An eight-month distance-learning course, complemented by a two-week residential course in Uganda.

This eight-month course aims to reinforce the knowledge and skills that humanitarian professionals need when working in complex environments. The course puts emphasis on adaptive and flexible strategies and projects. It focuses on your working situations and enables you to reflect on your current practice as you learn.

The course programme takes into account the major contexts for humanitarian action (armed conflict, “natural” disasters, social exclusion, complex emergencies). In addition, the course investigates the relationship between humanitarian and development aid.

The course is delivered in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Groupe urgence réhabilitation développement (URD).

More information about the course and its coordinators is available here.

A printable “course at a glance” info sheet is for this course is available here.

Structure of the course and key topics

Around 250 hours of individual work in total, including:

  • E-learning (courses: E-learning modules, videos, documents, educational games, forum discussions, individual and collective work, research, exercises, reflective analysis
  • Face-to-face sessions (lectures, case studies, individual and collective work)
  • Personal work with coaching (reflexive analysis, writing, and implementation of an individual plan of action, individual and bilateral work)


  • Phase 1: Initialization process . 1 week (4 hours/week) by distance
  • Phase 2: Foundation: Myself within this training + basic concepts  –  1 week (4 hours/week) by distance
  • Phase 3: Institutional strategic framework –  3 weeks (6 hours/week) by distance
  • Phase 4: Operational strategic framework: Project Cycle Management and related operational stakes – 7 weeks (7 hours/week) by distance
  • Phase 5: Decentralized residential session preparing/sharing/strengthening – 4 weeks (96 hours in total) at distance and residential in Uganda
  • Phase 6a: Deepening my learning and preparing for my PoA design  – 10 weeks (5 hours/week) at distance with coaching
  • Phase 6b: Deepening my PoA in my current working context –  7 weeks (4 hours/week) at distance with coaching
  • Phase 7: Closing: recap / evaluation / final feedback  – 2 weeks (5 hours/week) by distance


Residential session

More details about the Uganda two-week residential session are available here.

  • 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.


For more details on the enrollment process visit this page.

Admission process

The Selection Committee examines the quality of the applications and aims to reach a balance between the number of men and women, educational profiles and professional experience, geographical distribution and financial contribution.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Hold a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent university degree requiring three years of study, plus a minimum of two years work experience in the humanitarian, social or development sector OR hold a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent university degree requiring three years of study and at least five years work experience in another sector and wish to transfer to the humanitarian sector.

Language requirements

All classes at the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies are delivered in English. All students must have an excellent command of English. Students whose mother tongue is not English, who do not have secondary or post-secondary qualifications taught in English or who have not spent a minimum of one year studying full-time at a university level in English (please provide transcripts certifying that courses were delivered in English), must provide a certificate to prove their mastery of English. More information on recognised tests and scores is available here.

Enrollment deadlines

  • Regular academic year (starting in September)
    • with scholarship/visa: For candidates who wish to apply for a scholarship and/or who need an entry visa for Switzerland, application deadline is February (before the academic year).
    • all other candidates: applications are open until 15 July (before the academic year).
    • Candidates without scholarship can also enroll to the Master during the current academic year.

To submit your application:

    • Duly fill in the form on the online enrollment platform
    • Register to the correct programme
    • Upload all requested documents (check your scholarship eligibility beforehand: see Fees & Scholarship)
    • Submit

You will receive a confirmation by e-mail. Should you have any questions, please contact us at


  • Blended Learning Certificate: Designing Strategies and Projects in Humanitarian ActionDates 12 October, 2020  - 27 June, 2021
  • Blended Learning Certificate: Designing Strategies and Projects in Humanitarian ActionDuration 8 months
  • Blended Learning Certificate: Designing Strategies and Projects in Humanitarian ActionLocation Online with 2-week residential course in Kampala (31 Jan-10 Feb 2021) 
  • Blended Learning Certificate: Designing Strategies and Projects in Humanitarian ActionLanguage English
  • Blended Learning Certificate: Designing Strategies and Projects in Humanitarian ActionCREDITS 10 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 6,500 (tuition fees 5,000 CHF + 1,500 including accommodation and food in Uganda during the residential weeks).
  • Application Deadline 31 August, 2020
  • If applying for a scholarship Deadline: 30 April, 2020 (expired).