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 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.
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 fieldtrip 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.
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.
Cities and regions throughout the world face challenges that require integrated knowledge of urban geography, economic geography, international development studies, and planning. In this Research Master’s programme in Urban and Economic Geography (previously known as Human Geography and Planning), you will gain a broad theoretical and methodological background that will allow you to become an academic or professional researcher of ongoing social, spatial, and economic developments in cities and regions. You can specialise in your preferred geographic sub-discipline while maintaining a broader perspective on the functioning of cities and regions, as well as the relevant theories and methods.
Globalisation is subjecting cities and regions to continuous challenges such as increasing urbanisation and growing economic and social interdependences. Complex and dynamic relationships have developed between inhabitants, migrants, businesses, and institutions, and these relationships can foster innovation, creativity, and economic growth.
However, increasing urbanisation can also lead to social and economic inequalities, tensions between groups with different lifestyles, and threats to health and well-being. In addition, globalisation can reinforce economic disparities within regions and cities in both developed and developing countries. Environmental changes can also generate unhealthy living conditions and lead to a displacement of people and businesses. In general, regional and urban areas worldwide experience disparate development due to differences in their position in globalised systems; their location in a developed or developing country or region; and specific cultural, social, political, and economic characteristics.
As a student in this two-year Master’s programme, you will focus on research questions such as:
The course content includes various courses on research skills and philosophy in order for you to acquire both advanced research skills and an ethical framework. You will also participate in research, carry out your own research, and discuss your research with peers and advanced researchers throughout the programme. You will form an integral part of the research community at the Urban Future research centre (UF) of Utrecht during your studies.
In Urban and Economic Geography, you will study the reasons behind the diverse developments in the globalised and urbanised world, and you will learn to translate up-to-date theoretical and methodological developments into empirical research. You will also formulate effective policy recommendations to make cities and regions more viable and sustainable.
As a graduate, you will have an excellent basis for completing a PhD in the fields of urban geography, economic geography, development studies, and urban and regional planning. You will also qualify for senior research functions within international and national organisations, such as the United Nations, Dutch ministries, regional and local bodies, NGOs, and multinational companies. You will be able to perform advanced scientific research within the fields of human geography and spatial planning.
APPLY BY 3 MAY 2018!
As events and transformations of the recent decades have forcefully shown, the urban question permeates all major social, economic and political developments of today. The two-year Master’s programme in Urban Studies critically engages with the wide-ranging manifestation of contemporary urbanity. What shapes have the processes of urbanisation assumed today? How are urban spaces produced?
The programme foregrounds the unitary perspective of the city as a physical space, a social space and a space of design. It combines rigorous academic research with intensive fieldwork. The programme is situated at the trans-disciplinary crossroad of urban studies, urbanism and urban planning, architecture theory, sociology, urban ethnography and geography. Our students have academic backgrounds in architecture, social sciences or humanities. Integrating critical interrogation and experimental practice, the programme has a triple focus on social uses, spatial programmes and urban forms.
The form of assignments includes term-long research studios, intensive workshops, lectures, seminars and field trips. The distinctive mark of the Urban Studies programme is its reliance on theoretically-informed action in the field. We take students’ efforts seriously: the programme engages ‘real’ actors and create opportunities for public presentation, discussion and publication of the best works.
The Master’s programme is fully in English and has a strong international orientation. We cooperate with a network of partner institutions in Europe, and we are connected to regional partners in Finland, the Baltic countries and Russia. The curriculum includes a number of workshops and lecture courses by international scholars, architects, urban planners and activists.
The education prepares students to engage with urban issues at the intersection between design practice, political practice and theoretical knowledge (urban design, urban and spatial planning, state and municipal policy making, public expertise, community advocacy, social activism, academic and practice-based research). Our graduates work in public administrations, urbanism-focused NGOs, architecture design offices, private consultancies and advocacy organisations. The programme also prepares graduates for further study at the PhD level.
Knowledge and skills
The broad themes of the first three semesters are: 1) key concepts in urban studies, urban history; 2) urban scenarios and urban agenda setting; and 3) urban regeneration, the logic of urban interventions. The fourth semester is reserved for the Master’s Thesis project and Master Studio.
Structure of the Curriculum
Pedagogically, the curriculum consists of:
In many courses, Urban Studies students work in collaboration with students of architecture and urban landscapes. The student groups are small, and there are more contact hours per credit than in most comparable programmes.
Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. The education in geography offers a broad understanding in current social and environmental issues. Our students can work as experts in their field, both independently and as members of multi-professional teams.
The teaching within the programme is connected with the work of the geography research groups. It is often possible to write the final thesis as part of work in a research group or a research institute in a related field.
The Master’s programme in geography is divided into three study tracks (described in section 4). Our students have been very successful in the job market after completing our programme.
The strengths of students who have completed our Master’s programme when it comes to research and expertise are:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The first year of the advanced module of the Master’s programme contains the method courses of your chosen study track, elective courses, and advanced literature. During this year you will start planning your Master’s thesis.
In the autumn of the second year, you will join a Master’s seminar and take exams on literature related to the MSc thesis. In the spring, you should be ready to present your finished MSc thesis (Pro gradu). In addition, you can take optional courses in both years that support your study track. If you are studying to be a teacher, you will take courses in pedagogy during your second year.
Studying takes many forms. A large part of the instruction is contact teaching. Method and specialisation courses are usually implemented in groups of 10-20 students, where it is easy to discuss professional issues and gain deeper insights. Independent study is supported through workshops supervised by older students, and reading circles. The Master’s programme also includes extensive exams on literature in the field.
The Master’s programme in geography is divided into study tracks. The study tracks offer students the opportunity to specialise in different areas of geography. The Master’s programme contains both general and study track-specific courses. The teaching within the Master’s programme in geography is seamlessly connected with the Master’s programme in urban studies and planning, which is jointly implemented with Aalto University.
The study tracks in the Master’s programme for geography are:
Jointly delivered by Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society at Heriot-Watt University, this programme builds upon the expertise and knowledge developed in both institutions.
The MSc in Urban Strategies & Design is taught by academic researchers with international research experience, links and interests, in a range of urban areas. This wealth of knowledge and the use of contemporary pedagogies is integrated into the programme’s delivery.
The programme encourages the adoption of a comprehensive approach towards the delivery of socially sustainable urban transformation, from local-specific to global-regional interventions. You will study the wide and diverse range of social, economic and political processes that influence the development of the contemporary urban environment. The course also seeks to enable you to acquire the tools and skills to propose urban projects of diverse scales and specificities.
Students on the programme come from a range of multidisciplinary backgrounds and work collaboratively to understand how urban design approaches respond to contemporary urban transformations. This analysis is framed not only from a Western perspective but acknowledges that urban transformations in the urban north are increasing interlinked with activities in the urban south. Course pedagogy involves traditional lectures, seminars, excursions and other relevant group activities.
The city of Edinburgh offers a unique laboratory for exploration of current urban design issues. The city’s renaissance to ‘Geddesian’ planning history, and more contemporary international planning pedagogy and consultancy links to urban institutions and bodies, particularly in the global south, provides a good platform from which to support student-led, location-based dissertations.
The programme seeks to address the gap between architecturally driven urban design and higher-level, spatial planning-driven, urban design;, bringing together a range of approaches relevant to urban design that are currently being developed within different professional and disciplinary practices, ranging from engineering to human geography.
You will study four compulsory courses at Heriot-Watt University in semester one, then study one compulsory course and one option course at the University of Edinburgh in semester two.
Should you wish to write an Africa or Latin America focused dissertation, you will choose African Cities or Latin American Cities options within the USD programme. Otherwise you can select any option course being offered at Edinburgh University which fits with your second semester timetable.
Once all coursework is completed, you will go on to write your USD dissertation, over a ten-week period, on an urban theme topic of your choice. Defined dissertation support will be provided, and submission formats discussed.
An MSc in Urban Strategies & Design enables you consider career opportunities from local to international contexts in a range of disciplines: architecture, planning, landscape architecture, urban planning strategies and development planning. These career opportunities exist in the formal, (public and private) voluntary, and international development sector. There are also opportunities to proceed to further academic research at masters or doctoral level.
Explore the creative interplay between urban theory and the visual representation of urban cultures and places.
This programme has been developed by the Centre for Urban and Community Research to encourage creative interplay between practice and theory. You'll have the chance to consider cutting-edge debates in cultural and social theory in a research setting that actively encourages the development of photographic practice.
The programme offers working photographers, visual artists and media practitioners space to reflect critically on their practice.
It also offers those with a background in sociology, urban and cultural geography, cultural studies or anthropology the opportunity to combine visual forms of representation with standard forms of research techniques in investigating urban life and the physical environments of the city.
As well as these modules, you will complete a Dissertation and Major Visual Project (60 credits).
The Dissertation can comprise two parts: a portfolio and a 5-6,000-word Dissertation, or you may submit a 10-12,000-word written Dissertation. The Dissertation will consist of: an account of the rationale of the photographic project; a critical evaluation of photographic practice and issues of reflectivity and knowledge production. In combination with the written part you will be expected to provide evidence of a sustained and coherent body of photographic work focusing on an aspect of urban culture for assessment. Previously, work from Final Visual Projects has been shown on a virtual gallery space linked to the CUCR website.
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
This MA develops skills in urban photography, visual ethnography and urban research, communications for urban planning, community arts and visual arts practice.
Graduates of the programme have progressed to the following areas and careers:
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
Cities are now a critical focus for research, policy-making and public debate. According to the United Nations, three-quarters of the global population will live in cities by 2050. This MSc develops innovative, comparative and interdisciplinary modes of analysis and research that can address the scale and complexity of contemporary urbanism.
Students develop an advanced understanding of urban theory, and explore the main urban developments shaping the contemporary world. The programme focuses on the interface between theory and practice across a diverse range of topics, from historic patterns of urban change to large-scale challenges such as slums, poverty and access to basic services, and current developments in urban design and the visual arts.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme offers two pathways, standard and research.
The standard pathway consists of three core modules (45 credits), five options (75 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). Research consists of four core modules (75 credits), three options (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
Options may include the following:
All students undertake an individual research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, field trips, tutorials, discussion groups, presentations and group work. Assessment is through coursework in the form of essays, and the dissertation.
Since the launch of the Urban Studies MSc in 2008/2009, graduates from the programme have found employment in a variety of sectors such as municipal and local government, urban political organisations, art consultancies, communications companies, financial services, social enterprise initiatives, cultural institutions, community development organisations and think tanks.
Urban Studies graduates have an impressive record of continuing their research as PhD students - in geography, development planning, and architectural design - in the UK as well as in Europe and North America: at the University of Zurich; the Open University; UCL; LSE; Universidade do Porto; TU Berlin; and the University of Minnesota.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This programme will significantly improve the knowledge and skills necessary for careers in academia, public and private research, and other commercial and professional fields where an advanced understanding of cities and urban change is required. Through this programme students will meet leading practitioners from the fields of architecture, journalism, transport planning, environmental management, art and urban activism. You will become part of a growing international network of graduates who are a valuable source of advice, information and guidance for current students.
The UCL Urban Laboratory is the result of a unique collaboration between four faculties: Arts & Humanities, the UCL Bartlett, Engineering Sciences, and Social & Historical Sciences. It brings together the best urban teaching and research at UCL and this range of expertise will make this programme unparalleled in scope both within the UK and internationally.
Urban research at UCL draws on a rich heritage of ideas including the groundbreaking insights of figures such as Patrick Abercrombie, Peter Hall, Ruth Glass and Reyner Banham.
UCL's engagement in wider public debates in London and internationally regarding the future design and planning of cities is a distinctive feature of our research.
Cities are the vibrant and dynamic focal points of today’s society. These diverse agglomerations of people, companies and organisations are both locations for innovation and for conflict. Cities are regarded as creative places as well as conflictual places for divergent communities. In this Master's specialisation you will study how different actors influence the physical form of cities but also the way in which they present and understand the character and identity of cities and how they make use of the typical urban environment in their daily activities. They create and make cities.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ucg
The requirements for admission include:
- a bachelor degree in Human Geography received from Radboud University or another relevant bachelor degree with at least 24 EC in conflict studies and/or political geography
- Having successfully completed a course in social scientific research methods is highly recommended and will increase your chance of getting selected for this specialisation
- excellent proficiency in English
- a letter of motivation
- two letters of recommendation
- list of your grades obtained during previous training
The Master's specialisation Urban and Cultural Geography prepares students for a professional career in government, semi-government, and business. It also provides a stepping stone towards a research career in academia or consultancy. You will be able to apply the scientific insights and the practical skills you have acquired to topics including the development and marketing of cities, multi-culturality and integration, innovative and creative urban milieus, urban identities, cultural industries.
This would qualify you for a whole range of different jobs. Some of you might find a job in a government agency, e.g. as city-manager, city marketeer, city planner, integration agent, city-network manager, PR- manager, etc. Others will end up in semi-government agencies such as development agencies, cultural planning agencies, but also research institutes, etc. Finally also private industry offers a number of opportunities for urban and cultural specialists. One might think of jobs such as event manager, museum director, city marketeer, consultant, journalist, innovation consultant, communication manager or media specialist.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ucg
In 2010 the UN estimated that more than half of the planet’s population live in cities and projected that this will increase to 66% by the middle of the century. Cities have become the nodes of a global economic network and are the foci for flows of people, goods, energy, food etc. In addition, although occupying less than 1% of the Earth’s surface they transform the natural environment radically and are the main geographical drivers of environmental change at local, regional and global scales. At the same time, cities are social constructions that can be changed and managed through human intervention to enhance well-being and liveability.
This MSc looks at urban environments holistically by integrating the perspectives of human and physical geography to explore urban environments. Exploration is complemented by developing fieldwork and geospatial skills. The key objective of the course is to address the challenge of achieving global sustainability by making resource efficient, smart and liveable cities.
The use of the vibrant, dynamic city of Dublin as an urban laboratory will provide an opportunity for collaboration on external projects with a range of urban stakeholder groups, developing professional networks and skillsets accordingly. This is complemented within the School of Geography, a top-100 department in QS subject rankings, by dedicated geospatial facilities for research students.
The MSc Urban Environment focuses on how we might progress towards global sustainability by focusing on the development of more resource efficient, smart and liveable cities. The programme integrates the perspectives of human and physical geography to explore urban environments as complex physical and social systems. The vibrant, dynamic city of Dublin is an ideal urban laboratory within which we can develop and engage in collaborative projects. We value holistic approaches to learning and active, sustained engagement with issues of societal importance. We challenge our students to develop as spatially-sensitive global citizens and encourage them to be reflective and critical thinkers. In this programme, we particularly value the application of academic learning to the urban environment of Dublin in particular through collaborative engagement with external stakeholders. The School of Geography provides a high quality learning and research environment for graduate students and has pioneered innovative teaching and learning methodologies in the online and face-to-face environment. As well as small-group seminars, project-based learning and teamwork, fieldwork is a core element of the MSc Urban Environment programme.
The MSc Urban Environment is designed to provide students with the key knowledge and practical transferable skillsets that will be a benefit in many careers. Graduates may progress to careers in: further research, academic and professional; professional training in related disciplines; consultancy; GIS; and research careers in the private sector, public service or with community groups.