The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) is a multidisciplinary centre that brings together aid workers, academics and development practitioners to develop practice-oriented approaches in disaster risk reduction and response, shelter, chronic poverty, community development, building urban resilience, conflict transformation, refugee studies and torture prevention.


The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) was founded in 1985 and its first degree in emergency and development practices, an award winning masters degree followed in 1991.

The Centre continues to develop its academic programme with two post-graduate certificates in Shelter After Disaster and Humanitarian Action and Conflict being offered since 2011 respectfully. The new masters degree is an online MA in Humanitarian Action and Peacebuilding and will start subject to validation in January 2017.

CENDEP is hosted by the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. Its reputation in practice-oriented learning comes out of the contributions of its staff and the continuing development of the field by today’s team. Following the legacy of pioneering scholars such as Ian Davis, Nabeel Hamdi, Brian Phillips, David Sanderson, Hugo Slim and Roger Zetter, the centre builds on a strong research tradition in shelter after disaster; community planning; disaster recovery; urbanisation and conflict; humanitarianism and human rights; and, refugee studies.

From the beginning of the Centre’s history, we have worked at the interface between practice and academic work. An approach of “reflection-in-action” has contributed to close collaboration and interaction between staff and students in order to analyse, reflect and share insights into development and emergency practice.

Our practical approach is reflected in our relationship to numerous partners over the years including IFRC, CARE, REDR, Save the Children, ALNAP, CARE, Christian Aid, DEC, ELRHA, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Oxfam, UNITAR and other UN agencies. The practice based approach in our academic research and teaching also comes out of long-term collaboration with local communities in the Global South and the UK.


CENDEP’s current offerings comprise PhDs, a Masters degree and Postgraduate Certificates. The Masters Degree programme in Development and Emergency Practice (DEP), first offered in 1991 is one of the oldest in Europe. Many of the 900+ students from across the World who have attended DEP have gone on to hold influential positions for national governments, NGOs, UN agencies and international donors.

The online PGCert in Humanitarian Action and Conflict is offered over two semesters and is targeted at remote field based aid workers. The PGCert in Shelter after Disaster, first offered in 2011 and believed to be the first course of its kind, runs for one semester and is targeted to those working in the complex area of post-disaster reconstruction.

Queen's Anniversary Prize

In 2001 CENDEP's masters degree was awarded the Queen's anniversary prize for Higher and further education.

The Prizes scheme was set up in 1993 by The Royal Anniversary Trust with the consent of the Queen and the approval of the Prime Minister and all political parties, and of the Charity Commission. Uniquely in the field of education, these Prizes sit within the national honours system. They recognise and honour outstanding achievement and excellence in UK universities and colleges.


Centre for Development and Emergency Practice

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1865 483200
Fax: +44 (0) 1865 483298