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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine: Humanitarian Studies

Institution Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine View institution profile
Department International Health Group
Telephone 0151 702 9590
Study type Taught


Programme Overview The programme reviews historical and current policies and practice in humanitarian assistance and explores novel approaches in responding to the challenges of today’s humanitarian problems. It is responding to the need for a professional, integrated, accountable and ethical approach to humanitarian interventions in which humanitarian workers are often called upon to operate in complex and demanding environments.

Opportunities for in-depth study include regional and country case studies and modules addressing specific aspects of humanitarian interventions. In addition, the programme offers participants an opportunity to develop and undertake a research project, usually overseas, in an area of special interest indicated by client non-governmental organisations, international organisations or national ministries. Alternatively, participants may undertake a desk-based research study of a specialist aspect of humanitarian interventions or they may undertake and document a placement / internship with an appropriate non-governmental or international organisation (NGO/IO).

From a student’s perspective, the programme follows a path from general introduction to the world of humanitarian action, to examining key settings and the management of relief operations, cumulating with the research project or placement, allowing students to incorporate both the practical and theoretical trends of the programme. At the same time, the programme follows a coherent path towards a research project/internship, starting with general introductions to research and progressing, via the Scientific and Professional Skills, to look at specific skills useful for the student.

Programme Structure LSTM programmes are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future.

The programme comprises an introductory induction week, taught modules totalling 120 credits and a 60 credit dissertation. A 20-credit module (10 ECTS credits) represents 200 hours of student learning activity including assessment and self-directed study. Many students carry out a fieldwork-based dissertation project overseas but students can opt to conduct a laboratory project if they are suitably qualified, or literature-based project that does not involve travelling abroad. All types of project have the key aims of developing the students’ skills in formulating a research question, designing and implementing a research project and critically interpreting and presenting the findings. The timing of modules across the academic year recognises the financial and time constraints faced by LSTM students, many of whom are from overseas. To allow students to access LSTM programmes in an economical and time-efficient manner, there are only 2 weeks holiday scheduled over Christmas. The remaining weeks of holiday are deferred to the end of the academic year.


Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine


Liverpool School Of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) was founded on the 12th November 1898 by Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, an influential shipping magnate. At this time Liverpool was a prominent port city and enjoyed extensive trade with overseas regions such as West and Southern Africa. This led to a high number of patients in the region being admitted to hospital with ‘tropical’ diseases, and so Sir Alfred Jones donated £350 to set up a School of Tropical Medicine to investigate these outbreaks. 115 years later LSTM was awarded higher education institution status in 2013.

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