Do you wonder why climate change has different consequences in different regions? Do you want to know where to build what types of houses to solve the housing crisis?
Do you dare to ask critical questions about how different places develop to help remake a better world? Then Human Geography & Planning may be the right choice for you.
During this programme, you learn to investigate society in its spatial context. You will learn to explain regional and local differences in societal developments in relation to the place and time in which they occur. For example, why do some regions benefit more from globalisation than others? Or, what are the consequences of population decline for those that remain living in shrinking regions? And, how can you work together with different institutions to plan and build suitable residential areas? You will learn to answer such questions and use this knowledge to create new ideas and develop the places we live today and in the future. This programme covers a wide variety of topics, including urban development, globalisation and labour markets, migration, and urban and regional planning. Geographers and planners combine these topics with a spatial perspective to make the world we live in a better place; making places better together.
The first year introduces you to the various themes of human geography & planning, and academic skills. During the second year, you deepen your knowledge about spatial developments and improve your skills to answer spatial questions. In the third year, you can specialise by following extra faculty courses, broadening your view by taking a minor or doing an internship, or widening your horizon by studying abroad. Finally, to finish your studies, you will write a bachelor’s thesis where you combine your knowledge and skills to become a human geographer or planner ready to make a positive contribution to the world around you.
The internship has been a real addition to my education
In your third year you have the possibility to take the elective 'Internship' (10 EC). The internship I did at the city of Westerveld at the department of Spatial Planning has been a real addition to my education.
It has given me the experience in the work field I needed to better understand, in combination with the theories learned, the design of the space surrounding us. Professionally speaking the internship has given me a network that I can use in the future when I graduate. The internship has helped me to develop myself personally as well. Working in a team has taught me that I really do already know a lot about everything involving their work. It has made me more confident and given me the believe that I will make it in an organisation like the city of Westerveld. I also found out exactly which master programme I am going to do and I have a better idea of what my future will be in this work field. In short, the internship had taught me things that you can't learn in class. I recommend everyone to step out of the classroom and find out what the future might hold by doing an internship.
You learn to view issues from all possible angles
The Bachelor's programme in Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning teaches you about people and how they view the world.
When I watch the news, I can relate most of the items to something I have learned during the programme. Whether it is about economics, politics or natural disasters; you know how it affects people and their environment. During the programme, you learn to view issues from all possible angles, and to find different solutions to one problem by discussing the situation and listening to the input of others. During a recent discussion on redesigning the Grote Markt, I proposed a very technical solution, a classmate pointed out that I had overlooked the elderly and less mobile people, then added her suggestions on how to include those in my idea. It is this kind of dynamic that makes our field unique.
After completing the Bachelor’s programme, I will apply for the Master in Urban Strategies and Design at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. I would like to work in real estate re-development. Finding new use for, and/or improving, vacant buildings and land in such a way that it benefits the community.
It is really interesting because it covers so many subjects
I initially chose to study European Languages and Cultures, but that wasn't the programme for me. I really liked Groningen and wanted to stay here, so I looked for a programme at this university that suited me better.
The Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning is really interesting because it covers so many subjects. If you like geography, but are not sure what you want to do with it, this is a good option.
I joined the faculty association Ibn Battuta in my first year and am active in several committees within the association, which is a lot of fun! I am also a member of the education committee of my programme. It can be a lot of work to juggle the committees, studying and my job, but if you keep up with your reading and assignments, it is definitely doable to join things like committees. They are a lot of fun and you get to know a lot of people. It also helps you to learn new skills.
Learning Communities: visit to the North/South subway line in Amsterdam
First year bachelor student Arnout de Haan about the first
Learning Community activity.
For our first Learning Community activity of the year we visited the North/South subway line in Amsterdam.
A former project manager showed a short film about the plans for the North/South line and how this new subway should be realized. The beginning of the presentation showed that many economic and technical setbacks were faced during this project. All these setbacks have led to the planned opening of the North South line in 2018 (10 years later than initially planned!). After the film and presentation we went on site to take a look at the infrastructure project. We all got a helmet, a pair of boots and a jacket on for safety. After this we were shown a part of the subway line which still was still under construction. After the tour we got the opportunity to ask some questions and we made a nice group photo. As first year students this was a fun way to learn something relevant to our study programme and got an first impression about where we might end up later in the work field.
Read more about the Learning Communities at Spatial Sciences.
Moving to the Netherlands was easier than I thought
My name is Zuzana, I am 20 years old and I come from Slovakia. I chose the University of Groningen because the city has a large international student population, which is always an advantage for someone coming from abroad. Most people here speak English, which is accommodating for internationals. Moving to the Netherlands was easier than I thought. I was able to get a room in one of the student accommodations where I share a building with people from all around the world. It is an amazing experience because I am exposed to many different cultures and manners. As daunting as it sounds, I feel at home now.
During these corona times, the opportunity to get to know each other is even greater, as we spend more time at home. The university offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and associations where I was able to meet new people and make friends. The faculty's student association organizes many events that create a welcoming environment for first-year students and unforgettable experiences. Groningen offers a diverse range of facilities that are student-friendly such as cheap sport centre memberships, lively bars and wild nightlife. From an academic perspective, Groningen has a variety of modern and comfortable study places like the Forum, University Library and many study cafés. No matter what type of student you are, you can certainly find your new home here.