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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesEconomic Geography
Header image Economic Geography

Economic Geography

Do you want to understand regional differences in economic structure and performance? In Economic Geography, you study the characteristics of economic activities across places and learn how to stimulate economic development.

The economy globalises rapidly, and places become ever more interconnected. Simultaneously, economic activities increasingly cluster in specific places. As a result, socio-economic dynamics are highly unequal across regions. People, firms and governments face very different challenges and opportunities depending on their location.

In the master in Economic Geography you will learn to understand these region-specific socio-economic development paths. We focus on the actions of people and firms and how they govern regional economic development: where do entrepreneurs start their businesses, how do firms grow, where do people live, where do they move to and which jobs do they have? Can we understand their choices? With this information on individual level, you will be able to understand regional developments and formulate policy avenues to govern such processes locally, nationally and internationally.

The master in Economic Geography is the best geography and planning master in the Netherlands (Keuzegids 2019)! Our graduates are specialists in regional economic development with a keen eye for the role of policy. For those interested in the role of international trade and globalization in regional economic development we offer a track in Regional Competitiveness and Trade.

If you are looking for a two year programme and are interested in doing research, you can also integrate the master in Economic Geography with our two year Research Master in Spatial Sciences.

Facts & Figures
MSc in Economic Geography
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
February, September
Spatial Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?

› Groningen is the 3rd Regional Science Center in the world

  • Interdisciplinary approach due to the cooperation between the Faculties of Spatial Sciences and Economics and Business
  • Positive and open study atmosphere
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Economic Geography: Theory and Application (5 EC)
Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (5 EC)
Optional courses (10 ECTS) (10 EC)
Spatial Economics (5 EC)
Master's Thesis Economic Geography (20 EC)
Advanced Statistical Analysis (5 EC)
Regional Labour Market Analysis (5 EC)
Infrastructure, Economy and Space (5 EC)
Programme options
Regional Competitiveness and Trade (track)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry Requirements

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Spatial Planning and DesignAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Human Geography and Urban and Regional PlanningAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Liberal Arts and SciencesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

Direct access with Philosophy, Politics & Economics. No access with other majors.

International BusinessAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Contact Sierdjan Koster for more information (

Economics and Business EconomicsAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Contact Sierdjan Koster for more information (

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test
  • English at VWO level
  • Comparable to IELTS International English Language Testing System (Academic version) 6.5 (TOEFL: iBT 90), with minimum scores:
  • Listening 6.0 (TOEFL: 18)
  • Reading 6.0 (TOEFL: 18)
  • Writing 6.0 (TOEFL: 21)
  • Speaking 6.0 (TOEFL: 20)
  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders from United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.
previous education

Bachelor degree related to the field of regional economic development. This includes Bachelor programmes in Human Geography, Economic Geography, Regional and Urban Planning, Regional Economy, Economy or related. Bachelordiploma's in Sociology, Business Administration, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Micro-Economics are sometimes admissible.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL internet based90

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 201901 September 2019
15 January 202001 February 2020
15 August 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 201901 September 2019
01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition Fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 14600full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Graduates in Economic Geography that have followed the track in regional competitiveness and trade are specialists in regional economic development in an international context with a keen eye for the role of policy. Also, they are well-versed in the latest methods and models in regional science. With this background, the programme prepares well a position in regional economic strategies and research in regional science:

  • A fair share of the graduates is employed by governmental organizations at all geographical levels (cities and municipalities, regional, national and international governmental organizations). This includes organizations such as the EU, the city of Amsterdam or The Dutch Ministry of Environment and Infrastructure.
  • Another large share of the graduates is active on the commercial market, mostly in consultancies in economic development. This includes companies such as Twijnstra Gudde, Antea.
  • A smaller share of the graduates enters research, teaching and entrepreneurship.
  • According to Elsevier (2015), job opportunities of geographers are above average with a relatively large job stability.

To see where our Economic Geography alumni end up, view this infographic

During the programme we offer support for your career preparation. More information about the UG Career Services:


Research in the master Economic Geography

In the field of Economic Geography the emphasis of the research lays with regional labour market analysis and the demography of firms.

Regional labour market analysis addresses many themes, such as labour productivity and wage formation, the dynamic of the regional labour market, and migration, gender and the labour market. Demography of firms addresses amongst other subjects, starting businesses (including spin-offs) and the migration of corporations, and the factors involved in the decision of the choice of location. The relation between foundations and corporate migrations, and regional development is also part of the research.

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If you want to know more about the programme Economic Geography, please contact:

								Testimonial of Sander van Voorn

    I feel my job is at the heart of what Economic Geography is about

    – Sander van Voorn
    Read more

    The Greenport Aalsmeer is a collaboration of companies in the flower industry, relevant knowledge institutes and governments.

    Aalsmeer (just south of Amsterdam) is the center of the biggest global hub in the flower industry. Because of increasing national and international competition, there is a need to invest in innovation so to keep ahead of other regions. The goal of the Greenport Aalsmeer is to sustain and increase the competitiveness of firms in the Aalsmeer floral cluster by investing in research and education, sustainability, accessibility, infrastructure and logistics. My job is to make this happen.

    I feel my job is at the heart of what Economic Geography is about. I use my knowledge about how firms innovate and what they need to perform well. At the same time, I need to understand how governments function and how they can help improve the business climate. Finally, I consider the impact on the regional economy in terms of jobs created for the people living in the area, but also potentially negative effects regarding sustainability.

    My study Economic Geography in Groningen was an excellent preparation for understanding and dealing with the interests of the different groups involved in regional economic development.


								Testimonial of Menno Hunneman

    The Master in Economic Geography offered me a chance of getting to learn the economic effects that planning decisions and policy decisions have on an area.

    – Menno Hunneman
    Read more

    After finishing my bachelor in real estate at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, I decided I wanted to continue my study at the University of Groningen.

    Every time I think back of this choice, I am glad I made it. I wanted to broaden my knowledge on economics in a way that it related to my background in real estate. The Master in Economic Geography offered me a chance of getting to learn the economic effects that planning decisions and policy decisions have on an area. The way the Faculty of Spatial Sciences operates is very nice. Contact with lecturers is very personal and they give you lots of freedom to specify your master in the way you want it. I chose to do elective courses at the Faculty of Economics and Business, which was no problem since various aspects of Economic Geography are closely related to International Economics.

    When I graduate, I’d love to stay in Groningen and find a job. Because Groningen is a very young city, there is always something fun to do and this attracted me so much that I’d like to live here the next few years. At this moment I am orienting for a job in consultancy or policymaking, a field of work that gets well introduced during the Master in Economic Geography.

    One thing that you should really do if you are interested in the programme of Economic Geography is take a look at the courses that are given in the master. The courses are very diverse and cover themes like economics, entrepreneurship and labour markets. If these topics suit you, then studying Economic Geography at the University of Groningen is a good choice!

								Testimonial of Elza van der Meer

    Why is it that certain places seem to develop better, faster or differently than other places to new situations?

    – Elza van der Meer
    Read more

    Why is it that certain places seem to develop better, faster or differently than other places to new situations?

    Exactly that is the question that motivated me to study Economic Geography at the University of Groningen. The courses (both compulsory and elective) give you plenty of theoretical knowledge and practical examples in a broad range of topics related to economic geography, as well as useful skills that could be essential for your future career.

    The Faculty of Spatial Sciences offers small-scale education and there is plenty of room for formal and informal interaction between students and teaching staff. If you are interested in the programme or have any questions, I would highly recommend you send an email to the programme coordinator or to a current student with all your questions to gain an even better insight in the programme. You are welcome to contact me via

    After graduation, I hope to be able to find a job that relates to the question how places should develop, what future trends are, how these trends should be anticipated for etc. After all, those are the questions that I am interested in and what made me want to study Economic Geography in the first place.


Study associations

Ibn Battuta

Faculty Association of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences from the University of Groningen
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