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Master of Science in Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Course Languages English
Program Duration 2 years, 4 semester
Application Deadline

The next application deadline as well as more details on the programme can be found at the following link:

Description of Content The joint international MSc programme aims to build on the success and potential of existing research programmes on vulnerability and disaster risk at UNU-EHS and related research activities at the Department of Geography of the University of Bonn. The main purpose of the MSc programme is to provide postgraduate students detailed knowledge and critical understanding as well as an interdisciplinary approach towards environmental risks with a focus on developing countries to enable them to investigate and manage all kinds of natural disasters by implementing science-based principles and strategies for all theoretical and practical activities related to disaster risk management.The programme has a strong focus on developing countries in line with the mandate and research profile of UNU-EHS and the development research in geography conducted by the University of Bonn. In addition, the students have the opportunity to engage in on-going research projects at both institutions. Based on the various research projects and the extensive network partners in developing countries, the programme is able to incorporate current development issues and real world problems faced by communities in countries exposed to natural hazards. In addition, the link to UN agencies and other international organizations through external lecturers and intership placements ensures that the program is focused on actual problems.
Tuition Fee

No tuition fee, student services contribution (Sozialbeitrag): 286,81 € per semester including a transportation ticket for Northrhine-Westphalia (as of winter term 2015)


Each student needs to take a compulsory internship.The internship may take place in any UN organisation, other international institutions or any entity working in thematic fields relevant for this programme. The internship placement process in UN organisations is supported by UNU-EHS

Job Opportunities

UN agencies, international organisations, institutions of international cooperation

Admission Requirements

Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in Geography (or related field): TOEFL: 550 or above (paper-based), 80 or above (internet-based)

Set of Competences to be Acquired The MSc programme will provide postgraduate students with the knowledge and skills to re-construct, appropriate, and develop scientific sound knowledge with regards to environmental risks and disaster management. They will explore different approaches that emerge from the study of the relevant research literature in the natural and social sciences and related disciplines to apply this knowledge in new environments with interdisciplinary contexts of disaster risk management. The students get the opportunity to develop and/or apply their own ideas as contribution to the knowledge by writing their own research papers. They will be enabled to communicate their conclusions, and the underpinning knowledge and rationale, to specialist and non-specialist audiences by requiring them to conduct an internship in an international organization and by encouraging them to attend scientific conferences. The postgraduate students will build skills in the nature of scientific inquiry in physical and human geography and related disciplines, focusing vulnerability and environmental risk in developing countries. The students will acquire the appropriate methods for research design regarding data collection and analysis, particularly focused on contemporary qualitative and quantitative methods. They will build skills in the production of new researchable questions especially at the boundaries of natural and social science disciplines. The students will also be equipped with the necessary skills in scientific writing, presentation, proposal writing and project management. The required internship in an international organization will provide the students with an opportunity to acquire practical skills in working in a real world environment and test their theoretical ideas in such a context.

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