MSc in Society, Sustainability and Planning
University of Groningen
EUR 2,314 / per year **
01 May 2024*
Earliest start date
* Dutch, EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students
** EU/EEA students: €2,314 | non-EU/EEA students: €17,800
The master's programme in Society, Sustainability and Planning centres around understanding the human factor in spatial interventions.
Society, Sustainability and Planning promotes a novel understanding of how to transform the built environment in collaboration with its users. Our courses pay attention to the social, cultural, political, and economic environment in which decision-making on spatial interventions takes place.
The emergence of self-organizing citizen collectives is a critical change in today's societal strive for sustainable places and futures. SSP emphasizes the role of citizens in shaping places. We interrogate why different stakeholders and social groups embrace, contest, or reject spatial changes, and how we can design their surroundings in such a way that it meets their diverse needs. We present spatial justice as a leading principle to design cities of the future. Moreover, we pay explicit attention to the ways in which spatial planning can contribute to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals, such as healthy ageing, a clean environment, and eliminating poverty, in collaboration with citizens and civil society actors.
Our programme highlights the social aspects of the global transition towards a more sustainable society. Sustainability challenges are interconnected with the communities that face them. As such, our students learn to adopt new methodological and interactive approaches to problem-solving in different contexts. This exchange does not only take place outside of the classroom, but also within our small-scale, international department.
You learn to analyze, develop and negotiate innovative institutional designs and policy solutions to support and lead complex transformations in light of international sustainability and planning debates. The core of our focus on the human factor in society, sustainability and planning is using real-life cases and working with and engaging people in real-world living labs.
Through this framework, our graduates are able to utilize spatial planning in solving urgent social problems, such as inequality and climate change. Our alumni are critical and engaged consultants and researchers, who are in high demand in the labour market. They are employed by NGOs, consultancies, governments, and businesses.
Why study this programme in Groningen?
- Unique focus on designing socially sustainable spatial solutions
- Numerous 'hands-on' assignments, field visits and contacts with practitioners
- An emerging societally relevant field within Spatial Planning research and practice
- City Matters (5 EC)
- Interaction, Society and Space (5 EC)
- Planning Theory (5 EC)
- Engaging Society in Spatial Transformation (5 EC)
- Optional courses (ID course or other) (10 EC)
- Master's Thesis Socio-spatial Planning (20 EC)
- Revitalising Neighbourhoods (5 EC)
- Living Lab Sustainable Places (ID) (5 EC)
- Study abroad is optional
Program Tuition Fee
Graduates of Society, Sustainability and Planning can start a career in:
- Different levels of government
- Consultancies, housing associations and developers (private sector)
- NGOs (environmental, social, heritage)
- Universities and research institutes
We support you in developing a rich set of analytical tools and practical skills that allow you to create innovative solutions for just and sustainable cities. Society, Sustainability and Planning makes you a critical (even a little activist) professional who knows how to engage citizens in the major spatial transformations of our times. We do so in various ways:
- Strategic partnerships with organizations in planning practice: the City of Groningen, several municipalities in the north of the Netherlands, several housing associations, and the PeerGroup.
- Guest lectures, international field trips and workshops embedded in the courses
- 3x per year 'A day in planning practice', with company visits
- Excursions and 'Meet-alumni' events organised by our student organizations
- 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.