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Call for Applications: Master of Science Programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” (intake 2023).

DEADLINE: Applications are accepted between 15 September – 15 December 2022

The Department of Geography at the University of Bonn (GIUB) and the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) are pleased to announce the call for applications for the international joint Master of Science 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 addresses theoretical and methodological debates in geography to better understand the complex emergence of environmental risks and natural hazards, their implications for human-nature relations (vulnerability, resilience, adaptation), and how to deal with them in practice. It provides a unique combination of advanced conceptual and applied engagements within the field of environmental risks and human security in an international context. An internship of at least eight weeks is a compulsory part of the programme.

The programme’s primary goals are:Fields of study include:
To provide theoretical and methodological expertise in the field of environmental risks and human security combined with practical experiences;
A strong focus on developing countries / the Global South;
An intercultural and interdisciplinary learning environment;
Possibilities to engage in ongoing research projects at both institutions;
Close cooperation with the UN system.
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

The Master’s 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, and international relations. Moreover, participants engage with research on climate change, food security, spatial planning, and policy. Career opportunities may be pursued in all of these areas depending on individual interests and professional goals.

APPLICATION: The Department of Geography at the University of Bonn and UNU-EHS welcome applicants who possess a first academic degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in Geography or a related relevant discipline. The ideal candidate has a strong interest or experience in working in the field of human-nature relations and risk governance in the Global South. Women and applicants from developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply. Since its launch in October 2013, a total of 209 students from 46 different countries have studied within the programme.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: The programme is part of a select group of international postgraduate degrees that benefit from the EPOS funding scheme offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). A number of fully-funded scholarships can be offered to students from developing countries.

The current call for applications and necessary application documents for the scholarship for an EPOS study program can be found on the DAAD’s website here.

Eligible candidates should fulfil the following requirements in addition to the general eligibility criteria for the Master’s programme:

  • Being a candidate from an eligible developing country (check the list on DAAD website);
  • Having accumulated at least two years of relevant work experience since graduation from the Bachelor’s by the time of application (e.g. with an NGO, GO, or the private sector);
  • Having graduated from the last academic degree no longer than 6 years ago by the time of application;
  • Having completed no other Master’s degree in a similar field of studies;
  • Aiming to pursue a career as a practitioner in the field of development following graduation from the Master’s programme (not in an academic area/not aiming to pursue a PhD);
  • Being ready to commit fully to the Joint Master’s degree in case accepted for the programme and a DAAD EPOS scholarship.

Students wishing to be considered for these scholarships need to attach the additionally required documents (see here) to their application package. Programme admission does not guarantee being awarded a DAAD EPOS scholarship.

For more detailed information about the MSc Programme, as well as information on the admission process, please consult the official website and the FAQ provided there.

The Joint Master’s programme has one intake every year.

The next intake starts in October 2023.

  • Applications are accepted between 15 September – 15 December 2022.
  • To apply, please follow the steps outlined on the website (see Applications).
  • For any questions not covered through the official website or the FAQ, please contact:
  • Complete applications must be received by 15 December 2022, 23:59 CET. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. All candidates will receive a notification on their application status by April/May 2023.


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