Development and Emergency Practice

MA or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024

Course length

Full time: MA: 12 months, PGDip: 9 months, PGCert: 3 – 9 months (depending on module choice)

Part time: MA: 24 months, PGDip: 21 months, PGCert: 9 months




School of Architecture


Development and emergency 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.

Specific entry requirements

The programme is open to candidates who fulfil at least one of the following conditions:

– hold a good honours degree in a related discipline such as anthropology, sociology, economics, geography, psychology and other social sciences, architecture, Law, public health, public administration. Other fields are also welcomed, for example, medicine, IT, communications, information systems etc.
– hold a relevant recognised diploma or professional qualification (eg in architecture, planning, environmental psychology, public health, public administration)
– are in their final year of studying a degree in any relevant discipline
– have substantial and proven field experience.