MSc Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid

Working in humanitarian aid or disasters? Worried about people and the planet? This course will provide you with the tools to become a skilled practitioner in disaster mitigation, recovery and reconstruction.

Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September 2021, September 2022
  • Duration 12 months full-time
  • Mode of study Full-time

There is an increasing global demand for nations, organisations and communities to increase their resilience to potential crises and disasters. Most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown the impact that a global pandemic can have on humanity and the economy. Our 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.

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

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

Work placements

There will be an observational field-based learning opportunity (FBLO) in the emergency services, voluntary agencies or local authority resilience teams, giving you the chance to shadow practitioners to learn how they deal with the complex dilemmas they face and how policy is used to address these.

This FBLO will give you the opportunity to learn what happens in agencies responsible for emergency responses, and to learn about agency protocols, procedures and the legislation to be observed in emergencies in the UK.

You will be asked to prepare an organisational case study to reflect on what you have learned during your FBLO and to present these learnings back to the study group.

Flexible learning

Our MSc Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid course offers students the flexibility to learn at their own pace, with the option to attend up to two specified modules during the summer - The Social Dimensions of Disasters and Disaster Interventions from a Green Social Work Perspective as Continuing Professional Development Modules (CPD) and receive a Certificate of Attendance, or to attend the modules and complete the relevant assignments to gain credits. Students may also continue their studies with us to gain a Certificate or PG Diploma in Disaster Interventions and Humanitarian Aid or complete all modules including their dissertation to achieve the full Masters qualification.

The Masters course can be taken either full-time or part-time. Those wishing to study part-time should discuss their options with the Course Director.

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Changes at Stirling

Find out about important changes including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

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