European Culture and Economy

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Mar 15, 2025
251–300 place StudyQA ranking:4844 Duration:

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Educational organisation

The Joint European Master's Degree in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA) is a 16-month (three-semester), interdisciplinary programme equivalent to 90 ECTS.

The first component starts with a ten-day intensive programme (IP). Its aim is to familiarise students with contemporary issues in the field of humanitarian assistance as well as with the main actors involved. The IP provides information on the content and structure of the Master's programme.

Second component: building blocks (25 ECTS)
The core course (second component - first semester) takes place during October-January at the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) at Ruhr University Bochum. It counts for 25 ECTS credits. This fundamental component is comparable in structure and content at all seven core universities of the network. The NOHA modules jointly worked out by the network faculty provide a bibliography for the building blocks in the following areas:
201: Geopolitics (International Relations) in Humanitarian Action
202: International Law in Humanitarian Action
203: Anthropology in Humanitarian Action
204: Management in Humanitarian Action
204: Medicine and Public Health

Third component: orientation period (30 ECTS)
This deals with the specialisation and is offered during the second semester at all participating universities. Upon successful completion of the core period in the second semester, students choose options at one of the network universities. The orientation period lasts from February to June and is worth 30 ECTS credits. The third component is divided into different modules, organised in six learning stations. Each module in the second semester is equivalent to five ECTS.
The following modules are available (subject to change):
310: Standards of Humanitarian Action
320: Institution Building
  • Protecting Refugees and Minorities
  • Strengthening International Justice
330: Programming in Humanitarian Action
  • Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding
  • Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Conflict Sensitive Programming
  • Ethics of Humanitarian Assistance
340: Project Design in Humanitarian Action
  • Working with the Media in Humanitarian Action
  • Climate Change Adaptation in Humanitarian Projects
  • Gender in Violent Conflicts and Peace Processes
350: Leadership in Humanitarian Assistance
  • Logistics in Humanitarian Assistance
  • Coordination in UN Missions
  • Leadership and Humanitarian Organisations
  • Safety and Security in Emergencies
  • Psychological Aspects of Humanitarian Crisis
360: Simulation Exercise

Optional programme for the third component: orientation period
NOHA students may apply to study the second semester at another network university. Selection and allocation of destinations is carried out in accordance with the mobility policy scheme of the NOHA programme.

The fourth component: research and internship (30 ECTS)
This component takes place from June to December and counts for 30 ECTS credits. Students are requested to write a Master's thesis and to undertake an internship in local, regional, or international organisations, associations, or foundations working in the area of humanitarian action.

Optional programme for the fourth component: research and internship
After completing the second semester abroad, a number of European students can apply for a joint research project in the third semester at a non-European partner university which is supported by a grant within the ERASMUS MUNDUS partnership framework. The purpose of this is to undertake research related to the field of humanitarian assistance with a close link to the intended Master's thesis.
  • University of York, Toronto (Canada)
  • Fordham University, New York (USA)
  • Universidad de Javeriana, Bogotá (Colombia)
  • Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilia (Brazil)
  • University of Western Cape, Capetown (South Africa)
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)
  • Monash University, Clayton (Australia)
  • Bangalore University, Bangalore (India)
  • Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Beirut (Lebanon)

Study abroad unit(s)

Students may apply at another NOHA university for the second semester.
In contrast to the core period in the first semester, the orientation period in the second semester is not built on similarity in the content of disciplinary elements, but rather on complementarity, developing a set of agreed skills. The period offers optional components at the NOHA universities with a variety in topics:
  • Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium: Post-conflict Rehabilitation with Emphasis on Public Health and Geopolitics
  • Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III, France: Legal and Geopolitical Approach of Humanitarian Action
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany: International Institutions in Humanitarian Emergencies
  • University College Dublin, Ireland: Societies in Transition
  • Universidad de Deusto, Spain: International Law and Management of Humanitarian Action
  • Uppsala Universitet, Sweden: Conflict, Disaster and Peacebuilding
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands: Comprehensive Security, Circumstances of Decline, Disappearance, and Reconstruction
  • University of Warsaw, Poland: Humanitarian action in the times of changing security, economic and legal conditions & Eastern Europe


Students are requested to carry out an internship in the third semester in local, regional, or international organisations, associations, or foundations working in the area of humanitarian action.

Forms of assessment

First semester assessment: oral and written examinations and written assignments
Successful students are allowed to proceed to the second semester courses. During the second semester, students will attend further specialised courses for which they will be assessed according to the university's practices. After successfully passing the exams in the third semester and completing a thesis, students will be awarded the Master's degree.

Course objectives

While being instructed in law, management, medicine, geopolitical science and anthropology by leading lecturers and experts, students receive substantial training (programme and project management) for work as academics or staff in inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations. In this respect, the programme emphasises the importance of operational skill-building.

Language requirements

Fluency in English
A copy of a TOEFL or IELTS certificate is needed to show the level of proficiency in the English language. Other means of indicating the level of English are also accepted (English-language degree, year abroad in an English speaking country, etc.).

Academic requirements

Academic requirements: applicants must hold a university degree of high standing in disciplines such as law, social sciences or the humanities. They should have international experience. For details and application documents, see: and

Costs of living

Minimum of 670 EUR per month to cover personal and living expenses

Funding opportunities within the university

There is an opportunity to apply for the "Deutschlandstipendium".
A scholarship scheme will be available for students to attend the NOHA Master's course. For more information on scholarships, please see:

Arrival support

Students must be duly registered at the university. For students who have been offered a place in the postgraduate NOHA Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action, the registration procedure will be managed by the IFHV in close collaboration with the registration office.
For more information on services and support provided to students, please see

Services and support for international students

Additional services of the International Office:
  • advisory service for social and personal affairs
  • continuous cultural programme: excursions and cultural events
  • language courses


The Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) is not itself able to provide accommodation. Prospective students at the RUB are requested to make use of the central registration via the university organisation AKAFOE (
The accommodation department of the international office offers a reservation service for rooms in various student residences.
For any questions related to accommodation, students should contact the accommodation office of RUB.
The link provides answers to frequently asked questions on accommodation in and around Bochum. Students who have difficulties in finding accommodation will receive assistance from the personnel of the International Office and the IFHV.
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