Human Geography is a new Master’s programme that starts in September 2017. It stems from the former Economic Geography and Urban Geography programmes. You can specialise in one of the two fields by choosing a track:
Urban Geography: Neighbourhoods & Residential Dynamics
Urban Geography: Daily Life & Public Spaces
Economic Geography: Business & Location
Economic Geography: Regional Development & Policy
Cities and Urban Regions: Opportunities and Concerns
Urban regions are bubbling, dynamic places where people get together and generate new ideas. They are breeding grounds for innovation and economic growth. Many people still move to the city, chasing their dreams: for a challenging career, a pleasant living environment, all the amenities within easy reach. And besides the local residents, large numbers of tourists visit the city seeking an entertaining stay.
The continuous urban growth in an increasingly global economy has both winners and losers. On the one hand, there are start-ups that expand to become large companies. While on the other hand, there are traditional companies that succumb to global competition. How can we explain success and failure?
Urban growth also leads to a great diversity of people and lifestyles, which ensure thriving communities. Yet there are also places where spatial and social inequalities reveal themselves between communities. This results in unpleasant living environments and neighbourhoods in decline. How do you breathe new life into those communities?
In the Human Geography Master's programme, you learn how urban and economic issues are interwoven. As a student of the Human Geography Master’s, you will study the city and its economic developments from various academic perspectives and thematic angles, with an interdisciplinary approach.
An International Focus
This Master’s programme has an international character. We welcome students from around the world onto the programme. This way you are provided with the opportunity to come into contact with other cultures and national contexts. You will go on an international field trip and can complete your Master's thesis project and/or internship abroad. You will be able to find work in many fields, positions, and locations following graduation.
Programme Objective and Working Methods
This Master’s programme gives you a thorough understanding of important urban and economic issues. You will receive comprehensive training in the methodological and critical analytical skills needed to find possible solutions for challenges in urban regions. Working from a scientific and theoretical foundation, you come into contact with the daily practice. Through guest lectures and practical assignments (active learning), you will learn what graduates do and be able to determine where you would be most at home.
Your choice of graduation subject and the accompanying research internship provides the best way for you to present yourself to future employers. The programme has made arrangements with various companies, research agencies and government organisations regarding internships and interesting research projects.
The two former Master’s programmes in Urban Geography and Economic Geography showed that there is a big job market for graduates. Human geographers can be found in numerous public and private organisations in the field of urban and economic development. Positions held include consultants, advisors or researchers, who work on specific social or economic issues.
The programme has an extensive alumni network, which is also involved in teaching. Through guest lectures and practical assignments, you will learn what graduates do and be able to determine where you would be most at home.
For example, in the short course on Professional Competences (with options), you will learn how to make your research results accessible to a wider audience, how to draw up a policy report, or how to deal with opposing political or other interests in practice.
The knowledge and skills acquired via the Human Geography Master's programme make our graduates successful in careers in a wide range of public and private organisations, including:
Provincial and local authorities
The business sector
Graduates in the former Urban Geography and Economic Geography Master's programmes have for example found jobs at:
Advies- en onderzoeksbureau Decisio
Amsterdam in Business
Bureau Stedelijke Planning
Gemeente Amsterdam, Bureau Onderzoek en Statistieken Dienst Wonen, Zorg en Samenleven
Gemeente Utrecht, Ruimtelijke en Economische Ontwikkeling/Economische Zaken
Gemeente Overbetuwe, afdeling Economische Zaken
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken, Directoraat-generaal Wonen en Bouwen
Natuur- en Milieufederatie Utrecht
Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving
Royal Haskoning DHV
Rabobank Nederland, Kennis en Economisch Onderzoek
Regionale ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost NV
If you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands, knowing Dutch will get you places. Even if you work within an international organisation, knowing at least some Dutch is always a benefit and in some cases even a requirement. In order to learn Dutch, free language websites such as duolingo.com or dutchgrammar.com can get you started or take a look at the Dutch courses offered by Babel. As a student from Utrecht University, you receive a 25% discount on their course offerings.
If you want to stay in the Netherlands after your graduation, you can apply for the ‘residence permit orientation year’. This permit can be submitted within 3 years after completing your studies and allows you unlimited working rights (hence: a work permit –TWV- is not required). For an overview of the conditions that apply for this permit, please visit the IND website.