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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes International 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. The programme is jointly offered by 8 European universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Malta, France and Poland. Students can follow the Regional Training Track (3rd semester) at various global universities.

Interdisciplinary, multicultural and multilingual teaching and training by interfaculty 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 substantial actions.

NB: Application through NOHA network: apply.nohanet.org. Applications submitted via Studielink will not be considered.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MA in International Relations
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60819
Language of instruction
English
Start
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 (home university): consists of the Intensive Programme and jointly developed NOHA modules providing ample opportunity to learn about and discuss the essentials of humanitarian action and its current trends.

Semester 2 (host university): allows students to obtain more advanced knowledge and competences in specific areas of humanitarian action. Each NOHA programme university offers a study programme around its unique expertise which is supplemented by a set of joint NOHA courses.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Intensive Programme in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
World Politics and Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Social and Medical Sciences in Humanitarian Action (10 EC)
Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Management in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)
Humanitarian Analysis and Intervention Design (H-AID) (20 EC)
Methodology and Research Methods in Humanitarian Studies (5 EC)
Advanced Management in Humanitarian Action (5 EC)

Semester 3: students choose between a Regional Training Track (RTT) and a Work Placement Track (WPT).

RTT: elective courses in regional humanitarian studies at a NOHA partner university.

WPT: advanced career development training and placement at a humanitarian organisation.

Semester 4: allows students to obtain key competences that are necessary to conduct research in the humanitarian action context. Students will write a master thesis in order to demonstrate these competences.

Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Career Development Training (10 EC, optional)
Regional Training Track (30 EC, optional)
Work Placement Track (20 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 programme universities in Europe. During the third semester students choose between the Regional Training Track at one of our global partner universities or the Work Placement Track. Free choice of location for writing the master's thesis.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade list

The programme is highly selective. Priority is given to students with better results.

knowledge minimum

Written bachelor's thesis.

language test

English Language requirement:

Candidates must be in possession of one of the following certificates:

  • A TOEFL IBT (internet-based): minimum score of 93 with a minimum of 24 (scale 0–30) in the written test;
  • An IELTS: minimum overall score 6.5, with no component under 6.0;
  • A CAE or CPE: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), C1 or Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE), C2.

Candidates are not required to take an English language test in the following circumstances:

  • native speakers of English from English-speaking countries (i.e. where English is one of the official languages);
  • the language of instruction during your entire BA programme was English. In this case, the language of instruction must be clearly stated on your diploma/transcripts. Alternatively, you can submit a letter from the Academic Registrar's Office, the Examinations Office, or the equivalent office that issues official documents of records at your university.

Language requirements for other NOHA Universities:

If students wish to start their second semester at the Aix-Marseille Université, they must have previous knowledge of French, since the mode of instruction of this institute is French. Therefore, the candidate is required to have attained at minimum the following level of French: a C1 certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

If students wish to start their second semester at the Universidad de Deusto, they must have previous knowledge of Spanish, since the mode of instruction of this institute is Spanish. Therefore, the candidate is required to have attained at minimum the following level of Spanish: a B2 certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

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.

reference letter

Two reference letters

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae (CV)

(motivation-) letter

A letter outlining the candidate's motivation for selecting the programme and Master's track, including their expectations and interests.

other admission requirements

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

IMPORTANT: Application is organized through the NOHA network: apply.nohanet.org. Applications submitted via Studielink will not be considered.

Please note that other documents also have to be submitted in order to complete your application, such as a copy of your passport, a scan of your original diploma and a scan of your original academic transcripts. For more information, see: https://nohanet.org/masters#ac-1-2.

Deadline Erasmus Mundus applications: 15 December

Registration procedure

Important: Application through NOHA network: apply.nohanet.org. Applications submitted via Studielink will not be considered.

Selection procedure

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
EU/EEA students15 April 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students15 April 202301 September 2023

Deadline Erasmus Mundus applications: 15 december

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
grade list

The programme is highly selective. Priority is given to students with better results.

knowledge minimum

Written bachelor's thesis.

language test

English Language requirement:

Candidates must be in possession of one of the following certificates:

  • A TOEFL IBT (internet-based): minimum score of 93 with a minimum of 24 (scale 0–30) in the written test;
  • An IELTS: minimum overall score 6.5, with no component under 6.0;
  • A CAE or CPE: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), C1 or Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE), C2.

Candidates are not required to take an English language test in the following circumstances:

  • native speakers of English from English-speaking countries (i.e. where English is one of the official languages);
  • the language of instruction during your entire BA programme was English. In this case, the language of instruction must be clearly stated on your diploma/transcripts. Alternatively, you can submit a letter from the Academic Registrar's Office, the Examinations Office, or the equivalent office that issues official documents of records at your university.

Language requirements for other NOHA Universities:

If students wish to start their second semester at the Aix-Marseille Université, they must have previous knowledge of French, since the mode of instruction of this institute is French. Therefore, the candidate is required to have attained at minimum the following level of French: a C1 certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

If students wish to start their second semester at the Universidad de Deusto, they must have previous knowledge of Spanish, since the mode of instruction of this institute is Spanish. Therefore, the candidate is required to have attained at minimum the following level of Spanish: a B2 certificate according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

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.

reference letter

Two reference letters

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae (CV)

(motivation-) letter

A letter outlining the candidate's motivation for selecting the programme and Master's track, including their expectations and interests.

other admission requirements

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

IMPORTANT: Application is organized through the NOHA network: apply.nohanet.org. Applications submitted via Studielink will not be considered.

Please note that other documents also have to be submitted in order to complete your application, such as a copy of your passport, a scan of your original diploma and a scan of your original academic transcripts. For more information, see: https://nohanet.org/masters#ac-1-2.

Deadline Erasmus Mundus applications: 15 December

Registration procedure

Important: Application through NOHA network: apply.nohanet.org. Applications submitted via Studielink will not be considered.

Selection procedure

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
EU/EEA students15 April 202301 September 2023
non-EU/EEA students15 April 202301 September 2023

Deadline Erasmus Mundus applications: 15 december

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

More than a decade of experience has proved the Network's commitment and capacity to educate and train highly committed and interdisciplinary persons who can act at all levels of humanitarian relief operations and who can function in a variety of ways to enhance the delivery of humanitarian assistance and sustainable actions.

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

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 profile 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

  • Drs. Ingrid Sennema (Programme Coordinator & Study Advisor)
    Email: noha rug.nl
  • Sander Ootjers (Assistant Programme Coordinator)
    Email: noha rug.nl
  • Jakob Matthias Grüter (Student Ambassador)
  • 
						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

University of Groningen Orange Tulip Scholarship/Talent Grant of Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, India or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.

Read more

Study associations

Clio

Clio is the study association of International Relations and International Organization at the University of Groningen.
It has around 1000 members and is one of the largest study associations in Groningen and the largest study association at a Dutch Faculty of Arts. Clio organises numerous events including parties, workshops, excursions and offers services like high-quality summaries, the internship database and various discounts around Groningen.
https://www.clio.nl/home
Read more
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.