot of knowledge with regards to civil-military interaction and doing research, and I learned how to work under time pressure. Although my internship was mandatory I would like to highly recommend students to do an internship, since it gives you real working experience and (hopefully) gives you more insight into your further career.

    What I liked most within my internship is that I worked with people with a different background, which gave me other perspectives on certain issues. Furthermore I really liked that I was given real responsibilities, which gave me an idea that I was really part of the team within the CCOE. Lastly I really liked that I could put my academic research skills into practical use. Read more

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Lars Faber

    Placement at CARE India

    – Lars Faber
    Read more

    I had already undertaken placements in Central America so I was already used to working in new environments. This placement taught me how to make decisions under pressure of time and money, based on sufficient relevant training. In addition, I learned to transfer my insights and knowledge to the organization in an accessible way. I also learned how to procure some freedom within a highly hierarchical organization in order to get the desired learning experience.

    What I found most impressive were the field visits to a region that had been hit by a giant tidal wave followed by landslides and earthquakes. The situation of many people in that region is deplorable, and their prospects for the future are sobering for someone from a different background. I enjoyed the conversations with people who were building new houses, the hospitality in rural areas, and the feeling of my standard frame of reference being challenged. My research into the operationalization of ‘resilience’ in CARE projects is what made life at the office in New Delhi a fun experience, besides the Indian way of eating lunch together, sharing food, celebrating Indian festivals, and talking with colleagues about cultural differences and local customs. What I would do differently next time is that I would draw up a schedule of feedback opportunities. When you are part of an Emergency Response Unit of a humanitarian organization you never know what may happen next week or whether someone is available or not. This may make drawing up and updating such a schedule a complicated task, but scheduled moments of revision and feedback are essential when you have limited time carrying out your own research and are at the same time going through a phase of personal development.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Kirsten Dimovitz

    Getting the opportunity to study at great schools around Europe and the rest of the world, while gaining practical training in the field, makes the international humanitarian action program unlike any other

    – Kirsten Dimovitz
    Read more

    Hello! My name is Kirsten and I am currently pursuing my Master's at RUG as a part of the Joint Master's Program for the Network in Humanitarian Action (NOHA). Before joining NOHA, I worked with refugees in varying capacities from advocacy work in Greece, to education in Lebanon, and resettlement in the United States. Before that, I received my BA in International Relations from the George Washington University in Washington DC. When I am not studying, I enjoy kickboxing, trying to cook Thai food, and calling my friends back home. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

    I chose the international humanitarian action program because of the program's focus on providing students with both practical and theoretical knowledge in a diverse learning environment. The truly unique thing about this program is the ability students have to study at different universities each semester, while still being a part of a network of passionate individuals. While many IR programs contain an Erasmus semester or short exchange, every semester in the NOHA program can be an Erasmus semester if you want it to be. Getting the opportunity to study at great schools around Europe and the rest of the world, while gaining practical training in the field, makes the international humanitarian action program unlike any other.

    Read more about Kirsten Dimovitz and why she chose to study NOHA in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Kirsten an e-mail!

    Close
Study support

If you have any questions or doubts about your studies, you can always contact the study advisor. He or she knows all the ins and outs of the program and personal planning. Study advisors are impartial and everything that is discussed is treated confidentially. They can also help you find the right institutions and student desks for your problems.