International Joint MSc Programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security
The main purpose of the two-year Master of Science programme is to provide postgraduate students with detailed knowledge, critical understanding, strategies and the tools required to take an interdisciplinary approach towards environmental risks and human security. The Master’s programme content addresses theoretical and methodological debates in geography to better understand the complex emergence of environmental risks and natural hazards and their implications for human-nature relations (vulnerability, resilience, adaptation) and how to deal with them in practice.
Jointly organized by the Department of Geography and the United Nations University in Bonn, it provides a unique combination of advanced conceptual and applied engagements with the field of environmental risks and human security in an international context.
Fields of expertise include Vulnerability Assessment, Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Development, Disaster Management, Climate Change Adaptation, Human-Nature Relationships, Science & Technology Studies, Development Geography, Geomorphology, Socio-Hydrology, Future Studies, GIS and Remote Sensing.
The Programme consists of 11 modules of which nine are taught in the first three semesters, followed by a compulsory internship and the independent work on the Master-Thesis. An internship of at least eight weeks is a compulsory part of the programme.
Since its launch in October 2013, a total of 98 students from 26 different countries have been studying within the Master’s programme.
The programme’s primary goals are:
- Theoretical and methodological expertise in the field of environmental risks and human security combined with practical experiences
- Strong focus on developing countries/ Global South
- Intercultural and interdisciplinary learning environment
- Possibility to engage in ongoing research projects at both institutions
- Close cooperation with the UN system & international organizations
The Master programme offers great visibility and exposure to international organizations, federal agencies, academic and non-academic research organizations, as well as private companies and corporations involved in disaster risk reduction and preparedness, humanitarian aid, international relations, research on climate change, food security, spatial planning, and policy. Future career options may arise in all of these thematic fields depending on individual preferences and career goals.
Applicants must possess a first, higher education qualification (Bachelor’s Degree) in Geography or a related / comparable professionally certified study programme. Out of all higher education qualifications earned (Bachelor’s, Master’s, additional academic coursework, etc.) applicants must have accumulated at least 100 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) within courses related to the three following areas:
- Human Geography and Social Sciences with a focus on spatial patterns, society, development;
- Science methodology and empirical research methods;
- Physical Geography, Geosciences and Environmental Sciences with a focus on Earth System Science.
A strong motivation to contribute to the area of Human Security and management of risks related to Environmental Change is a pre-requisite to study in this Master’s Programme. Applicants should be highly motivated to learn in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment.
A minimum of 2 years of related professional experience is required for candidates from developing countries who additionally wish to be considered for a scholarship under the Development-Related Postgraduate programmes (Epos) of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Non-native English speaking applicants must prove sufficient proficiency in the English language.
From 2017 onwards, the Joint Master’s Programme is part of a selected group of international postgraduate programmes that benefits from the EPOS funding scheme offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Hence, we will be able to offer a certain number of fully funded scholarships to students from “developing countries” for the student intake in 2017.
Eligible candidates should fulfill the following requirements in addition to the general eligibility criteria for the Master’s programme:
- Being a candidate from a “Developing Country” (according to the classification of the DAAD)
- Having at least two years of practical work experience (e.g. with an NGO, GO, or the private sector) in a field related to the study programme
- Having graduated from the Bachelor no longer than five years ago
- Having completed no other Master in a similar field of studies
- Aiming at a career as a practitioner in a field related to the programme of study
Students wishing to be considered for these scholarships need to apply for the programme as well by filling the applications forms for the DAAD; acceptance to the former does not guarantee acceptance to the latter.
The international MSc-Programme is taught equally by members of staff from the department of geography at the University of Bonn and researchers from the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University. Fields of expertise include Vulnerability Assessment, Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Development, Disaster Management, Climate Change Adaptation, Human-Nature Relationships, Science & Technology Studies, Development Geography, Geomorphology, Socio-Hydrology, Future Studies, GIS and Remote Sensing. The Programme consists of eleven modules of which nine are taught in the first three semesters, followed by a compulsory internship and the independent work on the Master-Thesis.
Fields of study include:
- Geographical approaches to risk, vulnerability and resilience
- New approaches to development geography
- Earth system science.
- Qualitative & Quantitative Methods, as well as GIS & Remote Sensing
- Social-ecological systems, Risk & Technology.
- Risk management and governance, forecast & prediction.
- Disaster management, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and humanitarian response.
For more information click "Further official information" below.
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