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Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Aid work and Humanitarian Assistance

Aid work


Aid workers typically operate in front line conditions, facilitating the effective distribution of humanitarian aid to people who have been hit by human or natural disasters. Humanitarian work is similar, but often involves assistance in troubled regions long after the event or events that caused the disaster, be it a natural disaster or a conflict.  Responsibilities of these jobs vary considerably according to the nature of the emergency or situation, but can include:

Source: TargetJobs

Aid work

Skills Required:

Aid work

Things to Consider:

Strong competition for a small number of opportunities can make relevant work experience and knowledge more important than the specific academic qualification, with many different degrees welcomed. Voluntary emergency and development work experience is beneficial when applying.

There is often risk attached to work in aid and humanitarian assistance if such assistance is needed in a conflict zone or after a natural disaster. Care must always be taken when working in unfamiliar areas. Before starting work in some areas an understanding of local customs in essential, as is organising any relevant jabs long before you leave.

It it also worth considering how opportunities at the University of Southampton can be beneficial. Career Destinations offer useful guidance on volunteering and there are opportunities within various societies to gain experience. Links are provided below.

Useful Links:

TargetJobs - aid-worker and humanitarian work

A Guardian article on a aid worker and their experiences


Career Destinations- Volunteering

Careers and your future (University of Southampton)- Volunteering opportunities

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From working in the third sector to playing regular football for the Social Sciences team, the skills I have developed at Southampton will prove invaluable in any future job.

Study abroad and exchanges

Current students: Take part in exchanges with partner institutions outside the UK. Overseas students: Study Social Sciences in the UK via our bespoke 'Studyabroad@Southampton' pathways.

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