The Msc programme Cultural Geography aims to train students to become professionally competent in the field of geography and liveability so that they can make a useful contribution to improving place-related liveability, quality of life and wellbeing in society.
The programme deals with the qualities of a place (neighborhood, village, city, region) that add to the quality of life as experienced by inhabitants and visitors. Aspects that influence the liveability of places and communities are safety, health, quality of the residential environment (housing, facilities and services), social interaction and participation, community involvement, possibilities for recreation and tourism, quality and unicity of the landscape. Feelings of rootedness and belonging, but also curiosity and excitement about new places, positively influence the liveability of places at local, regional, national and global levels. This may support social cohesion, community resilience and the adaptive potential of people and communities to innovate.
Why in Groningen?
Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands where you can do a Master in Cultural Geography. Students are trained with the necessary critical, analytical, methodological and theoretical tools to contribute to place-related liveability in society. Career perspectives vary from governments, NGOs and corporate roles.
You will find graduates of the Msc. Cultural Geography in a variety of places.
Three types of work stand out: 1. conducting scientific research or do research for a company, 2. the formulation of policy and advice and representing spatial interests, 3. the transfer of information in areas such as historic preservation, tourism, journalism, or education,. For example, you work in a municipality, a county, a consulting firm, a heritage organization, a housing association or tourist agencies.
To optimize the connection between the Master's program and the labour market, we try to stay in touch with our alumni, for example via the LinkedIn group Master Cultural Geography.
Research in the Master
The research in the Master Cultural Geography is strongly embedded in the research of its staff, on the themes of Place, Identity and Well-being.
Central focus is the lived experiences of local peoples all over the world. Topics of recent research projects are: community engagement; ageing and wellbeing; innovation and rural transformation; socio-spatial consequences of population decline; heritage; historical landscape change; perception and evaluation of nature and landscape; nature and health; death and burial; entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility; employment opportunities; housing and the living environments of various groups within society; social impact assessment; social aspects of new technology; governance of places; social aspects of agriculture and farming; social aspects of natural resource management; and visitor and host experiences of tourism.
Our research embraces the social relations between people and places, emotional geographies, and the experience of spatial transformation and liveability. We believe that knowing one's 'place' is fundamental to the formation of human identity and to wellbeing. Forms of cultural expression such as art, architecture, ritual and language, and our understanding and appreciation of nature and landscape all interact with the physical environment in the creation of our individual and community life-stories. As such, the ways in which we construct and transform spaces and places manifest our imagination and self-awareness. In doing so, we make sense of, define, and celebrate our personal and collective identities, communities and localities.
Our research is strongly empirically embedded. During the master, students learn qualitative and quantitative research methodologies regarding place attachment, identities and liveability. In the Master thesis, there is room for innovative methods including visual methodologies and location-based applications (social or soft GIS).
The research theme of Place, Identity and Wellbeing fits within the faculty research programme 'towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation' (tWIST) and the themes population decline and Healthy Ageing.