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Spatial Planning and Design

If you have a special interest in the living environment, and you aspire to combine analytical thinking with creative design, then Spatial Planning and Design is the field for you.

What effect will climate change have on our future cities and rural areas? How can you develop sustainable strategies and designs for new and existing urban systems? How do you deal with a complex built environment and related planning processes? Planners are asked to translate these kind of spatial transformations into new opportunities to enhance quality of life.

The Bachelor's degree programme in Spatial Planning and Design (in Dutch: Technische planologie) revolves around physical and institutional design. The course units are related to spatial planning and design, water management, infrastructure and environmental planning, spatial computer programs, complex decision-making and academic research.

You will work in virtual realities, but also go on excursions to see spatial projects in real life. There will be an opportunity to develop your personal interests via elective course units. You complete your Bachelor's degree with a research project. Excellent students can take part in a more in-depth programme at the Honours College, which has a wider range of topics.

Facts & Figures
BSc in Spatial Planning and Design
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Spatial Sciences
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?

The Bachelor's degree programme in Spatial Planning and Design is unique within the Netherlands. It covers a wide range of topics and gives students the opportunity to explore their own fields of interest within physical and institutional design. This degree programme gives you the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned and highly trained teachers.

Power of Design (SD1) (5 EC)
Urbanism and Planning (SP1) (10 EC)
Economic Geography (10 EC)
Statistics 1 (5 EC)
Geographic Information Systems (10 EC)
Introduction to Academic Research (5 EC)
Spatial Design Atelier (SD3) (10 EC)
Spatial Design Standards and Conditions (SD2) (5 EC)
Mobility and Infrastructure Planning (10 EC)
Physical Geography (5 EC)
Urbanism Atelier (SD4) (5 EC)
Water and Planning (10 EC)
Governance Dynamics (SP2) (10 EC)
Statistics 2 (5 EC)
Global Course or Comparative Urbanism (related elective) (5 EC)
Landscapes (5 EC)
Methods for Academic Research (SPD) (5 EC)
Minor or Optional Modules (30 EC)
Environment and Engineering (5 EC)
Philosophy of Social Sciences (5 EC)
Bachelor's Project (15 EC)
Environment and Planning (5 EC)


For more information about the courses in this programme, please visit: In Dutch the programme is called Technische Planologie. You can also contact our Student Ambassadors for more information:

Programme options
University of Groningen Honours College (specialization)

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

The 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

Every year dozens students of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences go on exchange with a foreign university to take electives and/or write their thesis. The faculty has exchange arrangements with universities in Europe, New-Zealand and the USA.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde A of wiskunde B

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

    You only have access with a HBO-propedeuse (with HAVO) when you have mathematics A and English on a VWO level. Please contact the study advisor (

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 Technische 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 students with an international degree and students without a Dutch VWO diploma:

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

For students with a Dutch degree: you should have at least mathematics A (Wiskunde A). For students with an international degree: Mathematics should have been passed as standard/methods level subject (VWO level A) in your secondary school education. See more information here:

previous education

Students with a Dutch VWO diploma should have a VWO diploma with at least mathematics A (Wiskunde A) and English. Students without a VWO diploma should have a HBO diploma with mathematics A and English on a VWO level. Students with an international diploma should have an international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (vwo) degree. Mathematics should have been passed as standard/methods level subject (VWO level A) in your secondary school education. See more information here: Contact the Admissions Office when you have questions (

other admission requirements

When you want to take a Colloquium Doctum (a 21+ test), please contact the Study Advisor (

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6
TOEFL internet based80

Registration procedure

Dutch students Let op: selecteer bij registratie in studielink 'Bachelor Technische 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

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

The degree programme's interdisciplinary curriculum offers students the opportunity to work in different fields in practice or research. The Netherlands is an international leader on planning topics such as water management and sustainable mobility, and an established expert thanks to its long-standing planning history.

The degree programme offers knowledge that is both locally embedded and globally relevant. Graduates of this degree programme are highly qualified for both the national and the international labour market. During the programme we offer support for your career preparation. The Career Services are provided by the Careers Company and the RUG Career Services.

More information about the Careers Company:

More information about the RUG Career Services:

Job examples

  • Policy advisor or policymaker in the public sector

    In spatial planning, environmental planning, mobility and transportation, water management, or design

  • Consultant

    For large or small consultancy agencies: GIS, spatial planning or engineering companies.

  • Project developer

    For real estate companies

  • Postgraduate researcher or teacher

    At spatial academic planning institutes



Spatial Planning and Design 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. 

Prominent Researchers

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information
Bachelor's Open DayBroerstraat 5More information


If you want to know more about the programme Spatial Planning and Design, please contact:

  • Watch this videoClose
						Testimonial of Joep  Nijenhuis

    Spatial Planning and Design: The perfect combination of social aspects and engineering

    – Joep Nijenhuis
    Read more

    In the last years of secondary school, I made a list of my favourite subjects and I did some research to see which Bachelor's degree programmes most closely matched these subjects.

    This led me to the programme in Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning, but this was too focused on social aspects for my taste. The degree programme in Civil Engineering, on the other hand, involved too much engineering. When I stumbled on the Bachelor’s degree programme in Spatial Planning and Design I knew that this was the perfect combination I had been looking for. The orientation day confirmed my first impression. I looked into similar programmes at other Dutch universities, but the SPaD curriculum appealed to me most. Groningen is a great city and I’m really happy with my choice of degree programme! 

						Testimonial of Foekje van Schoot

    Working with real-life situations

    – Foekje van Schoot
    Read more

    What I like about Spatial Planning and Design is that you work with real-life situations.

    In the course unit on Planning & Water we were asked to come up with solutions to reduce the risk of flooding after a heavy rain period in a Groningen district. We visited the area to analyse the situation. We also studied flood risk maps and combined this information with our findings to determine which streets were in need of water management. Many factors play a role in finding a solution to this kind of problem: infrastructure, stakeholders and residents. You have to take all of these into consideration. We presented our plans to members of the municipality of Groningen. Talking to people actually working on cases like these and hearing their feedback can really help to hone your skills. 

    I applied for five degree programmes at various universities, but in the end I chose Spatial Planning and Design because it is unique in the Netherlands. Groningen is a great city. It is small, but it has everything you need. I love living here.

						Testimonial of Marijke Rommelse

    Involvement in study-related committees is a great opportunity

    – Marijke Rommelse
    Read more

    There are lots of opportunities for doing activities related to your degree programme.

    In my first year, I was a member of the ‘first-year committee’ of Faculty association Ibn Battuta. I organized parties and excursions together with nine other first-year students and a member of the board. It’s a great way to meet new people, and I am still close to some of the committee members. I am now a member of the Student Advisory Council, where students get a chance to use their knowledge of urban planning. It’s really interesting to put what you have learned into practice and to meet people who work in the field.

    I was a member of the Spatial Planning and Design programme committee (OC), where students and lecturers discuss the quality of lectures and examinations, and I am part of the team that promotes the degree programme during open days. I think getting involved in study-related committees and jobs is a great opportunity to learn more about all the things are going on around the degree programme.

						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.

(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.

You will be able to use our Career Services during your programme. For more information:

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