You are here:  Masterstudies » Master's degree programme in Human Security » Introduction

Master's degree programme in Human Security - Introduction


Human Security is a unique Master’s programme (MSc) and the first of its kind in Europe. During 2 years of cross-disciplinary studies the Master Student will achieve a deeper understanding of social and environmental conflicts around the world, i.e. how to analyse and intervene in a complex of interweaving social, economic and political factors.

What is Human Security?

During recent years, the concept ’human security’ has become a rallying point for understanding and working with processes of (human) development in unstable environments marked by social and environmental conflicts. Particularly the growing challenges posed by global environmental changes threaten to trigger a rapid escalation of conflicts throughout the world as competition over access to scarce resources intensifies, supplies of essential commodities dwindle and global population rates continue to increase.

Challenging conventional understandings of security

Human security is more than an absence from physical aggression. As a cross-disciplinary development approach, the Master in Human Security comprises not only various forms of militarized and physical security; it also refers to secure access to water, food, land and education.

Why become an expert in Human Security?

The climate is changing, resources are declining, and social tension is on the rise. How can people – in the Global South as well as the Global North – lead safe and secure lives, now and in the future, under these conditions? That is the challenge that the Master in Human Security enables you to meet.

Strong competences and future job opportunities

The Master in Human Security is unique in that it takes a holistic approach to development in a changing natural and social world. You will acquire a hands-on extension of your bachelor’s degree – whether your BA is from the social or natural sciences.

The competences that this master’s programme gives you are in demand, both now and in the future. Human Security aims at employment opportunities in the development sector. These might include:

  • National and international NGOs
  • Governmental development organisations
  • UN organisations (e.g. UNHCR or UNDP)
  • Development consultancies

Highly qualified lectures from 5 departments at Aarhus University

During the Master’s programme in Human Security you will study and work with students from Denmark and abroad. Furthermore, you will achieve expert knowledge and skills from both social and natural scientists who have practical work experience in relation to environmental and development issues around the world.

 The 5 departments involved in the Master's programme are:

Besides the affiliated scientific staff at Aarhus University visiting lectures from abroad will give courses throughout the two-year Master's programme.

The Master’s degree programme in Human Security counts as two years of full-time study (120 ECTS credits).


Read the online pamphlet about the Master's programme

Online lectures on human security (TED Talks)

If you would like to know more about what you can do for the world with a Master’s degree in human security, you can listen to some online lectures on ted.com about how you can help the world.

Listen to Jody Williams talk about World Peace (approximately 11 minutes). Jody Williams has worked in charity and has for many years tried hard to create better conditions and security for people in need. In 1997 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ban land mines.

Johan Rockström talks about how man has increased the pressure on the planet’s sustainability and how we can get help from the environment to protect our planet (approximately 18 minutes). Johan Rockström is a sustainability researcher at Stockholm University.

The disaster in Haiti has been going on for a long time and has cost many lives. Peter Haas talks about why construction work and infrastructure is important for Haiti’s future (approximately 8 minutes). Peter Haas in one of the founders of AIDG – the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group – an organisation that helps communities get access to electricity, better sanitation and clean water.

About this page: Contact The Editorial Team