• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Development Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Patrick Kilby
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

The course aim is to give students a good understanding of the key issues in humanitarian action, and how they affect developing countries. The focus will be on both complex emergencies arising out of conflict, natural disasters, and resulting issues including human rights and gender.

It will cover topics such as international, local and community humanitarian responses, and the key characteristics of each. The UN, International NGOs, local NGOs, bilateral and government agencies will be examined as key players. There will also be a special focus on the key role of the military .The course will consider case studies around the COVID-19 pandemic from different social and cultural contexts from the Pacific, East Asia, and South Asia, and Africa.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. demonstrate a critical appreciation of the key concepts and approaches used by development scholars and practitioners who work in humanitarian interventions;
  2. understand the likely social and economic impacts of humanitarian policies and practices in their work; and
  3. reflect critically on their own experiences and understanding of humanitarian interventions in the light of the concepts and methods introduced in this course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Minor Essay (2500 words) (30) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Major Essay (3500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Online Forum (1000 words) (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  5. Humanitarian Game (10) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading, and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts

Preliminary Reading

Readings will change according to topics offered and will be updated each year from relevant journals and book chapters

Assumed Knowledge



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
Introduction: humanitarianism; complex emergencies
2846 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View
Moral and ethical basis of humanitarianism in the
2847 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 Online View

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