Master in Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action

from CERAH - the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action
Registration deadline: 07 Feb 2020 Training date: 01 Sep 2020 to 22 Jul 2021 More Information


The Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action (MAS) is flexible and modular, allowing students to choose from two options to organize their studies - either a one year course, or a flexible 2-3 year course.

The MAS aims to develop managers' in-depth competencies. It provides them with a strong understanding of the main conceptual and operational aspects of humanitarian action as well as the capacity to define and implement strategic humanitarian responses.

Built on a multidisciplinary and interactive approach, the MAS is composed of seminars, lectures and case study analysis on different aspects of humanitarian action (armed conflicts, natural disasters, social exclusion etc).

Once the students successfully complete the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action's full programme according to CERAH requirements, they obtain a joint degree delivered by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and accredited by the Swiss Agency for Accreditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ).

The MAS is designed for:

  • Professionals with 2+ years of experience in humanitarian and /or development organizations who want to improve their competencies as well as reflect and capitalize on their experiences
  • Professionals from other sectors who wish to deepen their understanding of the contemporary humanitarian challenges for a potential career change

The MAS is taught in English however, students are offered the alternative to take written tests and write their Master Thesis in French.


The MAS is a full-time programme divided into:

A core curriculum:

  1. History of humanitarianism
  2. Legal framework of humanitarian action
  3. Humanitarian politics
  4. Values, ethics and moral problems
  5. Vulnerability and Resilience
  6. Dynamic of actors
  7. Health in humanitarian emergencies
  8. From emergency to development?
  9. People management and humanitarian action
  10. Anthropology and intercultural approach in humanitarian action
  11. Communication and humanitarian action
  12. 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)

Plus a choice of either:

  • Communication and Advocacy for Humanitarian Action

  • Health in Humanitarian Emergencies

In addition there are three research method weeks which are mandatory for all students and undertaken in Geneva during January.

The course finishes with a Master thesis.

Fee information:
The cost of the one year course is 15,000 CHF (The 2-3 year flexible course is 17,000 CHF) This covers the teaching programme only. A limited number of scholarships are available. The scholarship deadline is February 7, 2020, and the regular deadline for admissions is July 30, 2020. See more information under 'How to Register' below.
How to register:

Details on scholarships and admission dates and fees can be found at