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Everything you need to know about MSc Economic Geography: Sustainable Rural Futures

Date:15 March 2024
Author:Guest blogger
Kirsten talks about what it's like to be the first student in Sustainable Rural Futures!
Kirsten talks about what it's like to be the first student in Sustainable Rural Futures!

Kirsten is the first (and so far only) student in Sustainable Rural Futures , a new programme that officially has not even started yet!

Kirsten: “I grew up in the countryside and geography was one of my favourite subjects in school. When I finished my bachelor’s degree in Human Geography and Planning in February, I couldn’t find a master’s programme that really suited my interests. Most master’s programmes at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences and at other universities in the Netherlands have a focus on cities, I wanted to focus on rural areas. 

During my bachelor’s, the lectures about rural areas interested me the most and I wrote my thesis about the Dutch agricultural transition. During this process, I spoke to Prof. Tialda Haartsen, who was my thesis supervisor, about the new Sustainable Rural Futures programme that is starting in September 2024. I was immediately interested when I heard about this programme, but I didn’t want to wait another six months to continue my studies. 

With the help from prof. Haartsen, and the Faculty’s study advisors and course coordinators of the master’s programme, I was able to start in February. Sustainable Rural Futures is a track in the Economic Geography master’s, which offers February intake. Because the track does not exist yet, I do the programme backwards. I have started with my master’s thesis and follow courses of the Economic Geography master’s. After the summer, the Sustainable Rural Futures track officially starts and I will be able to take those courses as well and complete my degree in February 2025.

For my master’s thesis, I will research farmer’s motivation for diversification of their business into agritourism. Why do they or do they not choose to diversify? How do these farmers deal with the many rules and policies? Next to writing my thesis, I am taking a course in statistics and one about regional labour markets this semester. I like to approach things from a local perspective, not from a city point of view, and learn about the effects on small markets. 

I don’t know yet what I want to do after I finish my master’s programme. Geography is a very broad subject and I will have learned skills that fit many types of jobs at many different companies. I do know that I want to stay in the countryside and not move to a big city or the Randstad. 

If you like to approach geography from an economic perspective, with a specialisation in rural areas and sustainability, and are looking for a one year master’s programme, then Sustainable Rural Futures is definitely worth checking out.”

About the author

Guest blogger
Guest blogger

Sometimes, we invite students and staff members to contribute to our blog page. This is one of those occasions. :)


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