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Humanitarian Engineering (MSc/PGDip/PGCert/PGA) (2024 Entry)

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Explore our Humanitarian Engineering taught Master's degree.

Warwick's Humanitarian Engineering MSc spans a broad range of disciplines and is ideal for those looking to explore all the professional and disciplinary facets of humanitarian challenges. Available as a MSc, PG Cert, PGDip and PGA, this course lets you fit your learning around your commitments.

Course overview

Humanitarian Engineering is the use of science and engineering to invent, create, design, develop, or improve technologies that promote the wellbeing of communities facing grand humanitarian challenges.

Humanitarian Engineering spans a broad range of disciplines and is ideal for students who are looking to explore all the professional and disciplinary facets of humanitarian challenges.

The Postgraduate Award, Certificate and Diploma are specially designed to support professional development for those already working in the field or interested in humanitarian engineering. Making time for work, family, and friends is important, so take advantage of our flexibility.

Each module runs over 5 days (in weekly or biweekly blocks), meaning study can fit in around other commitments and is tailored to your personal interests or development requirements.

Postgraduate Award (30 credits)

Select any combination of core (excluding Project) and optional modules for 30 credits (2 modules).

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) (60 credits)

Take any combination of core modules (excluding Project) for 60 credits (4 modules) or any combination including a maximum of 30 credits of optional modules.

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) (120 credits)

Complete all core modules (excluding Project) for 90 credits, and any combination of optional modules for 30 credits (2 modules).

Skills from this degree

  • Equipped to think and work in a problem- and solution-oriented way across the professional and disciplinary facets of humanitarian challenges.
  • Have a broad perspective and the ability to communicate with parties of different backgrounds.
  • Enhance critical thinking, reasoning and analytical abilities which are sought after by multilateral development institutions (e.g., World Bank, IMF, United Nations), NGOs and the private sector (e.g. professional services, manufacturing, and investment banking) or academia.

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent), ideally in Engineering, Science, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Business or Medical Sciences, although we will consider graduates of all disciplines.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band A
  • IELTS Band of 6.5 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 6.5 and no other subsection below 6.0.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Humanitarian Engineering: Ethics, Theory and Practices

This module is an introduction to humanitarian engineering viewed from ethical, cultural, and practical perspectives. It is designed to enable you to reflect upon the history and meaning of Humanitarianism and Humanitarian Engineering.

An Introduction to Global Health

The module aims to give you a comprehensive knowledge and critique of key global health issues. You will be introduced to the global burden of disease and the social determinants of health.

Water and Environmental Management

The main aim of this module is to present to students a global topic such as water in its complexity and to engage them so they can discover, research, and experiment the great potentialities of an interdisciplinary approach to the matter.

One Humanity; Shared Responsibility

The international community is expecting that we come together and tackle global challenges from poverty to gender quality and climate change, and to create a better world for future generations. Now it is time to turn promises into action for this generation, and uphold people’s safety, dignity and the right to thrive.

The Agenda for Humanity outlines five core responsibilities in which we must take collective action. One of the core responsibilities is 'Leave no one behind'. It is our responsibility and commitment to transform the lives of those most at risk of being left behind. This means reaching everyone and empowering all women, men, girls and boys to be agents of positive transformation. It means reducing displacement, supporting refugees and migrants, ending gaps in education, and fighting to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence and increasing disaster management.

Urban Resilience, Disasters and Data

This module is aimed at introducing the topics of disaster risks and urban resilience with emphasis on the use of innovative digital technologies to gather and analyse urban data for improving disaster resilience. It approaches, theoretically and practically, the key issues involved in disaster resilience and the way in which social media, mobile technologies, and the web 2.0 are related to our collective experience of disasters and crisis events.

Renewable Energy

This module aims to impart an advanced understanding of the principles of modern renewable energy technologies, including biofuels from a variety of sources, wind power, solar energy, geothermal, ocean and hydro power and ethical and practical considerations. The particular focus will be given to the limitations and restrictions in developing countries.


Students can propose their own projects or will study projects proposed by academics and industry partners individually or as a group. Guidance will be provided by the module leader and project supervisor who has expertise in the area of interest. The project aims to give you experience of working within a team and parallels the way teams formed with people with different background to tackle challenging projects like project teams formed in real life situations.

Optional modules

(One chosen from List A and one chosen from List B)

List A:

  • Humanitarian Law (optional core)
  • Sustainable Cities and Infrastructures for Emergencies
  • Sustainable Operations and Humanitarian Supply Chains
  • Mindful Project Management
  • Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Engineering

List B:

  • Design Thinking for Social Impact
  • Challenges to Global Food Security
  • Public Engagement

Read more about the core and optional modules offered on the Humanitarian Engineering website.Link opens in a new window


Each module will run intensively over 5 days (normally in 1 week or across 2 weeks) and will be taught by a variety of methods: seminar, lecture, field research, flipped classroom.

Class sizes

Core modules are up to 30 students; optional modules vary between 5-15 students and seminars typically average around 15-20 students.

Typical contact hours

Contact hours vary from 24 to 30 hours per module, per week.


The core modules are assessed in a variety of ways including essay, poster, presentation, artefact, student-devised assessment, video, report, blog.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars, and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you, and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

A degree in Humanitarian Engineering will leave you well-placed to work with governments (e.g. ministries of finance, rural development, and education), multilateral development institutions (e.g. World Bank and United Nations), NGOs and the private sector (e.g. professional services and investment banking). You may also decide to pursue PhD studies.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • Working for More than Profit sector event and careers fair
  • Careers in the Creative Industries sector event
  • Centrally run careers workshops including CVs, applications, interviews and assessment centres

You can also contact the Humanitarian Engineering Department to arrange a visit or email  hum dot eng at warwick dot ac dot uk  to arrange a meeting in person or via video conferencing.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your taught course fees  

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support. 

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed. 

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.

How to apply for a postgraduate taught course  

After you’ve applied

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See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

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Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

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Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.