Human Security is a unique master’s programme and the first of its kind in Europe. In the course of this cross-disciplinary programme, you will achieve a deeper understanding of social and environmental conflicts around the world. These conflicts are multi-dimensional, and we cannot separate the effects of food security from environmental security, economic security from human dignity or from health. Rather than trying to separate them, you will learn how to analyse and intervene in this complex network of interwoven social, economic and political factors. The Master’s programme is directed by the Department of Anthropology and is based at Campus Moesgaard south of Aarhus city.

Challenging conventional understandings of security

In recent years, the concept ’human security’ has become a rallying point for understanding and working with processes of human development in unstable environments that are 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. Thus human security is more than the absence of physical aggression. As a cross-disciplinary development approach, the MA in Human Security addresses not only the various forms of militarised and physical security; it also includes secure access to water, food, land, and education.

Highly qualified lecturers from four departments

On the Master’s programme in Human Security, you will study and collaborate with a highly qualified group of international students. You will absorb expert knowledge and skills from both social and natural scientists who have practical work experience of environmental and development issues around the world.

The four departments involved in the Master’s programme are the Department of Anthropology in the School of Culture and Society, the Department of Bioscience, the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, and the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy. In addition to the affiliated research staff at Aarhus University, visiting lecturers from abroad teach courses throughout the programme.


The MA in Human Security is unique in that the programme takes a holistic approach to development in a changing natural and social world. The competencies developed by the programme are in demand both now and well into the future. The Human Security programme prepares graduates to work in the development sector in national and international NGOs, government development organisations, UN organisations such as UNHCR or UNDP, and development consultancies.

“I was determined to do my master’s outside my home country and had heard a lot of good things about studying in Denmark, Aarhus in particular. The atmosphere between students and professors is simply great, and there is a unique spirit within the group of Human Security students. As a political scientist, I expected a stronger focus on national and international policies, but the anthropological approach of the programme opened up a totally new and different angle to my understanding of environmental challenges. Rather than focusing on theoretical discussions, the studies are fairly hands-on and offer some very useful real-life experiences. The single greatest thing about the programme is that the combination of lectures on different issues from different angles made me feel that the world is open to me regardless of where I want to work.”

Colm Power

MSc in Human Security programme, from Germany


The Department of Anthropology, in which the Human Security programme is based, is among the strongest academic environments in Europe. The department attracts guest researchers, PhD students and students from all over the world. Our teaching is deeply anchored in our research, with particular specialisations within globalisation and development, innovation and design, and medical as well as visual anthropology.

Program taught in:
Aarhus University

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Last updated November 18, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
8,000 EUR
Tuition fee per year; EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: FREE
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