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EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesSpatial Sciences - Research
Header image Spatial Sciences

Spatial Sciences

Are you interested in a career as a researcher of spatial subjects? This programme allows the study of Spatial Sciences in the broadest possible way and it trains students to become good researchers.

The two-year Research Master in Spatial Sciences has two key features. First, it allows students maximum scientific freedom to learn and discover. Second, it lets students develop serious scientific research skills. Throughout the programme we take inspiration from Einstein's words: 'I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious'. Research Master students don't have to be extraordinarily talented or gifted. But students need to have a passionate curiosity about people and places. With this driving curiosity the research master Spatial Sciences is a good choice.

Maximum scientific freedom to learn and discover

Students can design their own programme by choosing courses according to their own interests. They can choose courses from all Spatial Sciences master programmes: environmental and infrastructure planning, economic geography, cultural geography, population studies, socio-spatial planning or real estate studies and they may also include courses from other faculties.

Serious development of research skills

Students become a good researcher by experiencing a series of carefully designed research settings. They will participate in a joint multidisciplinary research challenge with other ReMa students. They will receive one-to-one individual research training from an URSI staff member involved in the tWIST research programme of our faculty. They will do a research internship at an outstanding research institute. The research experiences will be both big and small: they will range from the final master thesis taking several months to small half an hour researches as part of the scientific diary. Students will be trained in a wide array of research methods.

Track

If you want to combine thorough training in scientific research with a thematic specialization on islands and sustainability, we offer a track in Islands and Sustainability

Specializations

The Research Master offers a specialization option. Students combine the courses of a one-year FSS master within the two-year Research Master program. They receive a formal specialization on their diploma supplement. The following specializations are possible for:

Cultural Geography / Cultural Geography: Tourism Geography & Planning
Economic Geography / Economic Geography: Regional Competitiveness and Trade
Real Estate Studies
Population Studies
Socio-Spatial Planning
Environmental and Infrastructure Planning

Download a PDF file with more information about the specializations

For a top education in geography and planning you choose Groningen!

Watch a video of the latest Master event

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Spatial Sciences (research)
Course type
Research master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60660
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Spatial Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?

› The research master in Spatial Sciences is a top rated master programme (Keuzegids 2018)

  • It is an ideal grounding for a PhD programme
  • You will do fieldwork and evidence-based research
  • You have the opportunity to study or do research abroad
Programme
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Advanced Specialized Research Methods (A&SRM) (10 EC)
Joint Multidisciplinary Research Project (JMRP) (5 EC)
Scientific Reading, Debating and Reflecting (5 EC)
Thematic Theoretical Specialization (TTS) (20 EC)
Individual Research Training (IRT) (10 EC)
Research Internship at a Renowned Research Institute (RIRRI) (10 EC)
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Advanced and Specialized Research Methods (A&SRM) (5 EC)
Advanced Research Skills (5 EC)
Scientific English Writing (5 EC)
Research Process and Proposal Writing (5 EC)
Thematic Theoretical Specialization (TTS) (10 EC)
Individual Master's Thesis (30 EC)

Curriculum

It is also possible to do the course Research Internship at a Research Institute (RIRI) for 15 EC, where you replace a 5 EC part of Themetic Theoretical Specialization for 5 EC extra RIRI. For more information about the courses in this programme, please visit www.rug.nl/frw/education/master-info-frw/courses-master-spatial-sciences

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
assessment interview

Generally, an interview with the applicant, in which attitude, motivation, orientation and competence for a career in (scientific) research are evaluated, forms part of the admission procedure. The interview is scheduled after the required documents have been received and evaluated by the Admissions Board.

grade average

Excellent study results and high grades at university level (A range, typically top 10%); Comparable to Dutch grading system: average grade of at least 7, for Bachelor thesis of at least 7.5.

knowledge minimum

Applicants should have some background knowledge in the Spatial Sciences field (Urban or Regional Studies, Human, Economic or Cultural Geography, Spatial Planning, Environmental and Infrastructure Planning, Demography or Real Estate).

language test
  • English on VWO level
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (A, B or C)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (A, B or C)
  • Minimum of 6,5 for the International English Language Testing System (Academic version) (IELTS). With a minimum of 6,5 on listening, reading, writing and speaking.
  • Minimum of 90 on the internet based version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Minimum of 580 on the written version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Minimum of 237 on the interactive version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Exemptions: native speakers or students with education from the US, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, United Kingdom or Ireland
previous education

Students should have a Bachelor's degree in a discipline related to Regional Studies, such as Human Geography and Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Planning, or Urban Studies. Students with a Bachelor's degree in the social or economic sciences also have direct access, preferably with a Minor worth 30 EC in human geography and/or urban and regional planning and/or demography and / or development studies. For those with a different Bachelor degree, the possibilities for admission are discussed with the coordinator The direct access is conditional on sufficient English command, the knowledge minimum and the required grades.

professional experience

Not required

reference letterNo further information
written request

All applicants have to submit a detailed CV, list of grades, motivation letter and and one or two reference letters to dr. Frans Sijtsma (f.j.sijtsma@rug.nl).

Transfer options

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

No additional requirements

More information:

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

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
assessment interview

Generally, an interview with the applicant, in which attitude, motivation, orientation and competence for a career in (scientific) research are evaluated, forms part of the admission procedure. The interview is scheduled after the required documents have been received and evaluated by the Admissions Board.

certified competences

Applicants should be fluent in English and meet one of the following conditions:

  • 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.
grade average

Excellent study results and high grades at university level (A range, typically top 10%); Comparable to Dutch grading system: average grade of at least 7.0, for Bachelor thesis of at least 7.5.

grade listNo further information
language test
  • English on VWO level
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (A, B or C)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (A, B or C)
  • Minimum of 6,5 for the International English Language Testing System (Academic version) (IELTS). With a minimum of 6,5 on listening, reading, writing and speaking.
  • Minimum of 90 on the internet based version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Minimum of 580 on the written version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Minimum of 237 on the interactive version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Exemptions: native speakers or students with education from the US, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, United Kingdom or Ireland
previous education

Academic bachelor degree in human geography and/or urban and regional planning or comparable qualifications, including at least 10 ECTS in statistics or equivalent statistical knowledge.

professional experience

Not required

reference letterNo further information
written request

All applicants have to submit a detailed CV, list of grades, motivation letter and and one or two reference letters to dr. Frans Sijtsma (f.j.sijtsma@rug.nl).

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
IELTS listening6.5
IELTS reading6.5
IELTS writing6.5
IELTS speaking6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based90

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 January 202001 February 2020
15 August 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 14650full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

The graduates from the programme are well trained for 1) a PhD position 2) a research position in organisations such as government ministries, non-governmental organisations or research-based consultancies or 3) any other professional job in which scientific solidness and creativity is an asset.

The close contacts with URSI researchers and PhD students (as mentors or teachers) in the graduate school allow an easy transition to a PhD position. The Research Internship at a Research Institute is specifically introduced to let the student experience the work atmosphere at a research institute. 

During the programme we offer further support for your career preparation. These Career Services are provided by the Careers Company and the UG Career Services. More information about the Careers Company: http://www.rug.nl/frw/career More information about the UG Career Services: http://www.rug.nl/careerservices

See where our alumni end up in this graphic !

Research

Research

The programme of the Research Master in Spatial Sciences is intertwined with the Faculty's Research Program, towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation (tWIST). In courses such as Individual Research Training (IRT) and Master Thesis, students participate in ongoing research projects of the senior academic staff, which are all embedded in tWIST.

The research themes Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation are studied in the broad field of geography and spatial planning, which investigates the role which space, place, location and distance, play in our communities and societies. We employ a range of qualitative, quantitative, micro and macro research methodologies to uncover these issues and to help improve wellbeing, to encourage innovation, and to increase our understanding of spatial transformation processes. The research work undertaken in each of the departments within the Faculty is also supported by the use of advanced geographical information systems (GIS). The research themes of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences complement all three of the University of Groningen’s research themes; Healthy Ageing, Sustainable Society and Energy. Major issues tWIST addresses range important societal shifts such as population growth and decline, aging, economic transformation and sustainability transitions are affecting space, health and well-being. These are major issues faced by contemporary society for which the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is uniquely placed to provide coherent policy analysis, design and impact assessment.

The Study Programme consists of different courses in the field of Spatial Sciences, related to the topics in tWIST. The specific courses depend on the individual student’s interests. Students have the opportunity to develop their own educational pathway according to their preferences and motivations.

Top researchers

Students work closely together with our experienced staff members, who carry out excellent research in the four different research clusters within tWIST: 1) Place, Identity & Wellbeing; 2) Population & Wellbeing in Context; 3) Economy & Place; 4) Institutional Innovation & Spatial Transformation. The researchers who participate in the programme are actively working on international and national research projects and bring their experiences to their teaching.

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Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Spatial Sciences, please contact:

Study associations

Ibn Battuta

Faculty Association of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences from the University of Groningen
https://www.ibnbattuta.nl/
Read more