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BSc Human Geography & Planning

University of Groningen
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
Virtual open day

Program description

BSc Human Geography & Planning

Are you interested in the world around you? Are you fascinated by maps? Do you dare to ask critical questions about the world that you are living in?

Do you believe you can help to further develop our world into a sustainable society? Then Human Geography and Planning may be the right choice for you

Why is unemployment higher in some regions than others? What are the social and economic consequences in depopulating areas? How do you deal with different institutions to plan and build new residential areas? Human geographers investigate society in a spatial context. Our students learn to focus on spatial differences because social phenomena happen in specific places, at specific times and with specific impacts.

In the first year you will be introduced to all themes within the fields of Human Geography and Planning. In the second year, the programme continues to deepen your knowledge and improve your skills. In the third year you are allowed to partly fill in your own programme.

You can follow courses provided by our faculty but you can also take a Minor or do an internship in a related field. There are also possibilities to visit an international university and follow related courses. Finally, you will write your Bachelor's thesis to prove that you acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to become a human geographer and/or urban and regional planner.

Why Groningen?

If you want to study Human Geography and Planning, Groningen is the perfect choice. The strength of the programme lies in its combination of five fields: Economic Geography, Real Estate Studies, Population Studies, Cultural Geography and Planning. There is an open atmosphere and it is easy to contact other students and lecturers.

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences takes a small-scale approach and we help our students to learn how to work independently. You will be assigned to a mentor group together with other first-year students whom you will get to know very well. Your mentor is a senior student who can teach you all the ins and outs of our faculty. You will also be assigned a tutor with whom you can discuss your study progress.

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Admission requirements

  • Language test: IELTS  (Academic version) 6.0, with a minimum score of 6.0 on each section, TOEFL: minimum overall score 80 (reading: 18, listening: 18, speaking: 20, writing: 21)
    Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders from United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.
  • Matching procedure: Dutch students are obligated to fill out the question form which is part of the matching procedure. When the advice gives reason to, the student is asked to do a home assignment. When asked, this is obligatory. International students are selected by the Admissions Board of the Programme.
  • Previous education: Students should have a Dutch VWO diploma, if not, students should have an international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (vwo) degree.
  • Other admission requirements: When you want to take a Colloquium Doctum (a 21+ test), please contact the Study Advisor

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Program content

Year 1

  • Reflecting on Human Geography and Spatial Planning (5 EC)
  • Urbanism and Planning (Spatial Planning 1) (10 EC)
  • Economic Geography (10 EC)
  • Statistics 1 (5 EC)
  • Geographic Information Systems (10 EC)
  • Introduction to Scientific Research (5 EC)
  • Population Geographies (10 EC)
  • Rural-Urban Relations (5 EC)

Year 2

  • Migration and Development (10 EC)
  • Physical Geography of the World (5 EC)
  • Methods of Scientific Research (HG&URP) (10 EC)
  • Related Elective: Healthy Ageing, Geographies of the United States, Population and Development or Real Estate Principles (5 EC)
  • Governance Dynamics (10 EC)
  • Methods of Academic Research (10 EC)
  • People, Place and Culture (10 EC)
  • Landscapes (5 EC)

Year 3

  • Minor or Optional Modules (30 EC)
  • Geography, Planning and the European Union (5 EC)
  • Philosophy of Social Science (5 EC)
  • Bachelor's Project (15 EC)
  • Fieldwork Abroad (5 EC)

Tuition fees

  • Full-time EU/EEA Students: € 2168 per year
  • Full-time Non-EU/EEA Students: € 10000 per year


BSc in Human Geography and Planning

Career opportunities

Job prospects
Graduates with a Bachelor's degree in Human Geography and Planning often decide to pursue a Master's degree in a related field. Our Master's degrees grant you access to careers in business, government and research.

Suitable jobs can be found in the world of local planning and government agencies, academic and non-academic research institutes, international organizations (or NGOs), advisory/consultancy agencies and elsewhere.

Job opportunities:

  • Advisor spatial planning at a consultancy firm
  • Project manager at a local government agency
  • Researcher at a University, research institute or NGO
  • High school geography teacher

Contact school

Want to know more about this program, BSc Human Geography & Planning? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.


About this institute

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, founded in 1614 and it ranks amongst the top 100 universities in the world. We are a research intensive institution offering a wide range of highly regarded bachelor,...

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Why study at University of Groningen

We're a Top 100 University

Study at one of the world’s leading universities. Learn from the best and take advantage of exciting research opportunities. Live in a vibrant city where over a quarter of the population are students. Whatever you’re seeking from your university experience, you’ll find it in Groningen. With over 45 world-class Bachelor’s programmes and 160 highly-ranked Master’s programmes, we have a field of study for you.

Our groundbreaking research

As a student, you will be actively involved in research at one of Europe’s top research institutions from the get-go. The University of Groningen carries out ground-breaking and socially-relevant research that builds bridges between disciplines and closes the gap between science and society.

400 years of reputation

The University of Groningen is the second oldest university in the Netherlands and has built a reputation for excellence. Many talented people have passed through the university during its rich 400-year history, including Nobel Prize winners like Ben Feringa (Chemistry, 2016) and Frits Zernike (Physics, 1953). Some have been pioneers in their respective fields, such as the first female University student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Bank.

Vibrant Student Life

While its history can be traced back to 300 BC, today Groningen is a vibrant student city with the youngest population in the Netherlands – one in four people here is a student! That means there’s always something to do, with various art and music festivals, theatres, cinemas and performance venues catering to all tastes, whether you prefer to watch or want to join in. In Groningen, you’ll see students everywhere: studying in the pretty Noorderplantsoen park, working various part-time jobs and partying the night away.

Global Community

The University of Groningen attracts a large international community! Our Erasmus Student Network (ESN) conveniently facilitates all international students in Groningen and organizes over 150 activities a year. The University of Groningen has strong international connections which means that you can easily spend part of your degree studying abroad. The University also offers several unique international Master’s degree programmes in cooperation with other large European universities.

Contact info

University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

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