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Development and humanitarian practice is a complex, rapidly evolving blend of issues and challenges in the 21st century. And we teach it as such.
Study the political context of an armed conflict or natural hazard and how this can influence humanitarian efforts and human-rights-based responses. You can look at which development approaches have increased the impacts of climate change and disasters – and explore how cultural differences affect outcomes. Or gain a practical understanding of designing aid programmes, factoring in long term development goals, humanitarian imperatives and adaptive working.
You’ll investigate issues such as international human rights practices. Humanitarianism. Refugee experience. You’ll consider gender, diversity and equality; discovering what it takes to create an inclusive civil society. You’ll learn about design in emergency contexts and housing after disasters.
Your studies link to humanitarian work, international development, or NGO operations. You’ll learn critical theory, and what that means for your practices and the people you’re there to support.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
Hear the latest research
Run by the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice, the course is delivered by expert researchers and practitioners and features the latest thinking in the field.
Experiences beyond the classroom
Extra-curricular opportunities and optional field trips abroad give you first-hand knowledge of the issues you’re studying.
Pick your specialism
With our wide range of optional modules, you can choose to specialise in specific areas based on the expertise of our teaching team of researchers and practitioners.
Delivered by the School of Architecture
This means we can offer unique perspectives on topics like shelter reconstruction after disasters. Or how design can resolve development and humanitarian problems.
Our experienced staff don’t just teach the subject, they help you become a reflective practitioner in your field. They’ll use their own work to give you first-hand insight into your future role.
We’ve designed the course to cover a wide range of subjects within the fields of development and humanitarian practice. This means you can delve into not just your own area of expertise, but related topics that impact your work.
You can choose to specialise in:
- forced migration, human rights and protection,
- disasters, climate risks, shelter and development,
- conflict transformation and resilience
Optional modules let you tailor the course content to fit your goals. Whatever areas you choose to focus on, you’ll develop a combination of theoretical insight and practical knowledge.
Learning and teaching
Your learning will be grounded in theory, case studies and field based experience. You will develop intellectual knowledge and cultivate academic skills including:
You will focus on your approach as a practitioner. Particular reference is made to:
- the setting in which you work - for example poverty, conflict, power and vulnerability
- the approaches you adopt - for example community mobilisation, aid and human rights advocacy
- yourself - the personal motivations that drive and shape your vocation, personality and temperament
You will become a more self-aware, knowledge-based practitioner, able to work flexibly around a variety of problems in different situations. These include poverty, armed conflict and disaster.
Your assessments will be diverse, and will support different learning styles - you’ll have a real opportunity to showcase your strengths. Your learning may be assessed by a combination of individual or group coursework, examinations, and presentations. The assessment methods chosen will be based on your learning needs, individual aims and the academic standards expected for the course.
The course offers several field trip options each year. These usually take place in late January before the beginning of Semester 2.
Past field trip locations have included:
- Asia (India, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines)
- Latin America (Peru, Colombia)
- Middle East (West Bank)
- Europe (Bosnia, Northern Ireland)
- Africa (South Africa)
- The Caribbean (Jamaica).
Please note that field trips are an additional cost to the course fee, to reflect the fact that some students prefer not to take up this option.
Research specialisations linked to the five research clusters within the School of Architecture offer cutting edge teaching from subject area experts.
The specialisations are:
- environmental design
- emergency practice
- architectural design.
Past students are working at international development organisations like Save the Children or the United Nations. Some have started their own agencies or aid groups. Others are continuing their academic work, with PhDs in subjects like communication during Covid, food security, climate disasters or refugee wellbeing.
The broad scope and practical nature of the course will help you thrive in any development or emergency practice role. You could enhance your current career or look for work in:
- NGOs - international and national,
- human rights, forced migration and development,
- United Nations agencies and organisations,
- governmental and commercial organisations working in development.
Of course, your critical thinking, analysis and design skills will apply to work beyond these areas too.
Specific entry requirements
English language requirements
If your first language is not English you will require a minimum academic IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in all components.
An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.
Pathways courses for international and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.
Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.
If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
International qualifications and equivalences
How to apply
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
Questions about fees?
Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.
The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.
How and when to pay
Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.
If you choose to participate in any additional, optional trips, you are responsible for any associated costs.
It’s your responsibility to cover print / binding costs where coursework submission is required. Please note that a lot of the coursework is now submitted online.
|You may choose to purchase books to support your studies. Many books on our reading lists are available via the Library, or can be purchased secondhand.
|£20-60 per book
Accommodation fees in Brookes Letting (most do not include bills)
|£94-265 per week
Accommodation fees in university halls (bills included, excluding laundry costs)
|£122-180 per week
Graduation costs include tickets, gowning and photography. Gowns are not compulsory but typically students do hire robes, starting at £41.
Students are responsible for their own travel to and from university for classes. BrookesBus travel is subsidised for full-time undergraduate students that are on a course with a fee of £9,250 or more, or living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence. There is an administration fee for the production of a BrookesKey.
Financial support and scholarships
Featured funding opportunities available for this course.