Acreditated by A3ES

About Course

Decision: Accredited
Accreditation validity: 31/07/2027
Current status: Awaiting result of application for application of 101819/029982 (terms of article 4 of Regulation No. 393ES)

Regime: Mostly online; 5% of sessions must be attended in person (including the presentation and defence of the Project Work).
Maximum number of admissions: 30

The Master in Humanitarian Action, Cooperation, and Development (MHACD) is a fully recognized Master Degree program by the Ministry of Higher Education of Portugal. The program has also been accredited by Higher Education Agency of Portugal.

The program runs for two academic semesters, completed by one last semester for the elaboration of a Work Project (final paper). The Master’s degree is mainly in distance learning regime, but students are asked to attend 5 per cent of sessions in person (face-to-face)(including the presentation of the final work). The MHACD program uses state of the art learning platforms and tools (CANVAS, Zoom, Google Meeting). This means that you have access to all the resources, and to the faculty from anywhere in the world. We also have an online learning support team, which offers permanent and unparalleled assistance to our students with distance learning readiness and can solve any troubleshooting you may encounter.
The language of instruction in MHACD is English.

The language of instruction at MHACD is English.

The MHACD degree program provides specialized skills and knowledge of Humanitarian Action, Cooperation, and Development. Upon completing the program, you will gain a thorough understanding of regional, national, and international humanitarian issues that are happening in the world today. With our advanced graduate degree, you can expect to commence your career in the humanitarian action field or advance your professional achievements in major international and/or multilateral organizations in the area. The MHACD degree program would also be helpful for all those who are already established experts in their fields as well as for early career professionals.
On the background of almost total absence of the EU-level recognized and graduate online degrees, University Fernando Pessoa has taken advantage of its long experience and partnerships in the humanitarian field to offer an unparalleled graduate degree program with flexible methodologies and cutting-edge learning tools.

The field of Humanitarian Action, Cooperation, and Development is a scientific universe on its own and is constantly evolving.
The MHACD degree program is innovative in many ways, more specifically, in the teaching methods and contents:
— First, in the classic or basic areas, you will receive a wealth of knowledge about the essential and operational components of humanitarian action worldwide on the following topics (but not limited to): the principles in humanitarian action and the cycle of project in humanitarian work; the basic standards in health and development; NGO and field mission management; disaster management; agencies and indicators of international development cooperation; support to vulnerable populations, refugees, IDPs, etc.; and applicable standards of international humanitarian law;
— Second, you will take advantage of learning new challenges of technological changes in the field of humanitarian action. Distance learning makes the learning process easier and more convenient due to our technological novelties (new possibilities of communication, online applications, etc.);
— Third, while taking the course, you will be invited to join a project team and to complete your individual final Work Project (60 to 80 pages) on a topic of practical applicability under the supervision of one of our professors. The final paper (Work Project) must be presented in person at University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal.

The MHACD degree is organized mainly in distance learning. There are three types of specialized resources students can use for each subject: videos of recorded lectures; synchronous online classes (online meeting between the professors and the students); and assignments.
Each subject (also called a curricular unit (*)) covers one semester and includes three modules, in turn, subdivided into a maximum of five topics (to facilitate the learning process).
The assignments you will have to complete may include short research papers, reading reports or e-portfolios, discussion forums, collaborative work (with other students), or oral presentations. Our professors will provide you with regular feedback on your academic progress and advise and guide you along your educational path to improve your performance levels and skills.


Studies Plan

MSc· 3 semesters · 90 ECTS
According to Despacho n.º 9025/2021, DR 2.ª série n.º177, de 10 de setembro 

Main Scientific Area: Social and Behavioural Sciences


PhD João Casqueira

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interchange and Erasmus+

Students of Fernando Pessoa University (UFP) who meet the eligibility criteria have the possibility to carry out periods of study and/or internship in international mobility.

Study periods in international mobility for students are carried out in higher education institutions outside Portugal with which UFP has student exchange agreements under the Erasmus+ Programme (in the European area), or other existing bilateral exchange agreements.

Information about mobility/exchange programmes is available through the International Relations Office (Link).



Please see the information on the Conditions of Application for the Master’s Degrees (2nd Cycle).