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University of Groningen Masters Degrees in Cultural Geography

We have 3 University of Groningen Masters Degrees in Cultural Geography

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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. Read more
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.

Job perspectives

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.

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This programme trains you to do research in economic and cultural geography, planning and demography. The programme is aimed at people who are theoretically or methodologically orientated. Read more
This programme trains you to do research in economic and cultural geography, planning and demography. The programme is aimed at people who are theoretically or methodologically orientated.

The Research Master in Regional Studies is interdisciplinary. It studies the fields of demography, human geography and regional planning from a social and economic science perspective.

The two-year programme provides ample opportunity for you to focus on the themes that interest you. You will gain a thorough philosophical and methodological background, and receive a solid training in qualitative and quantitative research methods. You will participate in research projects under supervision of experienced staff members, within the Faculty's Research Program TWIST: Towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation.

You are required to gain some international experience, for instance by doing research in a foreign context, or by participating in an international workshop.

Why in Groningen?

The Research Master in Regional Studies in Groningen is unique because it delivers excellent researchers in the core themes of economic geography, cultural geography, planning and demography. At the same time, graduates combine their expertise in their own field with the capacity to put these themes in a broader, interdisciplinary perspective of the interactions between population, economy, culture and planning.

Job perspectives

You may opt for a PhD-career at a university. Commercial research and consultancy firms also hire graduates. In addition, you may work at research units of local, regional, national or even international government organisations. Finally, you can work in government related research institutes, such as the Netherlands Institute of Spatial Research (in Dutch: RPB, Ruimtelijk Planbureau).

The program of the Research Master in Regional Studies is intertwined with the Faculty's Research Program, towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation (tWIST). In courses such as Individual Research Training (IRT) and Master Thesis, students participate in ongoing research projects of the senior academic staff, which are all embedded in tWIST.

The Study Program consists of different courses in the field of Regional Studies, related to the topics in tWIST. The specific courses depend on the individual student’s interests and specialization.

The research themes Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation are studied in the broad field of geography and spatial planning, which investigates the role which space, place, location and distance, play in our communities and societies. We employ a range of qualitative, quantitative, micro and macro research methodologies to uncover these issues and to help improve wellbeing, to encourage innovation, and to increase our understanding of spatial transformation processes. The research work undertaken in each of the departments within the Faculty is also supported by the use of advanced geographical information systems (GIS). The research themes of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences complement the University of Groningen’s Healthy Ageing research program. Society is ageing and also becoming more geographically mobile. The outcome of this is that growing social inequalities in terms of wellbeing, heath and wealth are interrelated with emerging spatial inequalities. These are major issues faced by contemporary society for which the Faculty of Spatial Sciences is uniquely placed to provide coherent policy analysis, design and impact assessment.

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This programme trains you to do research in the Spatial Sciences. economic and cultural geography, spatial planning and demography. Read more
This programme trains you to do research in the Spatial Sciences: economic and cultural geography, spatial planning and demography. The programme is aimed at people who want to become successful researchers in the field.

The two-year Research Master in Spatial Sciences (before September 1, 2016 called Regional Studies) is interdisciplinary. Spatial sciences, regional studies geography and spatial planning constitute an interrelated, inherently broad and multi-disciplinary field. A field not only rich in theoretical variety but also encompassing both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, from ethnographic to case study to statistical and econometric approaches. You will develop real competences in all of these areas, in order to choose your own area of research, and become a successful researcher in the Spatial Sciences field in general.

You will participate in research projects under supervision of experienced staff members, within the Faculty's Research Program tWIST: Towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. Regular personal coaching, guidance and monitoring will help you to identify your own preferred learning trajectory and develop your individual research agenda. You are required to gain some international experience, by doing research in a foreign context, and by participating in international workshops or conferences. You can also choose to study abroad.

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