United Nations University (UNU)
Application Deadline: 15 December 2022
International Joint MSc Degree 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.
As a joint MSc Degree programme offered by the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn and the United Nations University in Bonn, the course provides a unique combination of advanced conceptual and applied engagements within 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 MSc Degree Programme consists of 12 modules, of which ten are taught in the first three semesters followed by a compulsory internship and the independent work on the Master’s thesis. An internship of at least eight weeks is a compulsory part of the programme.
Since its launch in October 2013, a total of 209 students from 46 different countries have been studying within the programme.
The MSc Degree 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/ the “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 MSc Degree 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. Career opportunities may be pursued in all of these areas depending on individual interest and professional goals.
Applicants must possess a first higher education qualification (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in Geography or a related/relevant academic field. Out of all achieved academic performances (Bachelor’s, Master’s, additional coursework, etc.) the majority of attended courses (as reflected in your transcripts) must be 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.
Note: The MSc Degree programme is not targeted at graduates in Engineering-related subjects. Likewise, graduates in International Relations or similar subjects cannot be considered unless their profile relates strongly to the field of environmental risks. PhD students or PhD holders cannot be considered.
A strong motivation to contribute to the area of human security and management of risks related to environmental change is a prerequisite to study in this Master’s Programme. Applicants should be highly motivated to learn in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment.
All applicants need to provide proof of their English language proficiency, except for native speakers from countries specified hereafter: Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
This Joint MSc Degree Programme is part of a selected group of international postgraduate degrees that benefits 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 for through this scheme.
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.
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 (DAAD application form, professional references, work certificates) (see Applications section) to their application package. Programme admission does not guarantee being awarded a DAAD EPOS scholarship.
The selection process for the EPOS funding among shortlisted candidates will happen between February and April each year.
Candidates that do not fulfil the EPOS requirements but wish to benefit from financial support during their studies are invited to apply individually and early to other available funding programmes in Germany. A list of available programmes can be found here.
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