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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 Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action is an inter-university, multidisciplinary Master. You will receive high quality academic education and develop professional competencies to work in the area of humanitarian action. You can study the programme at 8 European universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Malta, France, and Poland and follow a Regional Training Track at various global partner universities.

This programme is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural, and multilingual teaching by interfaculty staff, in-house experts, and field-experienced guest lecturers. You will learn to evaluate humanitarian emergencies, study the causes of conflicts and disasters, analyze different coping strategies, and assess intervention and reconstruction programmes. As a graduate, you will have the capacity to act at all levels of cross-cultural humanitarian relief operations and 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 Master's 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 at 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.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
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 global 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.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
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 other NOHA European programme universities. 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 in the fourth semester.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Juridische BestuurskundeUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Human Geography and PlanningUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

SociologyUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

TheologyUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

International Relations and International OrganizationUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

PsychologyUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

LawUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Psychology (EN)University of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

International and European LawUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Global Responsibility & LeadershipUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Middle Eastern StudiesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Communication and Information StudiesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Religious StudiesUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Economics and Business EconomicsUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

MedicineUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

HistoryUniversity of Groningen

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Middle Eastern StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

MedicineAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Management, Society and TechnologyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

GezondheidswetenschappenAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Clinical SciencesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

EconomicsAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Global Responsibility & LeadershipAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Juridische BestuurskundeAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Economics and GovernanceAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Psychology (EN)All Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

International Development StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

African StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

International and European LawAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

International Relations and International OrganizationAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Nutrition and HealthAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Humanistic StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

SociologyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

TheologyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Cultural Anthropology and Development SociologyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Global LawAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Global StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Economics and Business Economics - Economic Development and GlobalizationAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Health and Life SciencesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Health and SocietyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Philosophy, Politics and EconomicsAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Politics, Psychology, Law and EconomicsAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Political ScienceAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Religious StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

South and Southeast Asian StudiesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

The programme is highly selective. Interested students should apply through NOHA's website: https://nohanet.org/masters

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

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

knowledge minimum

Written bachelor's thesis.

professional experience

Relevant working experience is an advantage.

grade list

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

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae (CV)

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).

reference letter

Two reference letters

(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

An applicant must both meet the admission requirements and successfully complete a selection procedure in order to be admitted to the programme.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
EU/EEA students15 April 202401 September 2024
15 April 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students15 April 202401 September 2024
15 April 202501 September 2025

Deadline Erasmus Mundus scholarship applications: 15 December

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

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

knowledge minimum

Written bachelor's thesis.

professional experience

Relevant working experience is an advantage.

grade list

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

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A Curriculum Vitae (CV)

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).

reference letter

Two reference letters

(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

An applicant must both meet the admission requirements and successfully complete a selection procedure in order to be admitted to the programme.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
EU/EEA students15 April 202401 September 2024
15 April 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students15 April 202401 September 2024
15 April 202501 September 2025

Deadline Erasmus Mundus scholarship applications: 15 December

Tuition fees

The NOHA participation fees are €12,000 for the entire two-year programme and need to be paid directly to the NOHA consortium. For more information, please consult: https://nohanet.org/masters.

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 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.

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

  • Sander Ootjers (Programme Coordinator & Study Advisor (ad int.))
    Email: noha rug.nl
  • Nang Lao Swan Ywat Hseng (Student Ambassador)
    Email: nang.lao.swan.ywat.hseng student.rug.nl

NOHA gave me the platform to dive deeper into the complexities and intricacies of humanitarian emergencies

NOHA is an inter-university interdisciplinary master's programme that provides a comprehensive blend of theoretical and practical knowledge and experience in the field of humanitarian action. NOHA is unique because of its international academic exposure that fosters a global alumni network of diverse and passionate humanitarians, strengthens expertise in cross-cutting issues, and enhances professional competencies.

With a prior multidisciplinary background in Social Work and an interest in child protection in humanitarian action, NOHA gave me the platform to dive deeper into the complexities and intricacies of humanitarian emergencies. I particularly appreciate the international and multicultural nature of the programme as it allowed me to engage in intentional and meaningful interactions with people from diverse and intersecting contexts, identities, countries, and regions and to exchange shared values and interests.

My work placement at SolidarityNow - Blue Refugee Centre introduced me to the refugee context in Greece and Europe. As a Child-Friendly Space Facilitator, I cultivated my skills in working autonomously with refugee and migrant children, centring child rights and their best interests at the core, providing mental health and psychosocial support, facilitating educational activities, and much more.

Overall, NOHA inspired me to grow as an individual through reflective processes and proactively delving deeper into humanitarian realities.

Read more

My internship gave me the opportunity to network with top professionals in various specialities and people from many diverse backgrounds

As part of the third semester of the NOHA master's programme, I chose the Work Placement Track because I was motivated to gain a professional understanding of education in humanitarian settings in particular, having experienced how displacement affects the education of children firsthand in my country. Thankfully, I got an internship with the UNHCR Education Section HQ in Copenhagen, Denmark.

My internship with the UNHCR hugely contributed to my understanding of how global policies and laws are operationalized into programmes and projects for the protection and promotion of the rights of refugees. My role as the Primary Education intern was to provide support to country-level programming for the ‘Educate a child’ programme, which supports the education of refugee children in 14 countries. I also assisted in the development of a new three-year phase of this programme and learned how to handle the more technical aspects of humanitarian programme development. As part of my tasks, I also wrote policy briefs on various topics relevant to refugee education. This opportunity to work with global data on displaced persons helped inspire the formation of my master’s thesis.

I really liked that this UNHCR office is located in a building with 11 other UN agencies. This gave me the opportunity to network with top professionals in various specialities and people from many diverse backgrounds, which also helped improve my interpersonal competences. The internship combined academic theories and professional practice, which was one of my expectations of the NOHA master’s programme.

Read more

The courses at Chiang Mai University and the two internships at Mekong Migration Network and ADRA-Thailand were very informative and helped me understand the sociopolitical situation of labour migrants

During my studies I focused on human rights, primarily concerning refugees and other forced migrants. I chose to study NOHA because it exemplified what I wanted for my future and the programme paralleled both my education and experiences. It expanded on the broader humanitarian context, but also provided a regional focus.

You will spend your second and third semester of NOHA abroad at two of the numerous partner universities. I chose to go to the University of Malta during the second-semester specialization period to focus on forced migration in Malta and its geostrategic location in the EU.

I selected Chiang Mai University, Thailand, for the exchange in my third semester, the Regional Training Track, because it offered a regional perspective on humanitarian causes within the greater Mekong sub-region. I specifically focused on labour migrants in Thailand from a regional perspective and learned about the regional solutions. The courses at Chiang Mai University and two internships at Mekong Migration Network and ADRA-Thailand were very informative and helped me understand the sociopolitical situation of labour migrants. I appreciated the ability to learn about the humanitarian field through the lens of the countries we study in.

My experience in Thailand motivated my thesis topic, which focused on labour migrants and how the effects of Covid-19 and political events in neighboring countries affected their narrative in Thailand. NOHA gave me the unique opportunity to understand the broad humanitarian field with the specificities of the comprehension of migration in the greater Mekong region.

Read more

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.