English language requirements
IELTS band score of 6.5 with no band less than 6
1-year full-time or 2-years part-time (8 credit points)
Note: International students studying in Australia may package this course with the Graduate Diploma of Humanitarian Assistance for a total duration of 2-years
- Melbourne (Burwood)
Intractable conflicts, climate disasters and pandemics – these are just a few of the challenges humanity currently faces. It’s clear that in the 21st century, the need for humanitarian aid has never been greater. But it’s no longer enough to assume our current practices can address these complex challenges. We need new humanitarian aid leaders, who can envision and enact a better version of the field.
Are you ready to help build a more sustainable and equitable humanitarian aid system?
Deakin’s Master of Humanitarian Assistance offers you the unique opportunity to gain practical skills through simulated experiences while exploring and analysing the role and function of humanitarian aid today. This dual focus ensures you graduate prepared to make a difference on the ground, and with the critical perspective and capability to introduce new ideas and improvements into the sector.
The course is delivered by Deakin from the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, a collaborative venture between Deakin and Save the Children that combines good humanitarian practice with academic rigour and seeks to address the power balance that can be created and perpetuated by even well-meaning aid.
Explore the practice and theory of community-based solutions to forced displacement, needs assessment and emergency response planning, and national and international disaster risk reduction and recovery. A research unit gives you the opportunity to further explore issues of interest.
Through networking opportunities embedded in the course, you can also capitalise on Deakin’s strong partnerships with international non-government organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, other locally based NGOs, government agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other relevant stakeholders.
Graduate with the skills to contribute abroad, at home, or in still-developing avenues.Read More
- Award granted
- Master of Humanitarian Assistance
2023 course information
- Deakin code
- CRICOS code?
- 099595E Burwood (Melbourne)
- Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
- Approval status
This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
- Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition
The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.
To qualify for the Master of Humanitarian Assistance, students must successfully complete 8 credit points of study comprising
- AAI018 Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit);
- 3 credit points of core units
- 5 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper, or Professional Experience Pathways.
Students to complete the following 3 core units (3 credit points of study)
Course Electives & Research Options
Students to select 5 credit points of study as a combination of research and course elective units listed below
Course Electives List A (includes internship units)
Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway
Plus 2 credit points of research units:
Plus 2 credit points chosen from the course electives
Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^
Plus 4 credit points chosen from the course electives
Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^
Plus 3 credit points chosen from the course electives
^ The Research Paper and Professional Experience options are not PhD Pathways.
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
- Cloud Campus
Trimester 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
- Cloud Campus
Trimester 3 (Cloud Campus only) - November
- Start date: November
- Available at:
- Cloud Campus
Note: This course includes a compulsory 5-day intensive class in Trimester 2 held at Deakin University Burwood campus for both campus and cloud located students.
There is also elective unit that contains an intensive in Trimester 3 held at a Deakin University campus for both campus and cloud located students.
Additional course information
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
Mandatory student checks
Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.
Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.
Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.
Admission to study postgraduate coursework at Deakin is based on recognition of your professional experience and previous qualifications.
Admission is based on:
- Bachelor honours (AQF8) degree in a related discipline or
- Bachelor degree in a related discipline, plus two years relevant work experience or
- Graduate certificate or graduate diploma in a related discipline or
- Evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent.
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.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses. (more details)
Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. To be eligible for admission to this program, applicants must meet the course requirements.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library
Deakin offers many courses which can be studied by distance education overseas.
However, international students living in Australia on a student visa, in each compulsory trimester (that is, Trimesters 1 and 2), must 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 may undertake a maximum of up to one third (or equivalent) of their study as Cloud (online) study. Please note enrolment in one face to face unit in compulsory study periods is only allowed if the student is completing their final unit of study and will not exceed maximum one third (or equivalent) online requirement.
Recognition of prior learning
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 Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
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 Recognition of Prior Learning.
One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.
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 tuition fees.
A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.
If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.
Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.
Students will complete a research pathway in 1 of the 3 following options:
- Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway ; or
- Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^ ; or
- Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^ .
Job opportunities for humanitarian assistance graduates exist in government and non-government agencies concerned with the provision of all aspects of emergency and humanitarian responses including service provision, logistical support, communications, program management and support, community engagement and support, funding, coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
Some of the roles you might obtain, depending on your previous experience, include:
- community engagement specialist
- education adviser
- grants manager
- NGO program director.
For more information go to DeakinTALENT
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities
|Critique the historical development of the humanitarian system and apply the key principles, exemplary practices and sector standards to current humanitarian context, both national and international, with particular focus on coordination, resilient communities, risk management, emergency responses, recovery strategies|
|Integrate, analyse, synthesise and evaluate the theory and practice of humanitarian action and communicate to a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences through reports, briefings, essays, case studies, and oral presentations.|
|Research, analyse, report and communicate complex information via the employment of a range of sectors specialised and generic technological modes to a wide variety of audiences including humanitarian, professional and scholarly communities.|
|Investigate, critically analyse, synthesise and report on issues facing contemporary humanitarian scenarios in light of established concepts, practice and design and develop actions, solutions and strategies to address them.|
|Apply 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 system 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.|
|Adopt 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 November 2018