BSc International Disaster Management & Humanitarian Response

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Emergency Humanitarian Assistance

Unit code HCRI20212
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course is relevant to students with a keen interest in pursuing humanitarian aid work in the future due to its practical focus. Providing an understanding of the principles of good practice in emergency humanitarian assistance with a health focus and its relationship to emergency healthcare capacity, the benefits and drawbacks of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance will be explored, considering its place in the UN response, the role of Government and non-government actors in the delivery of care to vulnerable populations, and the relationship of health to regional, national and international economics and politics.

The course will be delivered by expert practitioners, academics and policy makers/influencers. Students will be provided with an opportunity to contextualise and interrogate their learning through tutorial group sessions; the face to face elements will be supported with online materials. Students will need to contribute to focused on-line discussion board conversations as well as completing their private reading and research.




On successful completion of this module, a student will be expected:

  • To demonstrate an understanding of the influences of diversity in political, economic, social and health factors in times of emergencies
  • To develop a holistic understanding of complex health issues in times of emergencies
  • To understand the possibilities and limitations of emergency humanitarian medical assistance
  • To encourage critical analysis of emergency humanitarian assistance


Knowledge and understanding

  • Develop a critical understanding of the evolution of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance from a health perspective and describe the successes and weaknesses of current international plans
  • Understand the complexity and interdependence of a wide range of issues that require active management in these contexts


Intellectual skills

  • Critically interrogate the literature related to humanitarian complex emergencies
  • Develop a critical understanding of the challenges in addressing these crises
  • Reflect analytically on linkages between different aspects of complex crises as well as the interdependencies


Practical skills

Students will gain a familiarity with:

  • Health needs assessments
  • Human Resources and budget design for response
  • Project design and oversight as they relate to emergency humanitarian assistance.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop communication skills for a variety of audiences with differing professional perspectives
  • Work effectively in a team and engage stakeholders
  • Develop, plan and achieve individual research outcomes
  • Develop analytical skills and the ability to articulate ideas verbally and in writing
  • Develop confidence articulating ideas and opinions during group discussions


Employability skills

- Editorial and analytical skills - Evidence-led decision-making - Putting together and maintaining arguments (useful for a marketing/awareness campaign or business case) - Oral and communication skills - especially in terms of comprehending large amounts of information and drawing reasoned conclusions - Meeting deadlines - Working autonomously and in groups

Assessment methods

Contributions to online discussion boards 10%
Group Project Design 30%
Essay 60%
Group presentations 0%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on assignments


Verbal feedback via 1 on 1 meetings with students


Verbal and peer feedback on practice group presentations



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Darren Walter Unit coordinator

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