Master of Humanitarian Assistance

Course summary for international students

Year2017 course information
Award granted Master of Humanitarian Assistance
  • Melbourne (Burwood)
  • Cloud (online)
Cloud CampusYes

This course is 2 years full-time or part-time equivalent duration. 

Next available intake

2016: November (Trimester 3)

2017: March (Trimester 1), July (Trimester 2), November (Trimester 3)

Fee paying annual fee - commencing 2017$23,920 for 1 yr full-time AUD
CRICOS course code092386D
LevelHigher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
English language requirements

IELTS band score of 6.5 with no band less than 6

Deakin course code A757
Faculty contactsDeakin International
Tel +61 3 9627 4877
Online enquiry

Note: This course includes compulsory short intensive classes (includes five days in Trimester 3 and five days in Trimester 1) held at a Deakin University campus. 

International Students intending to study at the Burwood Campus are advised to obtain a student visa for this course.  International Students intending to study via Cloud (online) are advised to obtain a visitor visa to undertake the compulsory short intensive classes. Note: International Students studying via Cloud (online) are unable to apply for a student visa for this course. 

Course sub-headings

Course overview

If you’re working in or wishing to work in the humanitarian sector, kick-start your career with an industry-relevant, formal qualification.

The current environment in which humanitarian workers find themselves is more complex and diverse than ever. Conflicts are increasingly complicated and natural disasters are escalating in number and intensity. These often occur in regions already struggling with socio-economic and political constraints and fragility.

This course in humanitarian assistance is strategically positioned as the first course of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. It builds a unique platform where humanitarian practitioners and academics can share knowledge and experience, with a focus on improving leadership, preparedness and response capacities to national and international emergencies.

Combining theory and practice, the course is delivered using both Deakin’s interactive online study and intensive, located learning practice-based units. Coupled with action-based research in the sector this course enables you to be an effective and highly-skilled worker, both in Australia and internationally.

You will also be able to capitalise on Deakin’s strong partnerships with relevant international non-government organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, other locally-based NGOs, government agencies such as Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other relevant stakeholders in the sector.

Cloud (online) studies

Deakin offers many courses which can be studied by distance education overseas.

However, international students living in Australia must, in each compulsory trimester (that is, Trimesters 1 and 2), enrol in at least one unit that is offered as a Campus located unit and can, in addition enrol in units offered via Cloud (online). International students are not permitted to do more than 25% of their total course via Cloud (online) learning. Best practice is to enrol in mostly Campus located units in each compulsory trimester.

In a non-compulsory trimester (Trimester 3), international students may study Cloud (online) units only.

Fees and charges

The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

Learn more about fees and available payment options.

Course Learning Outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes

Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

Critique the historical development of the humanitarian sector and apply the key principles, exemplary practice and sector standards to current humanitarian context, both national and international, with particular focus on leadership, risk management, emergency responses, and recovery strategies.  


Integrate, analyse, synthesise and evaluate the theory and practice of humanitarian emergencies and responses and communicate to a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences through reports, briefings, essays, case studies, and oral presentations. 

Digital literacy

Demonstrate the ability to research, analyse, report and communicate complex information via the employment of a range of sector- specialised and generic technological modes to a wide variety of audiences including humanitarian, professional and scholarly communities. 

Critical thinking

Investigate, critically analyse, synthesise and report on issues facing contemporary humanitarian scenarios in light of established concepts and practice and design and develop interventions, solutions and strategies to address them.  

Problem solving

Demonstrate initiative, creativity and intellectual rigor in researching, identifying, planning, implementing, managing people and processes and evaluating proposed innovative responses to complex situations and problems encountered in a range of humanitarian emergencies, locally and globally. 


Plan, organise and perform as an independent and reflective practitioner in the field as well as in the sector generally, demonstrating a commitment to continuing professional development, scholarly research and professional contribution. 


Contribute to the achievement of team goals and cohesiveness in diverse humanitarian emergency scenarios, humanitarian planning, implementation projects and research projects through active and constructive participation and contributions to resolving impasses and conflict. 

Global citizenship

Demonstrate the ability to undertake a number of roles, in an efficacious and ethical manner, in a broad range of humanitarian operations across diverse cultural, social, political, economic and environmental spectrums. 

Approved by Faculty Board June 2014


Course rules

To qualify for the Master of Humanitarian Assistance, students must successfully complete 16 credit points of study comprising:

  • 6 credit points of core units; and
  • 10 credit points of study as a combination of research and elective units in one of the following three configurations.

Option 1: Dissertation

  • 2 credit points of research training (AIX706 Research Design, plus one of AIX707 Qualitative Research or AIX708 Quantitative Research)
  • 4 credit points independent research writing (AIX702, AIX703)
  • 4 credit points of electives

Option 2: Research Paper

  • 2 credit points of research training (AIX706 Research Design, plus one of AIX707 Qualitative Research or AIX708 Quantitative Research)
  • 2 credit points of independent research writing (AIX704 Research Paper A and AIX705 Research Paper B)
  • 6 credit points of electives

Option 3: Research Project

  • 1 credit point research training (AIX706 Research Design)
  • 1 credit point independent research writing (AIX701 Research Project)
  • 8 credit points of electives

Course structure

Core units

Students to complete the following 6 core units (6 credit points of study)

AHA721Dynamics and Dilemmas of the Humanitarian Sector

AHA722Applied Humanitarian Assistance: From Theory to Practice

AHA723Fundamentals of Humanitarian Management

AHA724Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Humanitarian Contexts

AHA725Project and Financial Management in Humanitarian Contexts

AHL701The Humanitarian World


Electives & Research Options

Students to select 10 credit points of study as a combination of research and elective units listed below


ADS711Non-Government Organisations and other Development Actors

ADS712Food Security

ADS714Gender and Development

ADS715Cross Cultural Communication and Practice

ADS716Unit description is currently unavailable

ADS735 Conflict Resolution and Development (No longer available for enrolment)

ADS740 Participatory Approaches to Development (No longer available for enrolment)

ASS705Anthropology of Poverty and Development


AHA726Humanitarian Assistance Internship (4 credit points)

Research options

Option 1: Research Project (6 credit points)

AIX706Research Design

Plus one of

AIX707Qualitative Research


AIX708Quantitative Research

Students then complete:

AIX702Dissertation A (2 credit points)


AIX703Dissertation B (2 credit points)

Option 2: Research Paper (4 credit points)

AIX706Research Design

Students then complete:

AIX704Research Paper A


AIX705Research Paper B

Option 3: Research Project (2 credit points)

AIX706Research Design

Students then complete:

AIX701Research Project



Course Map

Course Map

Entry requirements - specific

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (min. 3 years) in any discipline area or approved international equivalent.

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

To be eligible for admission to this program, all applicants should check the Entry and English Language requirements.

IELTS / English language requirements

Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies. (more details)

It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses. 

Credit for prior learning - general

If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer.
Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

How to apply

Tracking your application
If you have already applied and wish to enquire about your application please refer to the relevant area through which you originally applied.

  • If you applied through a Deakin representative please contact your representative.
  • If you applied through a Deakin International office please contact