Ruhr-Universität Bochum / RUB

Founded in 1962

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum was prominent from its beginning: as the first new university to be founded in Germany after the war; and as the first university to integrate engineering on a single campus. Today this innovative characteristic is represented by the introduction of Bachelor and Master degree programmes - there is no other university in Germany that is as advanced in implementing the Bologna Process. The Ruhr-Universität exudes excellence in research and diversity in its international contacts.

The Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Institut für Friedenssicherungsrecht und Humanitäres Völkerrecht, IFHV) was established in 1988 by decision of the university senate as a central research unit of the university. The IFHV carries out research and teaching from an inter-disciplinary perspective. Based on its strong international humanitarian law tradition, the IFHV is the only institute in Germany, and one of very few in Europe and the world, which is dedicated to the discipline of humanitarian studies. The IFHV combines its strong emphasis on international humanitarian law, the law of peace and human rights law with sociological and political perspectives on humanitarian crises, actors and activities.


  • First semester

    The semester is composed of an inter-university joint course that brings together all NOHA students and a set of common courses which provide a space to debate the essentials of humanitarian action and its current trends.

    Intensive Programme
    RUB: Humanitarian Action in World Politics
    RUB: International Law
    RUB: Medicine and Public Health in Humanitarian Action
    RUB: Management
    RUB: Anthropology in Humanitarian Action
  • Second semester

    Thematic specialisation: Law & Leadership in Humanitarian Action
    The second semester specialization phase at Ruhr University Bochum focuses on the specific challenges that humanitarians face due to the fact that, very often, they work in contexts of violence and armed conflict. It seeks to further develop students understanding of the legal framework conditions shaping humanitarian work in these settings, focusing particularly on issues of protection, military engagement and justice. In addition, specific management challenges will be dealt with in detail. On the basis of a rather theoretically oriented advanced management module, students will get the opportunity to design their own projects in the course of a practical exercise, supervised by experienced practitioners. The final module will focus on the important issue of communication, negotiation and leadership and will take into account different counterparts, for example non-state armed actors, the media and governments in donor countries. The semester finishes with a simulation exercise that allows students to apply their knowledge.

    Courses Include: 
    -Advanced Management
    -Methodology and Research Standards in Humanitarian Action
    -Institutions - Law and Politics  
    -Project Design and Programming
    -Legal Practice and Advocacy
  • Third semester

    The university does not offer courses in the third semester. Students pursue a research track at one of the partner universities or a professional placement in a humanitarian organisation.
  • Fourth semester

    The semester aims to prepare students to select and analyse research material, confront new problems in their multifaceted dimensions, understand reality and elaborate innovative solutions.
    Master Thesis >

Useful info

  • Studying in Bochum

    At the centre of Germany’s industrial heartland, Bochum may not be known for its beautiful buildings and landscapes. Get beyond the initial rough edges and there is a world of culture to be explored in Bochum and the rest of the Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr area). Bochum, a city of over 350.000, offers several theatres (one with free tickets for RUB students), museums, and parks.  But catch Bochum on a bad day and your 10 minutes by train from the larger cities of Essen and Dortmund, not to mention a half-an-hour ride from the state capital Düsseldorf and about an hour from Cologne.
    During the semester, Bochum is teaming with students. There were over 40.000 students registered in the winter semester for 2015-16 with more than 5.000 international students. While the IFHV is located right next to the main train station in the city centre, it’s a quick 15 minute tram ride to the main campus, which houses the cafeteria, a movie theatre, and the main library. 
  • Academic calendar

    Fall/Winter semester: 26.09.2016-25.01.2017
    Christmas vacation: 22.12.2016-8.01.2017
    Spring/Summer semester: 06.02.2017-15.06.2017
    Easter vacation: TBC
  • Accommodation

    The IFHV itself is not able provide accommodation. Prospective students at RUB are requested to make use of the central registration via the University organisation AKAFOE (
    Exchange students (SOKRATES/ERASMUS MUNDUS) can also reserve accommodation beforehand. The housing department of the international office offers a reservation service for rooms in various student residences.
    Prices for the monthly rent are between €150 to €250 and higher. For formalities such as contracts, deposits and questions related to accommodation, students should contact the housing office of RUB. The International Office will arrange accommodation for exchange students. This guarantees to students a flexible and quick service. The owner of the student houses is the “Akademisches Förderungswerk” (AKAFÖ). Students will find a detailed description of the different houses and rooms on their website.
    Students may apply and register online for accommodation on the following websites: and:
    The homepages also provide information with regards to contact persons (tutors) and relevant contact addresses.
    There are other websites where you can look for private housing such as single apartments or sharing an apartment:
    • (Bochum)
    Nonetheless, students who have difficulties in finding an accommodation will get assistance by the personnel of the International Office and the IFHV.
    More information.
  • Living costs

    About €250 will cover regular needs during the first days after arrival, not including rental of accommodation. A regular month’s expense accounts to approximately €650 per month (including rent).
  • Language courses

    Many NOHA students at the Ruhr-University choose to sign up for language courses through the university, though these do not follow the same semester dates as the NOHA programme. In the past students have used these course to perfect their German for living in Bochum, touch up on their Spanish or French before their second semester mobility programmes, or start studying languages they want to use in the field.
    More information.
  • Useful links


  • Prof Dr Hans-Joachim Heintze NOHA Director
  • Will Wright NOHA Coordinator
  • Prof Dr Pierre Thielbörger NOHA General Assembly Representative
  • Laura Hofmann PhD Researcher
  • Katharina Behmer NOHA Academic Coordinator
  • Stefanie Weber Administration
  • Charlotte Luelf Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Prof Dr Hans-Joachim Heintze NOHA Director
  • Prof Dr Pierre Thielbörger NOHA General Assembly Representative
  • Laura Hofmann PhD Researcher
  • Katharina Behmer NOHA Academic Coordinator
  • Dr Heike Spieker Dep. Director Int’l Services and Nat’l Relief Division
  • Dr Kirstin Scholten Assistant Professor Operations Management
  • Dr Markus Moke Head of Projects, Quality Assurance and Training
  • Dr Kristina Roepstorff Visiting Professor
  • Dr Gisela Hirschmann NOHA Lecturer
  • Dr. med., MPH Klemens Ochel Visiting Professor


Ruhr-Universität Bochum / RUB

Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV)
Bochumer Fenster, 4th floor
Massenbergstraße 9 B
44787 Bochum

+49 234 3221658

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Last updated: 14 July 2017

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