The programme of the Research Master in Spatial Sciences is intertwined with the Faculty's Research Program, towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation (tWIST). In courses such as Individual Research Training (IRT) and Master Thesis, students participate in ongoing research projects of the senior academic staff, which are all embedded in tWIST.
The research themes Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation are studied in the broad field of geography and spatial planning, which investigates the role which space, place, location and distance, play in our communities and societies. We employ a range of qualitative, quantitative, micro and macro research methodologies to uncover these issues and to help improve wellbeing, to encourage innovation, and to increase our understanding of spatial transformation processes. The research work undertaken in each of the departments within the Faculty is also supported by the use of advanced geographical information systems (GIS). The research themes of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences complement all three of the University of Groningen’s research themes; Healthy Ageing, Sustainable Society and Energy. Major issues tWIST addresses range important societal shifts such as population growth and decline, aging, economic transformation and sustainability transitions are affecting space, health and well-being. These are major issues faced by contemporary society for which the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is uniquely placed to provide coherent policy analysis, design and impact assessment.
The Study Programme consists of different courses in the field of Spatial Sciences, related to the topics in tWIST. The specific courses depend on the individual student’s interests. Students have the opportunity to develop their own educational pathway according to their preferences and motivations.
Students work closely together with our experienced staff members, who carry out excellent research in the four different research clusters within tWIST: 1) Place, Identity & Wellbeing; 2) Population & Wellbeing in Context; 3) Economy & Place; 4) Institutional Innovation & Spatial Transformation. The researchers who participate in the programme are actively working on international and national research projects and bring their experiences to their teaching.