M.Sc. Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security

These studies inlude 120 credit points, regular study period is four semesters. Language of instruction is English, therefore all information provided here is in English.
Here you can get an overview on requirements, regulations, course and exam registrations as well as internship information etc.

General Information

The Master of Science (M.Sc.) Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security is jointly offered by United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn as an international degree program with a research-oriented profile. The program is offered in English.

The two-year program uses an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach on teaching students how to investigate and manage various resources related to environmental hazards by implementing science-based principles and methodologies to disaster risk management.

The degree program offers an in-depth introduction to problem-oriented research methods, theories and concepts as well as real life challenges and problems that international and UN organizations are facing. The curriculum draws from research areas such as vulnerability assessment, resilience analysis, risk management and adaptation strategies within linked human–environment systems, and environmentally induced internal displacement and transboundary migration. Learn more about our M.Sc. program on the UNU-EHS website.

Requirements and Application

This Joint Master's Program has an annual intake and starts in the winter semester only. The next program starts in October 2024.

The application period is open from 15 September - 15 December 2023.

Applicants must have 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.) applicants must have accumulated at least 100 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) within courses related to the three following  areas:

  1. Human Geography and Social Sciences with a focus on spatial patterns, society, development;
  2. Science methodology and empirical research methods;
  3. 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 required to be admitted to this master’s program. Applicants are expected to be highly motivated to learn in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment.

Applicants with another native language than English must provide proof of sufficient English language proficiency.

Please visit the website of the UNU-EHS for further details.
For questions please contact master-georisk@ehs.unu.edu.

Examination Regulations

The Examination Regulations (Prüfungsordung), in short ER (PO), define all formal and legal aspects of the degree program and establish the student’s right and duties. It is strongly recommended that all students familiarize themselves with the Examination Regulations!

As the degree program is offered by two universities, both must provide Examination Regulations. The German version of the Examination Regulations by the University of Bonn is legally binding, with an English translation being offered for informational purposes.

Registration for Courses and Exams

The registration for courses and examinations within the registration deadlines is required in order to complete the module in the given semester and to receive credit points.

The registration for participation in courses and examinations needs to be completed in BASIS.

Step 1: Register to take part in the course.
Step 2: Register to take the exam.

Registering for a course does not automatically allow you to participate in examinations - you need to register for your examinations seperately. The instructors are not allowed to grade any course work of a student who is not registered for the exam.

Master's Thesis

For your Master's thesis you will be awarded 30 CP and it is normally written during your fourth semester. All further informationen can be found on the detailed page.

Registration with Examination Office

In order to receive credit points, you need to register with the Examination Office once at the beginning of your studies.

Organizing Your Studies

Here you can find relevant details, e.g. semester dates, information on sickness, formalia etc.


Once you have finished your studies, you will receive a programme completion letter and we will prepare your final degree certificates. Please understand that this might take approx. 4 weeks. As soon as your documents are completed they will be sent to your address via registered post mail (Einschreiben). In case your address has changed in the meantime, please inform us accordingly. Of course you are also welcome to arrange an appointment for picking up your documents personally in our office.


An internship is a mandatory portion of your studies. Finding a suitable placement is not an easy task. Students accepted to the Master’s program however can benefit from a pool of previous experiences when apply for their internships.

Scholarship Option

This Joint Master's Program is part of a selected group of international postgraduate programs that benefits from the EPOS funding scheme offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Since 2017 the Department of Geography offers a certain number of fully-funded scholarships to students from “developing countries”.

Detailed information can be found on the UNU-EHS website. If you have further questions, please contact the Joint Master Student Advisory Service.

Der Drachenfels von der gegenüberliegenden Rheinseite aus fotografiert
© Paulina Busch


Avatar Hilger

Yvonne Hilger

Examination Office Master Georisks

0.008 (103)

Meckenheimer Allee 166

53115 Bonn

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Jingjing He

Student Advisory Service Master Georisks

Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1

53113 Bonn

Avatar Hattenbach

Karen Hattenbach

Education Program Manager Master Georisks

Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1

53113 Bonn

Good to know

Joint Academic Board

Please find here more information on the Joint Academic Board (166 KB).

Here you can find general information on Examination Boards.

Further Addresses and Links - UNU

United Nations University
Institute for Environment and
Human Security (EHS)
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn
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