United Nations International joint MSc program in Germany 2019
  • Bonn

Apply for the United Nations International joint MSc program in Germany 2019. UNU-EHS and the Geography Department of the University of Bonn welcome applicants who are willing to have Master’s degree in Geography or a related discipline.

The main purpose of the two-year Master’s of Science program 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 program 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.

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As a joint program by the Department of Geography and the United Nations University in Bonn, the course 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 Program 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’s thesis. An internship of at least eight weeks is a compulsory part of the program.

Since its launch in October 2013, a total of 143 students from 42 different countries have been studying within the program.

The program’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 Master’s program 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.

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations and acts as a global think tank. The mission of the Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) is to carry out cutting edge research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. The institute’s research promotes policies and programs to reduce these risks, while taking into account the interplay between environmental and societal factors.

Research areas include climate change adaptation incorporating insurance-related approaches, environmentally induced migration and social vulnerability, ecosystem services and environmental deterioration processes, models and tools to analyze vulnerability and risks linked to natural hazards, with a focus on urban space and rural-urban interfaces. Research is always conducted with the underlying goal of connecting solutions to development pathways.

Beyond its research mandate, UNU-EHS is actively engaged in education. It offers the joint Master of Science degree program “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn. UNU-EHS also hosts a number of international PhD projects and courses on global issues of environmental risks and sustainable development.




A certain number of fully-funded scholarships for Joint Masters Program will be given to students from developing countries.


  • Applicants must possess a first, higher education qualification (Bachelor’s Degree) in Geography or a related/comparable professionally certified study program. Out of all higher education qualifications earned (Bachelor’s, Master’s, additional academic coursework, etc.) the majority of the attended courses (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, Geo-sciences 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 prerequisite to study in this Master’s Program. Applicants should be highly motivated to learn in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment.
  • Non-native English speaking applicants must prove proficiency in the English language.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

A complete application packet consists of the following documents:

  1. Completed, signed and dated application form
  2. A signed resume/CV
    • An up to date Résumé or CV including a chronological listing of employment and other significant activities must be submitted with your application. Make sure your CV information corresponds precisely to the certificates and letters of recommendation attached to your application!
  3. Letter of motivation
    • A written statement, one to two pages in length, describing motivation, area of proposed research, background, past work in the intended field of study, plans for further postgraduate study and any other information that is relevant. Applicants who are currently registered in a postgraduate programme at another university should explain why they wish to change programmes.
  4. Official transcripts reflecting the courses and grades achieved per each year and semester
    • Applicants must submit an official transcript from each college or university in which they were enrolled for any period of time, showing all courses, grades and degrees received;
    • Only transcripts that have been certified by the university where the degree was awarded will be accepted;
    • Additional Certified Transcripts in cases where additional academic credits were earned outside of Degrees awarded, or in case of courses attended within exchange programmes (i.e. Erasmus, student exchange etc.);
    • In cases where the transcript is written in any other language than English, a certified translation of the transcript into English is also required. Translated versions can be certified either by the originating university or an official national or international institution.
  5. Bachelor’s and, if applicable, Master’s Degree Certificate in English
  6. Certificate of English language proficiency; please check the language requirements
  7. A sample of academic writing written as part of the fulfillment of the first degree (preferably in English)
    • any academic writings (Essay, Research paper, published academic article etc.) written as part of the fulfillment of your university studies;
    • an Essay related to GeoRisk topic;
    • Bachelor’s Thesis or its extract
  8. Recommendation letters from your current and/or previous lecturers (these must be signed, dated, stamped, and on a letterhead); any other relevant documents – optional
  9. If the candidate wishes to be considered for the EPOS funding by the DAAD the candidate should submit in a separate PDF file the following documents (all REQUIRED):
  • DAAD application form
  • CV / Résumé signed and dated
  • Motivation statement
  • Bachelor’s and, if applicable, Master’s Transcript of Academic Records reflecting the courses and grades achieved per each year and semester
  • Bachelor’s and, if applicable, Master’s Degree Certificate in English
  • Certificate of English language proficiency (check the language requirements)
  • Academic Recommendation Letter/s from your current and/or previous lecturers; these must be signed, recently dated, stamped, and on a letterhead
  • Professional Recommendation Letter/s from your current and/or previous employers; these must be signed, recently dated, stamped, and on a letterhead
  • Work certificate/s from your current and/or previous employers
    • Must reflect the period of the mandatory min. 2 years professional experience after Bachelor’s studies;
    • These must mention the period of employment, must be signed, dated, stamped, and on a letterhead;
    • The certificates must correspond chronologically to the info reflected in your CV/ Résumé.

All application documents for the Master’s Programme must be sent in one PDF (merged), and Epos scholarship application documents in another PDF file (merged). If the academic work is exceeding the accepted size, the applicant may submit it in a separate PDF file as well. Each file should not exceed 8 Megabytes (MB). Send completed application packet/s exclusively online to: [email protected]

Only digital versions sent via email will be accepted.

Application Deadline: January 15, 2019

Application ClosedOfficial link
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