MSc Human Geography: Economic Geography

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MSc Human Geography: Economic Geography

University of Amsterdam

Economic Geography: Global Production Networks and Clusters

The Master's Economic Geography is organised around global production networks and clusters. Contact with circuits of the global economy has profoundly affected the lives of an increasing number of people around the world. The rise of global production networks is not just enabled by communication and transport technologies, but also by (national and global) policies of de-regulation and re-regulation.

Studying the social and economic aspects of the changing global division of labour

Economic Geography will help you understand the social and economic aspects of the changing global division of labour. The programme will look at how concrete cases of global production networks and clusters evolve in both developing and developed countries. Students will examine the geographical distribution and the locational strategies, the insertion in the local economies, the competitive strategies and the power relationships within the networks.

The increasingly blurred division between the global north and south will be discussed, for instance by:

  • examining heterogeneous social and economic spaces that seek to embed production networks in place
  • exploring the constitutional and institutional embeddedness of labour markets, the agency of workers and their collective organisations, and issues of worker identity and migration
  • examining the wider impact of these networks on local communities and national economies, through issues including gender and social reproduction and borders.

Studying Geography in Amsterdam

Geography is all about studying people, space and place - and the city of Amsterdam itself is the perfect location and junction to study, explore and experience geography. Furthermore, the University of Amsterdam, a major research university, offers a Master’s programme taught by one of the highest ranking geography departments in continental Europe. The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) of Amsterdam provides a vibrant and international academic community. The GSSS values diversity in both research and academic content, academic staff and the student population.

Focus on research: academic staff

The lecturers in the Master's track Economic Geography are all active researchers involved in the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR), Amsterdam research centres such as Centre of Urban Studies, IMES, ACCESS EUROPE and numerous international research networks and projects. The programme is enriched by their research expertise and networks. This track builds on cutting-edge research projects from the related research group of the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research. Insights from these research projects are integrated into the main thematic course, and the master thesis projects which take place in the second semester of the programme.

The teaching in this track is organised in small groups. This results in small scale research communities in which academic staff and students work closely together in a less formal and more open environment.

Student profile

The Master’s programme Human Geography welcomes

  • both international and Dutch students;
  • both UvA alumni and students from other (Dutch and foreign) universities;
  • both students with a bachelor degree in Human Geography & Planning and students with a bachelor degree in a related discipline and field of study.

This makes the group of students very diverse and results in an international classroom with stimulating group discussions, as all participants bring in their specific background and experiences.

The programme is very high-level and demanding, and we expect students to devote full attention to their studies during the entire year. Students are actively involved in the content of the programme by organising track seminar sessions, and are also continuously challenged by involved academic staff to explore the boundaries of human geography.


Within various interdisciplinary and problem oriented projects, the programme encourages students to develop their skills in:

  • GIS – Geographical Information Systems
  • Social Science research methods – both qualitative methods, quantitative methods, and mixed methods;
  • Presentation and Communication – to pitch an idea or present research outcomes;
  • Cooperation – to work in teams and evaluate the work of peers.

The combination of taught skills, together with the specialisation track and the focus in the thesis will prepare students for their future career as a geographer in a wide array of institutional contexts: either public service, profit sector or civil society, either local, national, international or transnational organisations.

Ambition in research?

For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in International Development Studies and Urban Studies.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated May 12, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
EU/EEA students. Non-EU/EEA students €13,400 per year.