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Nowadays it is possible to study leading master’s degrees from some of the top universities online, allowing for study anywhere in the world. Learning online is great for those working in humanitarian aid as they are often deployed abroad and move postings frequently.
Completing a masters online is also ideal for those wanting a career in humanitarian aid as it means anyone from around the world can complete some of the best humanitarian master’s degree through online learning.
The London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) offers an online masters in Humanitarian Action. Taught by distanced learning, this masters is one of the top humanitarian courses that can be taken online, from one of the leading universities offering courses in humanitarian aid. The SOAS online masters in Humanitarian Action introduces students to core humanitarian principles, as well as the practical skills needed to work in humanitarian aid. The online masters is aimed at those beginning, or wanting to start, a career in international aid. The online masters at SOAS is led by some of the leading humanitarian professionals from across Europe, Asia and Africa.
The entry requirements for the online masters in Humanitarian Action by SOAS include the completion of an undergraduate degree. Work experience in humanitarian aid is beneficial but not mandatory. Applicants will also need to prove their English language ability. Tuition fees for the online masters in Humanitarian Action are 12,000 GBP. Students can pay this fee in-full or by semester. Information on scholarship opportunities should be sought from the university.
Online MA in Development Studies and Diplomacy – University for Peace
The University of Peace was established by the UN in 1980. UPeace offers an online master’s degree in Development Studies and Diplomacy. Ideal for those wanting to study a masters for a career in humanitarian aid, the UPeace online course in Development Studies and Diplomacy gives students a broad knowledge of sustainable development and diplomacy. The online masters teaches students both the knowledge needed to critique development outcomes and improve international development projects worldwide as well as the soft skills needed for a career in the aid sector. The online master’s degree from UPeace also explores development and diplomacy from an economic, political, cultural and historical viewpoints.
The Development Studies and Diplomacy online masters from the University of Peace is aimed at graduates. Completion of the bachelor’s degree is usually required. The online masters can also be taken by professionals already working in NGOs, the UN, humanitarian aid agencies and the diplomatic corps. Full information on entry requirements and fees should be obtained from the university.
MSc International Humanitarian Affairs (Online) – University of York
The University of York in the UK offers an online masters in International Humanitarian Affairs. On the online course students explore the philosophical and theoretical ideas behind humanitarianism. The online masters also introduces students to the practical skills needed for a career in humanitarian aid, as well as the key policies and historical events that have shaped the current humanitarian industry. Through online networking, the University of York’s web masters in International Humanitarian Affairs aims for students to discuss with like-minded experts and learn from some of the leading thinkers on humanitarian aid from some of the leading humanitarian agencies.
The University of York’s online masters in International Humanitarian Action is taught over 2 years part-time. Entry requirements for the web masters include a minimum 2.1 result in a related undergraduate degree. Non-native English speakers require an IELTS score 6.5 with at least 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other elements. Fees for the online masters are around 5,000 GBP per year. Information on scholarships can be got from the university directly.
Humanitarian Aid Online Courses
If you are looking to study humanitarian aid, we highly recommend the online course International Humanitarian and Development Careers. We think it provides one of the best overviews of the humanitarian sector and gives valuable insights for those searching for courses in humanitarian aid. Follow the link to the course’s page for more information.
The International Humanitarian Law Theory and Practice online course offered by Leiden University in the Netherlands provides a fantastic theoretical overview of humanitarianism. We think it’s one of the top online courses for those who want to understand the basics of international humanitarian law. Click the link to visit the course’s page for more information.
We also think the Humanitarian Action Response and Relief online course offered by Coventry University is a must for anyone looking to study humanitarian aid work. It only takes around three weeks to complete and would be a major addition to the application of anyone wanting to become an aid worker. The link is to the course’s page.
MSc Humanitarian Intervention by Distance Learning – University of East London
The University of East London has an online master’s degree in Humanitarian Intervention. The distance learning masters is aimed at people working in humanitarian aid, or wanting to join the industry based all over the world. The online masters focuses on psycho-social support for those working in humanitarian responses as well as those affected by crises and conflicts. The web master’s trains students in the technical psycho-social skills needed to assist those faced with harsh challenges and often traumatic experiences. The distance learning masters is developed in partnership with Save the Children, one of the leading humanitarian NGOs.
Entry requirements for the online masters in Humanitarian Intervention from the University of East London include a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.2 grade. The distance learning masters can be taken full-time or part-time and can be begun in either January or September. Tuition fees for the University of East London’s online masters is Humanitarian Intervention are around 10,000 GBP. The university has a range of scholarships and bursaries including 15% fee discount for alumni, 5% discount for early fee payment, a hardship bursary of £2,000 GBP, sports scholarships of 6,000 GBP and total fee waiver for asylum seekers.
Master in Communication for Development (Online) – Malmo University
Malmo University in Sweden has an online masters in Communication for Development. The distance learning degree trains students in the skills needed to manage communications in international development programmes. The course also covers working effectively with the media during humanitarian crises and how to promote development projects. The online masters also includes elements exploring the link between cultures and communication, as well as how both are linked to effective development. Students on the web-based masters are encouraged to see communication as a tool for change. The online masters also explores the role of globalisation and general background in humanitarian and development work.
Applicants to the Malmo University online masters in Communication for Development require an undergraduate degree and the equivalent of Swedish secondary school English course B. Non-native English speakers will also need to provide evidence of English language ability. Fees for the Communication for Development online masters at Malmo University are 133,000 SEK. Malmo University has a limited number of scholarships, including the Swedish Institute Scholarship that specifically funds international students.
MSc Disaster Healthcare (Online Delivery) – University of South Wales
The University of South Wales, in the UK, offers an online masters in Disaster Healthcare. Ideal for those wanting to work in humanitarian action specialising in health programming and medical responses, the distance learning masters is one the leading courses of its type. The online masters aims to train students to provide high quality healthcare to those affected by disasters and conflicts. The web-masters from the University of South Wales in Disaster Healthcare takes a broad international focus, allowing students to explore multiple contexts and learn from a diverse range of fellow-students and tutors. The online masters includes modules on Public Health in Disasters, Researching and Evaluating Disasters, Personal Preparedness for Disasters and Professional Practice in Disasters.
The online masters in Disaster Healthcare offered by University of South Wales is taken over 3-years part-time. Applicants to the course need a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification. Non-native English applicants need an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher. Tuition fees for the distance learning masters in Disaster Healthcare by the University of South Wales are around 1,000 GBP per 20 study credits. The University of South Wales has a range of scholarships available including the International Development Scholarship that provides 2,500 GBP to students from Africa, Latin America, South Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia and Turkey, the Caribbean and Lebanon.
International Development (Online Learning) MSc – University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh offers a master’s degree in International Development by online learning. Students on the course explore the root causes of poverty, including the processes that have led to unequal global development. The online masters course also explores the key challenges facing developing nations and encourages students to engage with how developing country community and institutions can confront global development challenges. The University of Edinburgh online masters in International Development aims to connect its diverse student population, meaning students can create strong networks across developed and developing nations.
The online masters in International Development by the University of Edinburgh is taken part-time over 2 or 3 years. Applicants require a bachelor’s degree with a grade of 2.1 or above, or the international equivalent. Non-native English applicants need an IELTS score of 7.0 with at least 6.0 of each element. The online masters in International Development by the University of Edinburgh costs around 8,000 GBP. The university has a scholarships database with a wide range of funding options available.
Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies (Online) – University of London
The University of London offers the leading online master’s degree in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies. This online masters is ideal for those wanting to work in humanitarian responses with refugees and displaced persons. The web-based master’s programme covers the background theory and legal practicalities of refugee protection and forced migration. Students on the online masters also learn core methodologies and tools used to assist refugees and run humanitarian responses to migration crises. The online masters in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies by the University of London also encourages students to critique laws, policies and practices in relation to refugees and migrants.
The online masters in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies by the University of London takes between 2 and 5 years to complete. Entry requirements for the online course are the completion of an undergraduate degree with a grade of 2.1 or higher. English language requirements are a IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 of each section. Tuition fees are around 8,500 GBP. The University of London has a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, including the Sadako Ogata Scholarship, the UNHCR bursary and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) bursary.
The London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) also offers an online masters in International Development. The SOAS masters is ranked as one of the top master’s degree that can be taken online in International Development and humanitarian aid. The online masters encourage students to engage with not only how unequal global development has occurred, but also the political, economic, social and cultural changes in low- and middle-income countries and rich nations. On the online masters at SOAS in International Development students evaluative how effective policy changes can affect development, as well as review how major policy challenges and structural analysis can affect poverty and insecurity.
General entry requirements for the online masters in International Development as SOAS is a second-class honours degree. Upper second-class results are preferred but applicants with lower second and strong relevant work experience are also encouraged to apply. Fees for the International Development online masters at SOAS are around 12,000 GBP. Information on scholarships can be obtained from the university.
Master’s Degree in Migration and Refugee Care (Online) – Instituto Séneca – Centro Internacional de Postgrado
Centro Internacional de Postgrado in Spain has an online master’s degree in Migration and Refugee Care. The web-based masters aims to train the next generation of professionals to work effectively with refugees and migrants. Covering both the role of non-government organisations and local and national governments, the online masters is ideal for those wanting to work directly with refugees and migrants. The online masters also explores the history of migratory movements and roots the current refugee and migrant crises in broad historical contexts. Students on the distance-learning masters learn about the impact of environment, colonialism, natural disasters and human conflicts or refugees and forced displacements.
The online masters in in Migration and Refugee Care at Centro Internacional de Postgrado is taught in Spanish. The master’s costs 2,500 EUR. The web-based masters is usually completed in 12 months. For information on entry requirements and possible scholarships and funding, contact the university directly.
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Master of Arts in Development Studies (Online) – Friedensau Adventist University
The Friedensau Adventist University in Germany has an online masters in Development Studies. The distance learning masters combines teaching on global development with key ideas of social justice. The online masters is aimed at those already working in the humanitarian sector who wish to gain formal qualifications as well as those wanting to enter the aid and development industries. Students on the online masters learn the theories under-pinning development and humanitarian work, as well as critically assess the implementation of development and aid projects. The web-based masters also has a focus on humanitarian and development project design and project cycle management.
The online masters in Development Studies offered by Friedensau Adventist University is taught in English. Entry requirements for the online master’s degree include an undergraduate degree in a related subject, such as the humanities. English proficiency is also required with non-native speaking needing to prove their language ability. The Friedensau Adventist University online masters in Development Studies costs around 2,000 EUR per semester although there are potentials for discounts. Information on scholarships should be obtained from the university.
Master of Professional Studies in Community Development (Online) – University of North Alabama College of Arts and Sciences
The University of North Alabama College of Arts and Sciences offers an online masters degree in Community Development. The masters is ideal for those wanting to take a masters online to work in humanitarian aid or on longer-term development projects. Students on the web-based masters learn how major societal, economic and political forces impact the development of communities. The online masters also teaches students how globalisation, population growth, changes in diversity and the technological age have all affected global development. On the distance-learning masters course students also undertake extensive independent research into areas of community development.
Entry requirements for the online masters in Community Development by University of North Alabama College of Arts and Sciences include the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Full entry requirements can be found on the university’s website. Information on the costs of the online masters in Community Development by University of North Alabama College of Arts and Sciences should also be got from the university directly. The university has a wide range of scholarships available including the Delores and Weldon Cole Honors Scholarship and the Virginia Bayless O’Connell Honors Scholarship.
Master’s Degree in Development Cooperation (Online) – Jaume I University (Universitat Jaume I)
Jaume I University in Spain has an online masters in Development Cooperation. The online master’s degree links development cooperation to humanitarian aid, the achievements of peace and conflict transformation. Students cover a diverse range of topics including humanitarian action, human rights, gender, postcolonial studies, democracy and war studies. The online masters highly encourages dialogue between the diverse student body – aiming for networks to be developed between those from the Global North and South. The online masters in Development Cooperation offered by Jaume I University is taught by some of the leading professionals in the humanitarian aid, international development and peace and conflict arenas.
Details of entry requirements, tuition fees and possible scholarships should be obtained from the university.
MA in Development Studies by Flexible & Distance Learning – Maynooth University
Based in Dublin, Ireland, the Maynooth University’s Kimmage Development Studies Centre is one of the leading institutions researching global development. The Kimmage Development Centre at Maynooth University offers an online masters in Development Studies. A strong option for those wanting to study a masters online for a career in humanitarian aid, the distance learning masters focuses on how international development can transform the world. Students on the online masters learn about the causes of poverty, as well as the roots of inequality and social injustice. The online master’s degree also allows students to focus on specific development issues and question development outcomes at local, national and international levels.
Contact the university for information on entry requirements, fees and scholarships.
If you want to learn more about studying to become a humanitarian worker, explore our list of the top humanitarian aid online courses here.