The Faculty of Spatial Sciences is a growing faculty with an open character, that has short lines between staff and students. There are four departments: Cultural Geography, Demography, Economic Geography and Planning. The research themes of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences are Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. Our mission is to produce research which is world-leading, distinctive, and policy-relevant to these major issues faced by contemporary society. With two bachelor and eight master programmes, the faculty offers a wide range of courses within the field to about 950 students. The faculty conducts both fundamental and applied research. The faculty in Groningen is the only independent faculty of Spatial Sciences in the Netherlands.
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. Human Geography 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 & Urban and Regional 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.
What effect will climate change have on our future cities and rural areas? How can you develop sustainable strategies and designs for new and existing urban systems? How do you deal with a complex built environment and related planning processes? Planners are asked to translate spatial transformation such as urban growth and decline into new opportunities to enhance the quality of life. The Bachelor's degree programme in Spatial Planning and Design revolves around physical and institutional design. The course units you follow are related to spatial planning and design, water management, infrastructure and environmental planning, spatial computer programs, complex decision-making, and academic research. You also go on excursions to see spatial projects in practice. There will be an opportunity to develop your personal interests via elective course units. You complete your Bachelor's degree with a research project.
When you have a (relevant) University of Applied Sciences degree there is the possibility to do a pre-master at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. The pre-master programme takes one year. When you have finished the programme you are directly admissible to one of the Spatial Sciences master programmes. You can find more information about the pre-master programmes on the website of the faculty.
When you have finished your bachelor, you can choose to do a master at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. The faculty offers 7 master programmes in English and 1 programme in Dutch: Cultural Geography, Economic Geography, Environmental and Infrastructure Planning, Real Estate Studies, Socio-Spatial Planning, Population Studies, Research Master in Spatial Sciences (two years), and the 1- or 2-year Educational Master in Geography (only offered in Dutch). You can also choose one of the Double Degrees and a track within Cultural Geography or Economic Geography. For more information about the Master programmes see the website.
The faculty board of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences deals with the daily course of events of the organization and is also responsible for research and education. The board is responsible for policies, makes the study and research programs and maintains contact with all organizational organs of the University of Groningen. The board guards the quality of research and education and stimulates employees to come up with new ideas. The board is accountable towards the ‘College van Bestuur’ of the University of Groningen.
Each year the faculty council names a student assessor, which fulfills an advisory role in the faculty board. The student assessor represents all students in the faculty and stands up for their best interests. Tasks of the student assessor are to attend the weekly board meetings, meetings with other student assessors and the university council. The student assessor is also the contact for all faculty organizations, such as Ibn Battuta.
The current members of the faculty board for this year are (from left to right) Prof. dr Oscar Couwenberg (Dean/education finance manager), Tialda Haartsen (vice-dean/ research finance manager), Gerda Groen (secretary and also in charge of finance) and Sacha Verhulst ( Student Assessor)