executive master of advanceD studies in humanitarian action (mas)

Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action (MAS)

Photo credit: ICRC

This Master programme is a cutting-edge interdisciplinary postgraduate course on humanitarian action providing current and future humanitarian professionals with the conceptual and practical tools necessary to optimize responses to contemporary crises.


At the end of the Master, students will be able to critically analyse humanitarian responses through a good understanding of the concepts of humanitarian action and use management and strategy tools to develop, coordinate and evaluate a humanitarian response.


The Master programme is a modular, executive training of 60 ECTS credits composed of four terms:

Term One: Critical Analysis of Humanitarian Action (24 ECTS Credits)
M1: Humanitarianisms
M2: Contexts, Actions and Consequences
M3: Revisiting Vulnerability and Needs
M4: Humanitarian Governance, Norms and Principles
M5: The Humanitarians

Term Two: Designing Strategies and Projects for Humanitarian Action (1o ECTS Credits)
Option I: Residential, in Geneva, Switzerland (duration: 7 weeks)
Option II: Distance Learning (duration: 8 months)

Term Three: Humanitarian Programme Management and Implementation (10 ECTS Credits)

Selection of five elective courses from the following list:

Term four: Dissertation or Work Experience (16 ECTS Credits)

Dissertation to include:

  • Literature review;
  • Context analysis;
  • Reports on thematic issues relevant to humanitarian action;
  • Case studies.


  • Report on work experience gained during the studies


  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies as well as reflect and capitalise on their experiences.
  • Professionals from other sectors who wish to increase their understanding of the humanitarian sector for a potential career change.
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a post-graduate course with a view to entering the humanitarian sector.


60 ECTS - Credits. Once the students successfully complete the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action's full programme according to our 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).


Prof. Karl BLANCHET, Director, Geneva Centre for Education & Research in Humanitarian Action


  • Option I: One year full-time  (Only this option is available for students applying for a scholarship). 

Duration: from 15 September, 2020 to 31 August, 2021

Tuition fee: 15,000 CHF

  • Option II: Two/Three year Master - With this option, the MAS can be taken over a two or three years period, and students can commence at various times to suit their needs.

Duration: Entry date flexible

Tuition fee: 17,000 CHF


Candidates applying for a scholarship for the 1 year MAS and/or who need a VISA29 February, 2020

All other candidates: 30 June, 2020



Curious to know more about our Master?

Listen to what our director, academic team and students have to say about it.

Watch our video !