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Education Bachelor's degree programmes Spatial Planning and Design
Header image Spatial Planning and Design

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 effects 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 spatial planning and design processes? Planners are asked to translate spatial transformations into new opportunities to enhance the quality of life.

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

During the programme, you will work in virtual realities, but also go on excursions to see spatial projects in real life. In addition, there will be opportunities to develop your personal interests via the elective course units. Finally, you complete your Bachelor's degree with a research project. And if you aspire to learn more: excellent students can take part in a more in-depth programme at the Honours College, which has a wider range of topics.

Open day
Interested in learning more? Sign up for the Bachelor's Open Day on Friday 2 February!

Facts & Figures
Degree
BSc in Spatial Planning and Design
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
56194
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
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.

Programme
Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Power of Design (SD) (5 EC)
Urbanism and Planning (SP) (10 EC)
Economic Geography (10 EC)
Statistics 1 (5 EC)
Introduction to Academic Research (5 EC)
Spatial Design Atelier (SD) (10 EC)
Geographic Information Systems (10 EC)
Spatial Design Standards and Conditions (SD) (5 EC)
Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Mobility and Infrastructure Planning (10 EC)
Physical Geography (5 EC)
Urbanism Atelier (SD) (5 EC)
Water and Planning (10 EC)
Governance Dynamics (SP) (5 EC)
Philosophy of Social Sciences (5 EC)
Statistics 2 (5 EC)
Landscapes (5 EC)
Methods for Academic Research (SPD) (5 EC)
Related elective: Global Course or Comparative Urbanism (5 EC)
Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Minor or Optional Modules (30 EC)
Environment and Engineering (5 EC)
Planning Dynamics (5 EC)
Bachelor's Project (15 EC)
Environment and Planning (5 EC)

Curriculum

For more information about the courses in this programme, please visit: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/bachelor/courses-bachelor-spatial-planning-and-design. Confused about the differences between our Bachelors? See an overview here: http://www.rug.nl/frw/education/related/bachelor-programme-differences 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.

The Honours College offers an extra programme (Bachelor 30 ECTS) that is followed in addition to the regular Bachelor'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

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek
  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid
  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij
  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    wiskunde A of wiskunde B

  • HBO propedeuse

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

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Students without English on a VWO level have to take a language test:

  • IELTS International English Language Testing System (Academic version) 6.0, with a minimum score of 6.0 on each section
  • TOEFL: minimum overall score 80 (reading: 18, listening: 18, speaking: 20, writing: 21)
  • Cambridge English C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency

See the international tab if you have an international degree.

A prospective student can always apply for an exemption from the English language test. The student needs to explain, and if required show proof of, why an exemption would be justified. It is up to the Admission Board to decide whether an exemption will be granted or not.

math test

You should have at least Mathematics A. If this is not the case, you will be asked to prove your level of mathematics by obtaining one of the accepted mathematics certificates. List of accepted mathematics tests: https://www.rug.nl/education/application-enrolment-tuition-fees/admission/procedures/application-informatie/with-non-dutch-diploma/entry-requirements/bachelor-entry-requirements/

See the international tab if you have an international degree.

other admission requirements

Should you be interested in taking the Colloquium Doctum (21+) entrance test, please contact the Study Advisor (study.advice.fss rug.nl).

Choice of degree programme check

The degree programme will organize a matching procedure. Attendance is compulsory. The advice is not binding.

  • Prospective students must submit a home assignment.

Explanatory notes

If you want to apply for a bachelor programme, starting in 2022/2023, you have to apply at the latest on 1 May. The law prescribes this. You are then entitled to a so-called matching activity. With such an activity, you can check whether you and the study programme fit well together. Applications after 1 May of students with an international diploma can not be processed. For more information: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/matching

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024

Choice of degree programme check

If you want to apply for a bachelor programme than you have to apply at the latest on 1 May. The law prescribes this. You are then entitled to a so-called matching activity. With such an activity, you can check whether you and the study programme fit well together. For this bachelor, matching is not obligatory. Applications after 1 May of students with an international diploma can not be processed. For more information: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/matching

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test
  • IELTS International English Language Testing System (Academic version) 6.0, with a minimum score of 6.0 on each section
  • TOEFL: minimum overall score 80 (reading: 18, listening: 18, speaking: 20, writing: 21)
  • Cambridge English C1 Advanced / C2 Proficiency

A prospective student can always apply for an exemption from the English language test. The student needs to explain, and if required show proof of, why an exemption would be justified. It is up to the Admission Board to decide whether an exemption will be granted or not.

math test

Mathematics should have been passed as standard/methods level subject (VWO level A) in your secondary school education. If this is not the case, you will be asked to prove your level of mathematics by obtaining one of the accepted mathematics certificates. List of accepted mathematics tests: https://www.rug.nl/education/application-enrolment-tuition-fees/admission/procedures/application-informatie/with-non-dutch-diploma/entry-requirements/bachelor-entry-requirements/

other admission requirements

If you are interested in taking the Colloquium Doctum (21+) entrance test, please contact the Study Advisor (study.advice.fss rug.nl).

Registration procedure

Students with an international diploma have to apply both in Studielink and the university's Progress Portal before 1 May. After you apply for the programme of your choice in Studielink you will receive your login details for Progress. You will need to submit a complete application file in Progress (please see the Admissions website for the required documents) and the Admissions Office will then evaluate your educational background and assess your eligibility for admission.

You can find all relevant information regarding the application and admissions procedures here .

Please contact the Admissions Office if you have any admissions-related questions .

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 11200full-time
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 13100full-time

Scholarships:

Check the StudyInn website for information about scholarships.

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 at the University of Groningen we offer support for your career preparation.

More information about the FSS 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

Research

Research

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.

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

Contact

  • Saskia Enuma, Reinier Schoep, Nienke Harteveld (Study Advisors Faculty of Spatial Sciences)
    Email: study.advice.fss rug.nl

"A highlight of this study are the Fieldworks and Ateliers that will offer you the tools for a great professional skillset afterwards"

As someone who was always fascinated by how people interact and how the built environment has an influence on our behavior and feelings, I decided to study Spatial Planning and Design at the University of Groningen.

In our degree we get many opportunities to deepen our academic knowledge in relevant topics, and at the same time we get a lot of team work experience that portrays the actual working environment of a Spatial Planner. It is a degree that covers not only the planning and designing part but also the history and sociology of it, while being positively challenging without compromising your own creativity.

A highlight of this study are the Fieldworks and Ateliers that will offer you the tools for a great professional skill set afterwards.

- Vanessa Bill

Read more

"SPD teaches practical and academic skills while positively challenging individuals to work in teams as well as individually"

Being fascinated by the built environment, people's interaction with it, and ways to improve and design functional places, I have chosen to study Spatial Planning and Design in Groningen. This degree delves into multiple spheres relevant to today's world, giving students a broad understanding of future career prospects. It teaches practical and academic skills while positively challenging individuals to work in teams as well as individually.

The Netherlands is a great country to explore and learn about the historic evolution of spatial planning. Through multiple fieldwork opportunities offered by the university, students gain hands-on experience in the real world.

- Nina Zrubakova

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"The thing I like most about the programme, is the fact that it is both practical and theoretical."

The thing I like most about the programme, is the fact that it is both practical and theoretical.

I have always been interested in the built environment, the landscape, and how we humans interact with it. I feel like the study Spatial Planning and Design offers a broad view on these topics from different perspectives. During the year, theoretical courses with lectures where you mostly have to do self-study are alternated with practical courses in which you work in group context. An example of these courses are the atelier courses and the fieldworks we go on. By doing these practical courses, you get to see and learn about real life examples of current spatial issues, which is very interesting.

- Mila Kooijman

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

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

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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.

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.

- Zuzana

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Study associations

Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta is the Faculty Association of Spatial Sciences
Becoming a member of Ibn Battuta means you can join the social drinks, foreign trips, lectures and all other activities organized by the Association. At these events you come into contact with students from all years, which is a great way to make friends that can last a lifetime! Ibn Battuta also organizes informative and career-focused activities. Our informative activities, such as lectures, In-Housedays and the Career Day will help you to orient on your future.
https://www.ibnbattuta.nl/
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(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after the 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. A mentor is a senior student who can teach you all the ins and outs of our faculty. The Faculty has three study advisors, who can think along when you experience difficulties when studying, personal issues or when in need of more information about your studies.

You will be able to use our Career Services during your programme. For more information: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/career-services/

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