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MSc in European Spatial and Environmental Planning

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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    €2,083 (from EEA countries); €11,471 (from non-EEA countries).

  • Last Updated

    18 March 2019


Teaching you to become a spatial planner who can engage with EU policies, cooperate with planners across borders and coordinate with other sectors like environment and economic development.

The influence of the European Union on spatial and environmental planning in the member states and regions is ever increasing. The Master’s in European Spatial and Environmental Planning (ESEP) offers a solid theoretical foundation to analyse the EU policies for environment, renewable energy and regional development and to understand how they influence spatial planning policies and practices. This programme also offers training in research methodology and teaches how to conduct meaningful comparisons.

Although the main focus of ESEP lies on the European Union and its policies and influences, the programme also addresses international policies and legislation that influence spatial planning, notably in relation to climate change. We look at the different positions member states and influential global players have on contemporary themes and critically discus how solutions can be found that would benefit all. You’ll better understand the multi-level system of governance in the integrated European Union, how EU policies are made and the influence they have on spatial planning systems, and how professionals can engage in European policy debates.

See the website

Why study European Spatial and Environmental Planning at Radboud University?

- This programme looks beyond domestic policies and beyond spatial and environmental planning within one country, and acknowledges the significant role the EU nowadays plays in our policies and practices.

- This programme focuses on the influence of the EU and international policies and how to cooperate with planners in other countries. It also teaches you how different sectors are interlinked in the field of spatial planning.

- This is an interdisciplinary programme as it is jointly offered by the Master’s programmes in Spatial Planning and of the Political and in Social and Political Sciences of the Environment. This also means you can choose with which MSc degree you would like to graduate (programme outlines are identical).

- You can mould this programme to suit your interests and future career plans through the choice of assignment topics and your Master’s thesis and a possible internship in the second semester.

- This programme is policy-oriented with links to planning practice. There are opportunities to prepare the thesis during an internship or to combine it with a stay abroad. We already have a wide network of partners for those wanting to go abroad.

- This Master’s challenges and stimulates students, who work in small groups on contemporary themes and learn to think critically about new developments.

Career prospects

There is great demand for spatial and environmental planners with a thorough knowledge of the European and international policy context. Our graduates work in European institutions, national and regional public authorities, consultancies and NGOs dealing with spatial planning, regional policy and environmental policy. They work in positions as researchers, consultants, project managers and policy advisors. Because of the international orientation and the thorough academic foundation of the Master's programme, graduates are also well prepared to pursue a PhD degree in the Netherlands or another European country.

- Choosing your expertise

During your application process you’ll choose whether you want to do this specialisation as one of the following Master’s programmes:

- Master’s in Spatial Planning

- Master’s in Environment and Society Studies

This means that you will graduate with an MSc in either Spatial Planning or in the Social and Political Sciences of the Environment, even though the study programme is identical. The diploma supplement accompanying your degree certificate will state that you have followed the ESEP specialisation and the courses you passed.

Experience shows that the choice of MSc degree will likely reflect your personal preferences, but because the programme outlines are identical it does not influence your career prospects.

More important for your future career aspirations are the topic of your Master’s thesis and possible internship. We therefore offer our students a large amount of freedom in choosing their thesis topic within the field of spatial and environmental planning. We also have a broad European network which allows us to help you go abroad if that will help you acquire the knowledge you need and the expertise you desire.

Our research in this field

The Radboud University department in Geography, Spatial Planning and Environment has developed its own profile, which is supported with internationally recognised research. The emphasis is on the social science and policy studies approach to environmental policy and spatial planning. We use approaches from EU studies, governance studies, political sciences, economics, sociology and other related approaches in our research.

All researchers of our department are affiliated with the Institute for Management Research (IMR). Central to the IMR research are six Multidisciplinary Research Groups bringing together expertise from different disciplines and addressing complex societal issues. In these groups, interaction with societal actors takes place, needs for both fundamental knowledge and knowledge from society are articulated, and both conceptual and empirical research undertaken. The Multidisciplinary Research Groups in which researchers from Geography, Spatial Planning and Environment participate are:

- Europeanization of Policy and Law

- Gender and Power in Politics and Management

- Global-Local Divides and Connections

- Governance and innovations in social services

- Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Ecosystems

- Responsible Decision Making

Thesis topics

As a Master’s student of European Spatial and Environmental Planning you have plenty of freedom to choose your own Master’s research topic in order to create your own expertise.

See the website

Visit the MSc in European Spatial and Environmental Planning page on the Radboud University website for more details!






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