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SOAS University of London: Humanitarianism, Aid and Conflict

Institution SOAS University of London View institution profile
Department Development Studies
Study type Taught


The MSc Humanitarianism, Aid & Conflict builds on the strength of existing expertise in violence, conflict and global development within the Department of Development Studies and SOAS in general.

The programme is designed to provide students with analytical training and an in-depth understanding of the challenges of contemporary humanitarian aid, its interaction with conflict and development and new directions in the field.

The programme presents students with comprehensive knowledge of the history of the architecture of aid in humanitarian contexts, key local, regional and international actors, and engages with theoretical, conceptual and policy debates relating to the political and logistical challenges of the global responses to conflict, natural disasters and complex emergencies, the diverse range of critiques that have been made of it, emerging innovations, context-specific challenges and agendas from the Global South.

In this unique programme is specifically designed to allow students to focus on and develop wide-ranging knowledge of the field and the tools to critically engage with the pressing questions of power dynamics, politics, accountability, security and access that are facing the humanitarian organisations, academics and local communities today. Security, Development and Violence in Afghanistan

The core modules on the programme provide an in-depth and critical overview of the key issues and debates in the humanitarian studies and practice, while the optional modules enable you to shape your studies to your own needs and interests, in areas such as migration, gender, political economy, food insecurity, protracted conflict, labour and livelihoods, climate and the environment and urban development.

The programme links theory to practice through engagement with a wide range of materials, including academic literature, case studies, archival documents, policy reports, popular culture and media.

Each cohort will acquire critical thinking and analysis skills, data gathering, research and communication and presentation skills, and guidance on undertaking internships. Students will interact with a wide range of actors including academics, policymakers, practitioners and civil society activists.


SOAS University of London 

















Develop a truly global perspective
Attracting the brightest minds from all over the world to create a community that is diverse, vibrant and multinational, SOAS University of London is a unique institution specialising in the study of Africa, Asia and the Near and Middle East.

Our programmes cover a broad set of disciplines within the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Our vision is of an interconnected world where SOAS plays an important role in addressing the issues facing the world by:

  • Challenging perspectives through research and teaching
  • Applying a global lens to the critical issues of …
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