Do you want to know where to build what types of houses to solve the housing crisis? Do you wonder why climate change has different consequences in different regions?
Do you dare to ask critical questions about how different places develop to help remake a better world? Then Human Geography & Planning is the right choice for you!
During this programme, you learn to investigate society in its geographic context. You will learn to explain how and why cities and regions develop differently, and how this relates to where and when these developments take place. For example, why do some regions benefit more from globalisation than others? Or, what are the consequences of population decline for people living in shrinking regions? And, how can you work together with different organisations 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 that we live in today and in the future. The 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.
During the first year you learn academic skills and are introduced to various themes of human geography & planning. 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, broaden your view by taking a minor or doing an internship, or widen your horizon by studying abroad. Finally, you will finish your studies by writing 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.
My studies in Human Geography and Planning (HGP) have equipped me with valuable knowledge and essential skills to fully appreciate and understand the city of Groningen. It has been over a year since I moved here, and I remain captivated by the city's beauty and its remarkable organization. Groningen has become more than just a place to study; it has been a stepping stone for personal growth, and I am proud to call it home.
The courses are meticulously planned by the faculty and its expert professors, providing me with a lens to see beyond the superficial aspects of the city and delve into the complex web of human interactions, sustainable urban design, and the vibrant student culture that makes Groningen a special place—a true 'global village.'
Through my involvement in various projects, I gained a hands-on understanding of what a city should aspire to be and the profound impact of human interactions with the urban environment. The creative freedom granted by the professors is unlike any I have encountered before. That's why I owe this transformative experience to the exceptional programme and the incredible city of Groningen.
- Arkhat Almetayev
Having moved almost every 2-3 years, I often can't help but be captivated and intrigued by people and their intricate narratives. Not only including their cultures, and unique perspectives but the roles they play in their own communities and environments. From then on, It was clearer that my passion was less about engineering and designing individual buildings but observing and facilitating people's everyday geographies through a more multidisciplinary, flexible lens.
To better understand how people breathe life into their contextual environments, integrate it into the urban fabric's plans and policies. Hence, I decided to study this program, because it was parallel to my personal pursuit of playing a part in facilitating socially and environmentally sustainable development through the disciplines of geography and planning.
- Kharisma Pratama
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Arnout de Haan