Home Education and trainingOur approachHow we deliver courses

The Centre’s approach to delivering education is a dynamic blend of applied practical immersion and proven theoretical frameworks: from traditional lectures and presentations to virtual online crisis responses, and on-the-ground intensive simulations.

Each accredited course is uniquely designed to provide students with high-quality learning opportunities, wherever they are located around the globe.

World-class education, anywhere in the world.

The Centre for Humanitarian Leadership was formed through a unique partnership between Save the Children and Deakin University.

Since its inception in the 1970s, Deakin University has led the way on the delivery of world-class distance education. This focus led to the development of online learning designed to provide engaging and high-quality education for students all around the world.

Our online classroom enables students and teaching staff to connect with leading humanitarians from any location around the world, in any humanitarian crisis. Students and teachers can also access online course forums for ongoing, lively discussion once classes have finished.

Immersive experiences: from the classroom to a simulated crisis response.

Students in accredited courses are introduced to the realities of a fictional country in crisis through multiple simulated learning experiences. These experiences become increasingly challenging and culminate in highly intensive, 360-degree action-learning sessions that replicate the realities of working in the humanitarian sector. Students are also assessed through virtual crisis simulations, administered online.

Intensive simulations offer the ideal settings for students to apply their learning in ‘close-to-reality’ contexts.

The intensive learning is very application based. It’s about changing attitudes and how we perceive leadership. It’s about developing very hands-on practical skills that I will be able to apply when I return to work. Maina, Disaster Management Advisor, World Vision, East Africa.

These on-the-ground intensive classes are designed to test students’ leadership behaviours in application, based on the theory taught in previous units. The experiences are extremely fulfilling; learning becomes more personal and tactile, and strong bonds are formed between both students, mentors, and faculty.

Learn more about the value of these intensive, on-the-ground learning simulations.

Develop strong partnerships with humanitarian practitioners.

Drawing on the Centre’s extensive collaborative partnerships, students enrolled in our accredited courses have access to leading humanitarians and organisations working in the sector today.

In different capacities across each of our accredited courses, practicing humanitarians act as teaching staff, coaches, and mentors. These mentors and coaches are highly experienced and often alumni of the Centre themselves, with experience in applying course learnings directly into their professional roles in the sector.

Students receive formal coaching sessions from experienced practitioners at key points throughout their experience. Coaches and mentors also facilitate reflective group feedback sessions and provide guidance throughout the simulated learning experiences. Students are encouraged to identify sector-based mentors (aside from course faculty) who can fulfil the role for at least eighteen months following the end of the course.

I found the peer learning so valuable. In my experience, there were 42 people from 17 countries. It’s so inspirational getting all these different perspectives, practicing together, observing each other’s behaviours, giving feedback. Isabelle, Disaster Risk Management Program Manager, Plan International UK.

Due to the eligibility requirements of accredited courses, most students learning at the Centre are already experienced and established humanitarians themselves. Peer-based learning, teamwork, and skill and knowledge sharing are all key aspects of the student experience.

I appreciated the other students on the course. There’s an incredible amount of experience and resource within the room. Engaging with that was really useful. Waringa, Regional Office Manager, Save The Children, Nairobi.

Students have the opportunity to learn about operational management—both in the field and at headquarter level—through practical experiences delivered in partnership with humanitarian agencies.

Students can also capitalise on the Centre’s deep links with:

  • International non-government organisations.
  • United Nations agencies.
  • Locally based non-government organisations.
  • Government agencies.
  • Other relevant participants in the sector.