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MSc Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid

University of Stirling
12 months
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

MSc Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid

The MSc in Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid is an innovative and unique course that will assist social work practitioners, humanitarian aid workers, health professionals and volunteers to work effectively with victim-survivors of (hu)man-made and/or ‘natural’ disasters. You will acquire the skills to engage with the problems facing those working in disaster interventions, including family reunification, safeguarding children, adults and other vulnerable groups and rebuilding sustainable, resilient communities post disaster. This includes exploring disaster mitigation, preparation and prevention strategies within a community engagement and coproduction framework to create new, long-term responses owned and endorsed by communities.

You will be encouraged to learn from each other and innovate in disaster responses by exploring complex disaster issues in the safety of the classroom using videos, simulations and small group exercises. Your skills will be enhanced further through participation in a field-based learning opportunity involving a period of shadowing practitioners within humanitarian agencies, emergency responders and government departments responsible for deploying emergency personnel. Here, you will learn about agency policy, procedures and practices during deployment.

Admission requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree at 2.1 and six months of practice experience or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Indicator 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 185 overall with a minimum of 180 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 67 overall with a minimum of 62 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 94 overall with 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 20 in listening and 22 in speaking
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 94 overall with 19 in reading, 24 in writing, 20 in listening and 22 in speaking
  • TOEFL ITP Plus for China minimum 627 overall, 64 in listening, 64 in structure and written expression, 63 in reading and C1 in speaking
  • Trinity ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR C1 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • Duolingo 115 overall with minimum of 105 in each sub-skill
  • LanguageCert International ESOL C1 Expert - Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Year 1, Spring semester

Compulsory module

  • Naturaland (Hu)man-made Disasters
  • Field-Based Learning Opportunity
  • Communication Skills and Media Interactions (CSMI)
  • Research Methods: Comparative and Participatory Action Research

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


  • Course fee for UK students: £6,600
  • Course fee for EU students: £18,645
  • Course fee for Overseas students: £18,645


Award: Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

You will:

  • Consider a brief history of modern humanitarianism, humanitarian aid, and explore the linkages to ‘ideology of compassion', human rights, social justice and social work practice
  • Explore humanitarian laws and organisations, their inception, evolution and roles
  • Examine the concepts and policies that underpin national and international humanitarian aid
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of practice with disaster victim-survivors (including refugees) as recipients of, actors and agents in disaster interventions
  • Gain cultural understandings and explore the social history of state and non-governmental organisations and their roles in delivering humanitarian aid, policies and programs in diverse parts of the world, among different groups and settings

Career paths

Graduates from this course are likely to be employed in the voluntary, NGO and statutory sectors concerned with disaster responses and humanitarian aid distribution, locally, nationally and overseas, e.g., the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Oxfam, Save the Children. Also, there are opportunities for employment in the United Nations and its associated agencies such as UNWomen, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and FAO.

About this institute

University of Stirling

The University of Stirling is committed to helping students make a difference in the world. Based in the heart of Scotland, Stirling is a place where ability – not background – is valued, and teaching, employability and facilities are all...

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Contact info

University of Stirling

FK9 4LA Stirling

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