The world is the playground of geographers: Human Geography is about people, space and place. It studies the relationship between human activities and their spatial environment. Some examples of geographic questions include:

  • What explains clustering behaviour of companies in retail areas?
  • Children of divorced parents: which factors affect the question of where they feel at home?
  • What is the impact of foreign direct investments on mobility and displacement of local communities in Uganda?
  • What are the effects of surveillance and policing on wellbeing and the exclusion of certain social groups from urban nightlife?
  • What is the relationship between neighbourhood characteristics and mental health?
  • What will be the impact of Brexit on EU-UK mobility flows?

Human Geography, being an integrative discipline, serves as an excellent platform for integrating knowledge from various related disciplines, such as Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Economics. Doing research related to space, place, and interactions, within and across spaces and places, leads many geographers to range far from the field's core and explore the peripheral realms where geographic perspectives and insights intersect with those from other disciplines. A distinguishing feature of geographers is their orientation toward the world, and learning outside the classroom is an important way of acquiring skills and knowledge.  

Geography as an integrating discipline has interface with numerous natural and social

sciences. Many disciplines are linked with geography as many of their elements vary over space and over time. Geography helps in understanding the reality in totality, in its spatial perspective. A geographer is required to have a broad understanding of all the related disciplines, to be able to logically integrate them. Examples of common combinations of tracks are those of Economics, Development Studies, and Earth & Environment.

All students who would like to major in Human Geography start with the UCSSCGEO11 Introduction to Human Geography. From there one can opt for one of the 200 level courses Urban Geography or Development Studies. At the 300 level, European Integration could be an option, as well as the Globalization and Regional Development course. The different courses can be combined as they fit best to the student’s specific interests. A Research Thesis in the field of geography may deal with any of a wide array of topics, reflecting the multitude of questions human geographers try to answer. Contact the fellow to help you with the first thought and writings for your research proposal and to find a supervisor. 

The Graduate School of Geosciences at Utrecht University offers a large choice of one-year (60 EC) and two year (120 EC)  Master's programmes (e.g. Human Geography, International Development Studies, Urban and Economic Geography Sustainable Development). These programmes cover the traditional broad field of Geosciences, all taught in English. There are some alternatives at other Dutch universities, in Amsterdam (Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam and Earth & Environmental Sciences at the Free University), Groningen (also interesting if you want to specialize in the field of Demography) and Nijmegen (Political Geography, specifically Border Studies). The number of programmes at universities abroad is limitless, certainly if the wider field of Geosciences is considered.

To prepare yourself, visit the Master’s Open Day and look at the requirements as specified for the different Master's programmes. Some programmes require proven experience in applying research methods & techniques.

Contact person