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Courses bachelor Human Geography & 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 may be the right choice for you!

> Bachelor Human Geography & Planning


What will you learn?

The programme of the Bachelor Human Geography & Planning (HGP) consists of the following courses in 2017/2018. Click on the course title to go to the full course description, information about lecturers, literature and time period. All courses will be taught in English and all literature will be in English starting from 2017-2018. In the Dutch Studielink you apply for Sociale Geografie en Planologie.

Year 1

Reflecting on Human Geography and Spatial Planning (5EC)

‘Reflecting on Human Geography and Spatial Planning’ is an introductory course wherein the student becomes acquainted with Human Geography & Planning as an (applied) science. Central to this course is to inspire the student to develop and adapt an investigating, academic attitude and approach.

Coördinator: dr. Sander van Lanen

Urbanism and Planning (10EC)

In this course students learn more about the historical development of the Dutch Landscape. Students will also go into the latest thinking in key disciplinary areas, such as Urban History, City and Urban Planning, Planning History, Urban Sociology and Urban Studies. Students will learn to understand the evolution of urban governance and planning interventions.

Coördinator: Martin Boisen MSc

Economic Geography (10EC)

The central theme in the course is the connection between (classic) economic-geography theory and actual economic-geographical developments. Can we (better) understand and describe the actual developments with the use of theory?
This course incorporates a thorough introduction in the field of Economic Geography.

Coördinator: dr. Sierdjan Koster

Statistics 1 (5EC)

This course provides students with the skills to correctly select, apply and interpret a variety of descriptive and univariate statistical techniques.

Coördinator: dr. Viktor Venhorst

Geographic Information Systems (10EC)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are designed to collect, analyze and display spatial data to solve spatial problems. Central in this course is the ability to address geo-spatial questions with GIS in a research context.

Coördinator: dr. ir. Gerd Weitkamp

Introduction to Academic Research (5EC)

The course teaches students what social-spatial scientific research means, what a research process looks like and how academic writing is done. ‘Introduction into Academic Research’ is one of the courses within the Research learning programme of the Bachelor programmes of Spatial Sciences. The course is an introduction on the conducting scientific, spatial research and prepares the students for the courses ‘Methods in Scientific Research’ (MWO – year 2) and the Bachelor thesis (year 3).

Coördinator: dr. Sander van Lanen

Population Geographies (10EC)

This course deals with population trends, demographic behavior and their inseparable link with place and culture. Socio-spatial questions mainly in the Netherlands and Europe will be studied, but in the context of localization, globalization and (post)modernization.

Coördinator: dr. Peter Groote

Rural-Urban Relations (5EC)

The rural and the urban are strongly intertwined. In this course we focus on the various relations, both physically and in representations, between the rural and the urban. Themes that wil be discussed are the gradual shift of the rural areas from areas of production areas of consumption, economic development, changing images of the rural, liveability, demographic changes incl. migration patterns, use aspects (production, ecology, residential), and developments in policies.

Coördinator: prof. dr. Tianda Haartsen


Year 2

Physical Geography (5EC)

The lectures will provide a thematic introduction to physical geographic subjects. A number of themes will be dealt with, such as climate (change), geology, soil science, hydrology, coastal zone processes, ecology and environmental issues. These topics will be linked to current environmental problems and there will also be a focus on the relationship between the physical condition of the earth and human use of the earth.

Coördinator: ir. Bernadette Bouwmans

Methods for Academic Research HGP (10EC)

This course fits within the Research learning pathway. It follows on from Introduction to Scientific Research (year 1) and prepares you for the Bachelor’s project (year 3). A unifying factor of these courses is the book ‘Key Methods in Geography’.

Coördinator: Unknown

Governance Dynamics (5EC)

This course unit builds on the basic general knowledge of spatial planning and geography gained in the first-year courses of the BSc in Spatial Planning and Design. It examines the fundamentals of planning and policy systems, with a particular emphasis on policy for the daily environment. Planning and policy are not viewed as straightforward procedures involving interventions in the physical environment. Instead, the course looks at the totality of social, administrative, political and spatial planning processes that determine how planning and policy are constantly subject to change over time and are dependent on the issue, project or process to which they are deemed to apply.

Coördinator: prof. Gert de Roo

Statistics 2 (5EC)

This course provides students with the skills to correctly select, apply and interpret a variety of multivariate statistical techniques. Content-wise, this course builds on Statistics 1.

Coördinator: dr. Viktor Venhorst

Landscapes (5EC)

In several lectures, day-long practicals, students will work with physical geographic information sources, like thematic maps, soil monoliths, spatial digital datasets, background literature and field data. During an external field work week (Drenthe), small groups of students will investigate the physical geographic condition and land use of a Dutch rural area, which acts as a case study on the relationship between cultural history and current use of the landscape.

Coördinator: dr.ir. Erik Meijles

People, Place and Culture (10EC)

In this course, students will be introduced to important concepts in the field of cultural geography and related fields such as human geography, sociology and anthropology. The relation between people, places and cultures will be discussed extensively.

Coördinator: dr. Koen Salemink

Migration and Development (10 EC)

This course is dedicated to the mutual relationship between migration and the economic and social development of people and places. It offers theories to understand why people migrate and the outcomes of migration. At the same time, theories that highlight the role of human capital and migration in regional development are explored. In addition, the course aims at providing the latest research and trends about migration flows within and between countries as well as the changing economic and social framework in which migration takes place.

Coordinator: prof. dr. Clara Mulder

Philosophy of Social Science (5EC)

This course consists of two themes aimed at helping students better understand the assumptions all researchers make in designing and carrying out a research study. The first theme focuses on the philosophy of the social sciences, will be mainly taught by Dr. Menno Rol, a Professor of Philosophy. The second theme focuses on the research cycle, and will mainly be taught by Dr. Christina Prell, a Professor of Cultural Geography. In structuring this course, deliberate attention was given to have an interplay between these two themes, in order to help students to arrive at a deeper understanding of the assumptions underlying decisions made in the research act, and in the process, to also give students more practical skills in designing elements of their own research study.

Coordinator: dr. Menno Rol

Related Elective (5EC)

You can choose one course out of these four courses:

Healthy Ageing (5EC)

Healthy ageing is a hot topic with great societal relevance. This course introduces the concept of healthy ageing from a socio-demographic perspective. The demographic perspective reveals causes and consequences of ageing in the society and their relationship with health. The social perspective reveals the importance of social factors in older people’s ageing (in place), health and wellbeing.

Coördinator: dr. Tobias Vogt

Population and Development (5EC)

The course introduces students to the main demographic factors (e.g. fertility, mortality, migration) and the ways in which their relationships with development can be explored. The prevailing theoretical frameworks in demography and development studies and their applicability in the 21st century are discussed.

Coördinator: dr. Billie de Haas

Geographies of the United States (5EC)

In this course students will be working themselves on their understanding of social-spatial developments on the North-American subcontinent. The first part of the course consists of short student presentations on the basics of the geographies of North-America, based on the obligatory literature.

Coördinator: dr. Peter Groote

Real Estate Principles (5EC)

What is real estate? What are stylized facts? How to understand the importance of location in development and investment? This course gives an introduction to real estate markets from a geography and urban economics perspective. We will discuss developments in real estate (housing) markets, discussing principles and anomalies.

Coördinator: dr. Michiel Daams


Year 3

Bachelor's Project (15EC)

The Bachelor’s Project constitutes the final component of the bachelor Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning. You will put into practice everything you have learned during the programme. This is an individual project. The coordinator provides a theme and the student can choose a subtheme.

Coordinators: dr. Koen Salemink, dr. Stefan Verweij

Geography, Planning and the European Union (5EC)

This course aims to provide a solid and extensive basis-knowledge about the geography and planning of Europe. It consists of a series of lectures that focus on introducing different aspects of the course through in-depth examples and outlooks. During the course we’ll address historical, social, economic, cultural, political and planning aspects of the European Union.

Coordinator: Martin Boisen MSc

Philosophy of Social Science (5EC)

This course introduces key ideas in the philosophy of social science and critically relates these ideas to debates and examples of human geography and planning.

Coordinator: dr. Menno Rol

Fieldwork Abroad (5EC)

Fieldwork is a type of experiential learning in which students learn on locations where socio-spatial phenomena occur. The course consists of an intensive introduction to a destination outside Europe, lasting 2 weeks. Cultural geographic, demographic, economic geographic and planning themes are addressed. In varying groups students are undertaking different kinds of quantitative and qualitative research. Students are confronted with diverse, sometimes contradictory information on a range of issues.

Coordinator: drs. Chris Diederiks

Electives (30EC)

You can follow a minor, separate electives and/or electives abroad. You can also do an internship. Find out more about your options. For an overview of possible courses, please visit our course catalogue Ocasys .


dr. Sander van Lanen
dr. Sander van Lanen

Programme coordinator

Bachelor Human Geography & Planning:

Dr. Sander van Lanen

Last modified:24 November 2020 3.12 p.m.