Thematic Theoretical Specialization

Faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen
Jaar 2022/23
Vakcode GERMTTO2
Vaknaam Thematic Theoretical Specialization
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Thematic Theoretical Specialization
Leerdoelen 1A. Sound knowledge and thorough understanding of important contemporary interdisciplinary issues and theories in spatial sciences, and a detailed knowledge of important issues in the area of interest, including relevant theories and subjects in disciplines related to the Faculty’s Research Programme, towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation (tWIST).
1B. Sound knowledge and understanding of theoretical models, concepts and frameworks that help explain and interpret spatial, societal and institutional phenomena and dynamics.
1I. The ability to apply theories and results in spatial sciences and related disciplines in an original way to policy and scientific research issues in the context of both disciplinary and societal frameworks.
2C. The ability to develop new, creative and well-argued perspectives on existing theoretical, methodological and societal debates in the field of geography, planning and/or demography.
2D. The ability to write scientifically.
Omschrijving The course units in GERMTHEOR (in year 1 and in year 2) form the theoretical and thematic orientation in the research master spatial sciences. Students should acquire a rich and diverse set of knowledge and competences regarding spatial sciences and regional studies. The standard amount of theoretical and thematic courses is 30 EC. If a 15EC Research Internship (instead of the standard 10EC) is chosen then 25EC of theoretical and thematic courses is required.
The theoretical and thematic orientation is the individual collection of course units focused on theory and contents that students are required to fulfil during their Research Master Programme.
The theoretical and thematic course units provided by the faculty are presented in the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER). The course units reflect recent developments and discussions in the specific academic disciplines within the spatial sciences. Besides courses at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences students are allowed to follow courses on other faculties or universities. Students have a.o. followed modules at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Philosophy, and at Utrecht University, Wageningen University and the University of Amsterdam in the past.

For students following one of the Research Master specialisations (Economic Geography, Population studies, etc) many courses are predetermined, but limited choice options are still available. Please check the ReMa specialisation document (, and contact the coordinators (of both the specialization master and the ReMa) for approval.

Beyond the regular course content within the six (or five/four) thematic courses, Research Master students make a so-called ‘Using Theory Challenge’ in every thematic course. So during every regular thematic course students write one challenge assuring the course has research master level. ‘Using theory’ in this assignment should be understood as ‘Using the enlightening power of theory in understanding a practical real-life problem’. Students take a main element, i.e. a core concept or core theory, from the regular master course and apply it to better understand a topic of their interest. They write a piece of 1200 words in which they bring this new theory-based understanding of a real-life problem.
These assignments in the regular thematic courses are assessed by the lecturer of the regular course, following a Research Master-delivered rubric. The rubric also contains written feedback per graded aspect. The assignment is graded with pass or fail. The (regular) grade for the course is conditional on receiving a pass for the extra assignment.
Uren per week variabel
(depending on the individual course units followed)
(depending on the individual course units followed)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. F.J. Sijtsma
Docent(en) dr. F.J. Sijtsma
Opmerkingen Students choose 30 ECTS in this module. However if they decide to do their Research Internship at a Research Institute for 15 ECTS (instead of the regular 10 ECTS) then they choose 25 ECTS here.
Not open for students from other faculties.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Spatial Sciences (research)  (Basic programme year 2 Spatial Sciences ) 2 semester I b verplicht
MSc Spatial Sciences (research)  (Erasmus Mundus Islands and Sustainability track year 2) 2 semester I b verplicht
MSc Spatial Sciences (research)  (Erasmus Mundus Islands and Sustainability track year 1 ) 1 semester I b verplicht
MSc Spatial Sciences (research)  (Basic programme year 1 Spatial Sciences) 1 semester I b verplicht