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: Humanitarian Policy and Practice: From Delivering Aid to Ending Needs

    In the last ten years, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has more than doubled. Continued violent conflicts have displaced millions of people. Tens of million people had to flee their homes due to violent conflicts. The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in 2016 made it clear that the humanitarian system needs no less than a paradigm shift in order to meet the humanitarian challenges the world is facing today. In this semester, students will be introduced to a number of important building blocks for the needed paradigm shift. It aims at equipping students with the knowledge and know-how that future leaders in humanitarian action will need in order to successfully transform the system.
    The semester is organized along three important commitments of the WHS, namely to uphold the norms that safeguard humanity, leave no one behind and a new way of working. The first two modules of the specialization phase will focus on the normative perspective and broaden the knowledge of students on the legal foundations of humanitarian action. This will be complemented with a strong emphasis on the  practical and political opportunities that result from these legal foundations for humanitarian actors and provide students with tools that allows them to plan humanitarian advocacy campaigns or negotiation processes. The third module deals with the paradigm shift that is needed in the ways the humanitarian community is working and deals with three challenges: anticipatory humanitarian assistance, localization of humanitarian assistance and the nexus between humanitarian action, development and peace. The last module, finally, equips the students with know how about project design and programming that includes the most vulnerable and thus leaves no one behind.

    Courses Include: 
    -Advanced Management
    -Methodology and Research Standards in Humanitarian Action
    -Human Rights, Refugee Rights, and Humanitarian Advocacy
    -International Humanitarian in Practice
    -Towards a Paradigm Shift: Innovation in Humanitarian Action
    -Including the Most Vulnerable in Project Design and Programming
  • 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 2019-20 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: 16.09.2019-31.01.2020
    Christmas vacation: 21.12.2019-6.01.2020
    Spring/Summer semester: 01.02.2020-30.06.2020
    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


  • Mareike Meis NOHA Director, NOHA Secretary General
  • Will Jamison Wright NOHA Communications and Administration Manager
  • Prof Dr Pierre Thielbörger NOHA General Assembly Representative
  • Ronja Huesmann NOHA Programme Coordinator
  • Prof Dr Hans-Joachim Heintze Professor
  • Prof Dr Pierre Thielbörger NOHA General Assembly Representative
  • Dr Heike Spieker Dep. Director Int’l Services and Nat’l Relief Division
  • Dr Kristina Roepstorff Visiting Professor
  • Prof Dr Dennis Dijkzeul Lecturer
  • Prof. Dr. Katrin Radtke Lecturer


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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