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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Environmental and Infrastructure Planning
Header image Environmental and Infrastructure Planning

Environmental and Infrastructure Planning

Do you wonder how cities and urban regions can become more sustainable, resilient or carbon neutral? How to design innovative policy solutions for environmental, water, and climate related problems?

Then the international Master's programme in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning (EIP) will fit you well. The programme is unique in integrating: (1) the analysis and development of strategies and governance approaches for highly dynamic and complex planning situations, (2) international comparative research and learning, and (3) environmental, water and infrastructure related challenges. Bringing these elements together, you will examine policy programs, propose planning interventions, and embark on research focused on flood resilient cities, integrated infrastructure solutions, energy transition and healthy urban and regional living environments.

You will be part of an international classroom with students originating from different regions across the globe, some of them having experience in planning practice already. Our dedicated staff will challenge you to rethinking real life planning problems by integrating concepts like self-organization, adaptive capacity and transition management. Through a mix of interactive teaching methods you will strengthen your collaboration and communication skills, and your ability to work and think independently.

If you are looking for a 2 year master, we offer several Double Degree programmes. You can also integrate EIP within our two year Research Master in Spatial Sciences. Please visit the Spatial Sciences programmes page for more information.

Master Open Day
I nterested in learning more? Have a look at our Open Day presentation or come to t he next Master Open Day on Thursday 21 March. Sign up for the presentation via the Master's Week webpage (sign up opens on 1 March).

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in M Environmental and Infrastructure Planning
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
66194
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Spatial Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • EIP is the best Planning master in the Netherlands, according to the yearly Elsevier magazine survey
  • Urban areas and issues of infrastructure, environment and water
  • Thinking (policy strategies) and doing (practical work on projects and plans)
  • Compare international theory and practice
  • Program linked to international (e.g., AESOP) and national (e.g., Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment) institutes
  • Groningen offers a wide range of English-language course options and faciliti
Programme
Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Dilemmas in Infrastructure Planning (5 EC)
EIP: Interactive Workshop (5 EC)
Planning Theory (5 EC)
Comparative Research and Planning Practice (5 EC)
Optional course (5 EC)
Master's Thesis Environmental and Infrastructure Planning (20 EC)
Reinventing Environmental Planning (5 EC)
Transitions in Water Management (5 EC)
Optional course (5 EC)

Curriculum

For more information about the courses in this programme, please visit http://www.rug.nl/frw/education/master-info-frw/courses-master-environmental-infrastructure-planning. If you are looking for a 2 year master, we offer four Double Degree programmes. Please visit https://www.rug.nl/frw/programmes-spatial-sciences to find the programme info.

Programme options
specialization (specialization)
specialization (specialization)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master

More information:

For more information about the pre-master please see https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

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

No additional requirements

More information:

Advice: for your electives choose courses of the bachelor Spatial Planning and Design

Landscape Architecture and PlanningAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
International Land and Water ManagementAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Liberal Arts and SciencesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

Direct access with Philosophy, Politics & Economics and Physics of Energy. No access with other majors.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Holders of a certificate from the Bachelor's degree programme in Human Geography and Planning (Sociale Geografie & Planologie) or Spatial Planning and Design from a Dutch university are assumed to have sufficient knowledge and skills and will also be admitted to the degree programme on that basis. Admission is also possible for students that have completed the 1st year of a related Double Degree programme at the partner university.

If you are not directly admissible you can follow a pre-master programme. See more information in the pre-master guide: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

additional subject

In order to asses you previous education the Admissions Board requires course descriptions.

language test

English on VWO level or one of the following equivalents:

  • IELTS overall band 6.5, no less than 6.0 on each section
  • TOEFL internet based:

Overall: 90 Reading: 18 Listening: 18 Speaking: 20 Writing: 21

  • Cambridge English: Cambridge certificate C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE/CPE)
  • European Baccalaureate, English level L1 or L2
  • Please note that TOEFL MyBest Scores are not considered in the Admissions procedure

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.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 January 202501 February 2025
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Bachelor degree in spatial planning, urban/regional planning, urban/regional development, environmental management, human geography, land use planning and management, public administration (*with a focus on spatial analysis and issues, e.g. minor related to urban planning or human geography), landscape architecture, water management**, civil / transport engineering** (**with some basic knowledge on policy making, e.g. minor related to public administration, governance or policy).

If you are not directly admissible you can follow a pre-master programme. See more information in the pre-master guide: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

additional subject

In order to asses you previous education the Admissions Board requires course descriptions.

language test

English on VWO level or one of the following equivalents:

  • IELTS overall band 6.5, no less than 6.0 on each section
  • TOEFL internet based:

Overall: 90 Reading: 18 Listening: 18 Speaking: 20 Writing: 21

  • Cambridge English: Cambridge certificate C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE/CPE)
  • European Baccalaureate, English level L1 or L2
  • Please note that TOEFL MyBest Scores are not considered in the Admissions procedure

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.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202401 September 2024
15 January 202501 February 2025
15 August 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 20800full-time

Scholarships: Check the Nuffic website for information about scholarships.

Students are expected to follow our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. For more detailed information about laptop requirements, please visit this webpage

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

The Master opens up a wide field of potential careers in both the public domain and the private sectors. Our graduates:

  • Work in Governments: as policy advisors at international, national, provincial and local offices in charge of spatial planning, transportation or water management.
  • Work in Consultancy: as project managers national and international firms in engineering, design and sustainability.
  • Start their own business or go into research.

How we boost your future career

We support you in developing a rich set of tools as well as a reflexive attitude that allows you to create innovative solutions for sustainability and resilience of cities and regions. We do so in various ways:

  1. Strategic partnerships with organizations in planning practice: National Agency on Public Works and Water Management, Witteveen+Bos Engineering and Consultancy, Royal HaskoningDHVEngineering, design and project management
  2. Guest lectures, field trips and workshops embedded in the course
  3. 3x per year 'A day in planning practice', with company visits
  4. Excursions and 'Meet-alumni' events organised by our student organizations
  5. 2x per year the Graduate Research Day. A networking event to meet future employers

Throughout the year we offer support for practical career preparation and employability skills. Workshops are given about leadership, job interviews and how to present yourself. More information about the FSS Career Services.

See where our alumni end up in this infographic

Research

Research in the master

The research agenda of the department of Spatial Planning and Environment focuses on

Institutional Innovation and Spatial Transformation’, as part of the Faculty's Research Program ‘towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation’ (tWIST). This theme concentrates on the relationships between institutional innovation (improved policy making) and spatial transformation (changing cities and regions). We pursue:

  • to develop new opportunities for intervening in physical and social structures to enhance quality of life.
  • to understand on-going spatial transformations and develop opportunities for governance intervention.
  • to help establish capable and sustainable regions, cities and communities.

Examples of research projects related to EIP

‘Playing with Urban Complexity’ – Dr. Ir. Katherina Gugerell

This research project aims to foster the understanding of complex urban problems by combining participatory processes with serious games in a co-located setting. In particular, the project seeks to explore how game mechanics can be used to engage the actor group of young adults to make informed decisions that have an impact on their respective urban carbon footprints.

‘Flood Resilience in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom’ – Steven Forrest

This PhD research analyses the interactions between different actors at the local level, and the roles/responsibilities of the local state, civil society and the market in flood resilience. A short video about the PhD research can be found here.

‘INTENSSS-PA’ – Christian Zuidema

The INTENSSS-PA project is a EU funded Horizon 2020 project that studies the integration of sustainable energy measures, land uses and technologies within the spatial and socio economic landscape. It is focused on the process of institutional innovation needed for developing integrated sustainable energy plans.

‘SMART Campus Zernike Groningen’ – Dr. Elen-Maarja Trell

A research project carried out in collaboration with RIO projects and the Municipality of Groningen with support from Regio Groningen Assen and Zernike Campus.

Overview of publications and other activities

Research database Faculty of Spatial Sciences

Overview staff Department of Spatial Planning and Environment

Sustainable Road Infrastructure publications

ResearchGate Department of Spatial Planning and Environment



Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

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

"The Master's programme in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning has definitely opened many doors within the working environment of my city"

The Master's in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning is a challenging and motivating program for planners who, like myself, aim to contribute towards creating better places to live in, hence, more habitable and sustainable cities. Moreover, it encompasses accurate planning concepts, tools and knowledge to solve the many difficulties our cities experience.

I was captivated by the passion by which the professors educate the students, and in the way they develop an increased interest and understanding in different aspects of urban planning. Being a RUG student, I have broadened my knowledge and skills as a planner. In particular, I have realized the importance of holistic bottom-up approaches, involving all the parties linked to a program or project, who stand to be affected either in a positive or negative way.

Personally, I have enjoyed my stay in Groningen and I met amazing people. My Master’s degree in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning has definitely opened many doors within the working environment of my city.

- Mariá Costanza Almeida

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"This is a great program for those who are interested in sustainability, the energy transition, and their impacts on the living environment"

In the summer of 2021, I finished my bachelor's degree in Spatial Planning and Design at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. While I started out the bachelor with a great interest in the design-element of it, I ended up graduating with an even greater interest in the policymaking-element of spatial planning.

During the bachelor, the focus subjects concerned water management, environmental issues and mobility & infrastructure. I very much enjoyed these subjects, and together with my interest in policymaking, the Environmental and Infrastructure Planning master felt like a good match. And so, I started with my master’s degree in September of 2021.

Environmental and Infrastructure Planning is a great program for those who are interested in sustainability, the energy transition, and their impacts on the living environment. The courses in the program provide a good mix of content-related courses (such as Reinventing Environmental Planning) and research-related courses (such as Comparative Research and Planning Practice). The program involves a great deal of group projects, that help you figure out your role while working in teams. Also, the program offers the freedom to focus your projects and reading materials on the subjects that you find most interesting.

During the Graduate Research Day where I presented my thesis, I encountered an alumnus of the faculty, who has introduced me to the job I am doing now. I now work for a public transport authority as a policy advisor on public transport development. My goal is to encourage people to choose more sustainable modes of transport!

- Tess ten Have

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"The different courses of the masters taught me different theoretical and practical lenses of which I am still grateful of and apply in my personal and working life"

The motivation why I choose for the masters Environmental & Infrastructure Planning (EIP) and Society, Sustainability and Planning (SSP) was to understand and counteract the, in my view, planning and design processes that enforce personal examples of injustice and inequality in the spatial domain. I am interested in giving all actors a voice and the instruments or tools to make the physical environment better for its users.

The different courses of the masters taught me different theoretical and practical lenses of which I am still grateful of and apply in my personal and working life.

At the moment I work as a consultant Smart Cities & Smart Mobility for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. What is interesting is that I am most of the time busy with making connections between people and programme’s. I believe that both masters enabled me to do so because you get to know how the process of spatial planning works and you are aware of the content with in-depth knowledge about sustainability, planning and stakeholder involvement. This may seem a bit odd, but in my experience it appears to be a critical power and unique selling point. Most of my colleagues do not have such a background and are not always fully informed about the spatial consequences of their actions. A glimpse of programme’s I work on: 5G-Blueprint, a public-private ecosystem for smart and sustainable urban development and the Dutch National Mobility Vision 2050.

Besides, I started right after my master the company VRX which specialises in using (Immersive) Virtual Reality (IVR) for co-creative spatial planning and design. VRX produces virtual environments where citizens can experience how for instance a playground can look like based on different scenario’s. During design sessions with IVR we ask them to give their view on the scenario’s so we are able to improve the scenario’s while working towards a final design.

The important thing about both masters is that they provide you with a fruitful and professional knowledge base. After you finish your master you can work in different working fields, for different organisations and connect them to each other (energy, water, transport, housing, nature). I hope my personal experience after study and two years working underlines this and provides an (prospective) example for people interested in either or both masters.

- Roy Boertien

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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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Study support
  • The programme facilitates community building and commitment to enhance performance (through structural feedback, excursions, and introductory activities);
  • The international composition of the student group is used to enrich debate and assignment work;
  • The programme facilitates students in the establishment and enhancement of their own interest agenda's (in assignments, presentations and thesis), and participate in on-going research projects at the department, through individual guidance.