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Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning

Are you interested in the world around you? Are you fascinated by maps? Do you dare to ask critical questions about the world that you are living in?

Do you believe you can help to further develop our world into a sustainable society? Then Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning (in Dutch: Sociale Geografie en Planologie) may be the right choice for you.

Why is unemployment higher in some regions than others? What are the social and economic consequences in depopulating areas? How do you deal with different institutions to plan and build new residential areas? Human geographers investigate society in a spatial context. Our students learn to focus on spatial differences because social phenomena happen in specific places, at specific times and with specific impacts. The bachelor degree programme consist of four learning tracks; 'Spatial Design'. 'Spatial Planning', 'Water, infrastructure and Environment' and 'Research'. In the first year you will be introduced to all themes within the fields of Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning. In the second year, the programme continues to deepen your knowledge and improve your skills. In the third year you are allowed to partly fill in your own programme. You can follow courses provided by our faculty but you can also take a Minor or do an internship in a related field. There are also possibilities to visit an international university and follow related courses. Finally, you will write your Bachelor's thesis to prove that you acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to become a human geographer and/or urban and regional planner.

Facts & Figures
Degree
BSc in Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
56838
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Spatial Sciences
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?

If you want to study Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning, Groningen is the perfect choice. The strength of the programme lies in its combination of five fields: Economic Geography, Real Estate Studies, Population Studies, Cultural Geography and Planning. There is an open atmosphere and it is easy to contact other students and lecturers.

Programme
Periods
Courses1234
Reflecting on Human Geography and Spatial Planning (5 EC)
Urbanism and Planning (Spatial Planning 1) (10 EC)
Economic Geography (10 EC)
Statistics 1 (5 EC)
Geographic Information Systems (10 EC)
Introduction to Academic Research (5 EC)
Population Geographies (10 EC)
Rural-Urban Relations (5 EC)
Periods
Courses1234
Migration and Development (10 EC)
Physical Geography (5 EC)
People, Place and Culture (10 EC)
Related Elective: Healthy Ageing, Geographies of the United States, Population and Development or Real Estate Principles (5 EC)
Governance Dynamics (10 EC)
Statistics 2 (5 EC)
Landscapes (5 EC)
Methods of Academic Research (HGP) (10 EC)
Periods
Courses1234
Minor or Optional Modules (30 EC)
Geography, Planning and the European Union (5 EC)
Philosophy of Social Science (5 EC)
Bachelor's Project (15 EC)
Fieldwork Abroad (5 EC)

Curriculum

For more information about the courses in this programme, please visit: http://www.rug.nl/frw/education/bachelor/. In Dutch the programme is called Sociale Geografie en Planologie. You can also contact our Student Ambassadors for more information: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/student-ambassadors/student-ambassadors-fss

Programme options
University of Groningen Honours College (specialization)

The Honours College gives talented, motivated students the opportunity to challenge themselves even more.

Honours College offers an extra programme (Bachelor 45 ECTS - Master 15 ECTS) that is followed in addition to the regular Bachelor's or Master's degree programme. You can participate without paying extra tuition fees. The main aim of the Honours programme is to develop talent and initiative!

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • For an average of 15 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC
Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij
  • Economie & Maatschappij
  • Natuur & Gezondheid
  • Natuur & Techniek
  • HBO propedeuse

    You only have access with a HBO-propedeuse (with HAVO) when you have mathematics C and English on a VWO level. Please contact the study advisor (study.advice.fss@rug.nl).

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

For students with an international diploma or an HBO diploma:

  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders from United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.
math test

Students should have a Dutch VWO diploma with Mathematics C, if not students should have an HBO diploma with English on a VWO level or international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (vwo) degree with Mathematics C. See more information here about the equivalents: http://www.rug.nl/education/international-students/application-procedure/entry-requirements/vwo-equivalent-qualifications

previous education

Students should have a Dutch VWO diploma with Mathematics C and English, if not students should have an HBO diploma with English on a VWO level or international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (vwo) degree with Mathematics C. See more information here: http://www.rug.nl/education/international-students/application-procedure/entry-requirements/vwo-equivalent-qualifications Contact the Admissions Office when you have questions (admission@rug.nl).

other admission requirements

When you want to take a Colloquium Doctum (a 21+ test), please contact the Study Advisor (study.advice.fss@rug.nl).

Choice of degree programme check

Students who apply before 1 May can ask the faculty for a matching assignment, but this is not obligatory. Students who apply after May 1st are obliged to do a matching assignment in order to get admitted to the programme. Application after 1 May is only possible for students with a Dutch diploma.

Registration procedure

Dutch students let op: selecteer bij registratie in studielink 'Bachelor Sociale geografie en planologie'

Choice of degree programme check

Students who apply before 1 May can ask the faculty for a matching assignment, but this is not obligatory. Students who apply after May 1st are obliged to do a matching assignment in order to get admitted to the programme. Application after 1 May is only possible for students with a Dutch diploma.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Only for international students:

  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders from United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.
math test

Students should have a Dutch VWO diploma with Mathematics C, if not students should have an HBO diploma with English on a VWO level or international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (vwo) degree with Mathematics C. See more information here about the equivalents: http://www.rug.nl/education/international-students/application-procedure/entry-requirements/vwo-equivalent-qualifications

previous education

Students should have a Dutch VWO diploma with Mathematics C and English, if not students should have an international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (VWO) degree. See more information here: httpd://www.rug.nl/education/international-students/application-procedure/entry-requirements/vwo-equivalent-qualifications Please contact the Admissions Office when you have questions (admission@rug.nl).

other admission requirements

When you want to take a Colloquium Doctum (a 21+ test), please contact the Study Advisor (study.advice.fss@rug.nl).

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6
TOEFL internet based80

Registration procedure

Dutch students Let op: selecteer bij registratie in studielink 'Bachelor Sociale geografie en planologie'

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 8900full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

https://www.rug.nl/education/tuition-fees-halved

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Graduates with a Bachelor's degree in Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning often decide to pursue a Master's degree in a related field. Our Master's degrees grant you access to careers in business, government and research.

Suitable jobs can be found in the world of local planning and government agencies, academic and non-academic research institutes, international organizations (or NGOs), advisory/consultancy agencies and elsewhere. For example, we have alumni working for housing associations where they investigate which types of housing should be built in new residential areas given the prospected residents. During the programme we offer support for your career preparation. The Career Services are provided by the Careers Company and the UG Career Services.

More information about the Careers Company
More information about the UG Career Services

Job examples

  • Advisor spatial planning at a consultancy firm
  • Project manager at a local government agency
  • High school geography teacher
Research

Research

Human Geography and Urban & Regional Planning is based on research. Not only are you educated to become a researcher, lecturers also use their own research and others to keep the education as recent and relevant as possible. The education you receive is therefore partly based on the research being done at the faculty right now!

The research at the faculty consists of several themes that are summarized in the research programme: tWIST - towards Well-being, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. You will see these themes in your education. 

Finding out new insights in research is not enough however, that is why we teach you to do research on your own in courses such as GIS, where you learn to use maps in the analysis and presentation of spatial information. You also do fieldwork every year.

Prominent researchers

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Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning, please contact:

  • 
						Testimonial of

    You learn to view issues from all possible angles

    Read more

    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.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Nienke Mud

    It is really interesting because it covers so many subjects

    – Nienke Mud
    Read more

    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.

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  • 
						Testimonial of Manus Schlooz

    I like the combination of theoretical and practical courses

    – Manus Schlooz
    Read more

    Before coming to Groningen I studied Communication and Media in Rotterdam. I finished my first year, but didn't feel at home in the city or the programme.

    While looking through study options, I found the Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning. I liked history in high school, but geography would give me better career options. I talked to the study advisor and to students already in the programme and decided to go for it. I really like the combination of theoretical and practical courses. Right from the start of the first year you learn how to use what you have learned from your books in the field. Groningen is a great city! I have made a lot of new friends here

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  • 
						Testimonial of

    The internship has been a real addition to my education

    Read more

    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.  

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of

    Learning Communities: visit to the North/South subway line in Amsterdam

    Read more

    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.

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Study associations

Ibn Battuta

Faculty Association of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences from the University of Groningen
https://www.ibnbattuta.nl/
Read more
(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned more than 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative result, you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system. N.B. Some degree programmes use a tutoring system; please check with your study advisor.

Study support

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences takes a small-scale approach and we help our students to learn how to work independently. You will be assigned to a mentor group together with other first-year students whom you will get to know very well. Your mentor is a senior student who can teach you all the ins and outs of our faculty. You will also be assigned a tutor with whom you can discuss your study progress.

Related master's programmes