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Masters Degrees in Social Geography, Netherlands

We have 4 Masters Degrees in Social Geography, Netherlands

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SOCIAL PROBLEMS. HOW DO THEY ARISE? AND HOW DO YOU SOLVE THEM?. The radicalisation of Muslim youth is continually in the news and high on the political agenda. Read more

SOCIAL PROBLEMS: HOW DO THEY ARISE? AND HOW DO YOU SOLVE THEM?

The radicalisation of Muslim youth is continually in the news and high on the political agenda. What has scientific research revealed about the causes and background of this issue? How should the government and societal actors handle this trend and which policy is effective? An ageing population leads to increasing healthcare costs. How should care for the elderly be structured in order to make it personal and affordable again? The virtual and physical world are increasingly merging. What role does the internet play in shaping political and social movements' ability to self-organise?

The experts of tomorrow

As society becomes more complex, the demand for experts continues to expand. In the one-year Master’s programme Contemporary Social Problems, you will be trained to become an expert on one important social theme. You choose one contemporary issue in which you will specialise:

  • Crime and Safety
  • Internet, Social Media and Networks
  • Care, Policy and Organisations

You design your own track in this Master’s programme, in which you quickly and rigorously immerse yourself in your specialisation. You will learn about the state-of-the-art in current scholarship. You will become an expert, trained in multidisciplinary thinking. In addition to sociology as your core subject, you will also take courses in the social psychology and social geography of your chosen theme, allowing you to tailor your education to your personal and professional interests.

Theory and practice

In this programme, you will learn to translate theory into practice, by using scientific knowledge to design effective concrete (policy) advice for companies or governmental organisations. You will also learn to present research results to a wider audience.

Labour market

There is a significant focus on your transition to the labour market. You will meet experts working for relevant organisations in the professional field. We will help you find an internship, so that you can gain practical work experience. The practical skills you acquire will be very useful during your internship and in your future career: you will learn more about conducting interviews, communications, time management and designing policy advice. 

Objective of the programme

During this Master’s programme, you will be thoroughly trained to analyse and advise on contemporary social issues. You will develop yourself into an academic professional and an expert on your chosen theme. The boundary between public and private is often transcended, which means that once you complete the Master’s, you can work in both the private and (semi) public sectors. Potential careers include applied researcher in the corporate world, policy advisor at a ministry or municipality, advisor, project coordinator or consultant.



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Master's specialisation in Globalisation, Migration and Development. You will study various dimensions and aspects of globalisation, notably as this relates to socio-economic and spatial development for different parts of the world, the Global South in particular. Read more

Master's specialisation in Globalisation, Migration and Development

You will study various dimensions and aspects of globalisation, notably as this relates to socio-economic and spatial development for different parts of the world, the Global South in particular. Core issues on which this master specialisation will focus include: changing relationships of global and local societies through the rise of new social and spatial inequalities brought about by global processes, migration and mobility and the emergence of transnational identities versus local interpretations in so-called multicultural societies. Overall we give particular emphasis to the relationship with urban contexts of these issues, but do also link it up with rural domains, e.g. in studying sustainability of livelihood strategies and development policies in different regions.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/gmd

Career prospects

Our graduates are employed in a wide range of jobs in- and outside the Netherlands. To give some insight in the scope of the work they do we have categorised this as follows, adding that this list is not exhaustive:

1. Working for the Dutch government at local, regional, national and international levels regarding development issues such as poverty, livelihoods, social exclusion and empowerment:

- Policymaker / programme researcher for city municipalities focusing on integration and multi-cultural issues, especially in the low-income neighbourhoods;

- Policy development expert for Provincial Governments in The Netherlands;

- Policy expert or programme/field officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

- Programme officer with Nuffic (Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher education)

2. Working as an NGO practitioner in development cooperation:

- Field officer for Max Havelaar or Fair Trade, visiting developing countries to establish business contracts with local farmer organisations;

- Research officer for the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (http://www.cbi.nl/) promoting and facilitating entry of entrepreneurs from developing countries in the European market.

- Researcher/programme officer with development aid related organisations such as: Cordaid, VSO, SNV, Novib/Oxfam, Hivos and COS (Association of Centres for international cooperation at the provincial level), or a migrant (umbrella) organisation.

3. Pursuing an academic career (research and education) with one of many research institutes studying migration, globalisation, integration or development issues in the Netherlands and abroad:

- Conducting highly innovative PhD research on migration and development, health and urbanisation, the rural impact of globalisation, etc. (see http://www.nwo.nl/ for past research proposals)

- Working for a research institute/organisation involved with migration and globalisation: e.g. MPI, IOM, Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/gmd



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What impact did the recent economic crisis have on individuals' living and working conditions, on individuals' study and career choices, on social inequalities and social cohesion?. Read more
What impact did the recent economic crisis have on individuals' living and working conditions, on individuals' study and career choices, on social inequalities and social cohesion?

The International Master in Social Demography is a Double Degree Program offered jointly by the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) of Barcelona and the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen (UoG). After the successful completion of the program students end up with two official diplomas: Master of Research in Sociology and Demography, issued by the University Pompeu Fabra, and Master of Science in Population Studies, issued by the University of Groningen.

The double degree program, which is entirely offered in English, combines the strengths of two of the highest-ranked Social Science Departments in Europe to offer high level research training in Sociology and Demography.

The programme emphasizes the study of both advanced and developing societies from an unique interdisciplinary and dynamic perspective.

Degree: MSc in Population Studies

Why in Groningen?

The program combines the strengths of two of the highest-ranked Social Science Departments in Europe to offer high level research training in Sociology and Demography. It emphasizes the study of both advanced and developing societies from a dynamic perspective, using analytical and methodological tools from two disciplines. The program has a unique approach for understanding how individuals' main life events both influence and are influenced by the social context in which they live.

Job perspectives

The objective of the programme is to train young professionals and social scientists in the theories, analytical and methodological tools from both sociology and demography to conduct high quality research on how individuals' main life events (e.g. childbirth, education, marriage, occupation, divorce, death) both influence and are influenced by the social and geographical context in which they live.

The program emphasizes the study of both advanced and developing societies from an unique interdisciplinary and dynamic perspective.

After graduation you can find work in business, the government, or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Demographers are trained to work with and interpret large data files. You can use these skills to make policy or develop programmes. You can also pursue an academic career and apply for a PhD position

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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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