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.
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.
I like the combination of theoretical and practical courses
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
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.
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.