Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action

Programme description 

The MAS is a full-time programme divided into: 

  • A core curriculum  - equivalent to Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) covering the following topics:

      • History of humanitarianism
      • Legal framework of humanitarian action
      • Humanitarian politics
      • Values, ethics and moral problems
      • Vulnerability and Resilience
      • Dynamic of actors
      • Health in humanitarian emergencies
      • From emergency to development?
      • People management and humanitarian action
      • Anthropology and intercultural approach in humanitarian action
      • Communication and humanitarian action
      • Security and Safety of humanitarian action

The core curriculum takes place from September to December. It is mandatory for all students and is to be taken in Geneva, Switzerland.


This is followed by choosing:

  • Two Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS)

        • Designing Strategies and Projects for Humanitarian Action (Mandatory for 1 year Masters)

                                     Option I: residential, in Geneva, Switzerland 
                                     Option II: online - Humanitarian Distance Learning (HDL)

        • Communication and Advocacy for Humanitarian Action
        • Health in Humanitarian Emergencies


  • Three research method weeks mandatory for all students and to be taken in Geneva, during January


  • Master thesis 



Location   Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH)
22 Rue de Rothschild, Geneva, Switzerland
Duration   10-12 months / from September to July or September; 
from 1 to 3 years (except for scholarship beneficiaries)
Programme type   Full-time programme of 60 ECTS credits
Programme structure   1. Core curriculum of 3 months intensive coursework + individual paper
2. Two elective 6-week courses on a specialized subject
3. Dissertation on a topic of humanitarian action chosen by the participant
Teaching methodology  
  • Lectures delivered by academics and humanitarian experts
  • Intercultural classroom settings
  • Participatory programme
Teaching language   Teaching is conducted in English
Written exams and dissertations are accepted in English and French
Awarded degree   Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits
Degree is awarded jointly by the University of Geneva and The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Tuition fee   CHF 15,000.00 (for one year course) and CHF 17,000 for 2-3 year flexible course
Participants   Maximum of 30 participants per year
Starting date   September for the one year course. For the 2-3 year course the start date is flexible. 
Enrollment   For all details, please see Admission