Utrecht University

Urban and Economic Geography, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
    Duration
  • English
    Language
Utrecht's University Master of Science in Urban and Economic Geography will provide a broad theoretical and methodological background that will allow you to become an academic or professional researcher of ongoing social, spatial, and economic developments in cities and regions.

About

Diverse developments

Globalisation is subjecting cities and regions to continuous challenges such as increasing urbanisation and growing economic and social interdependences. Complex and dynamic relationships have developed between inhabitants, migrants, businesses, and institutions, and these relationships can foster innovation, creativity, and economic growth.

However, increasing urbanisation can also lead to social and economic inequalities, tensions between groups with different lifestyles, and threats to health and well-being. In addition, globalisation can reinforce economic disparities within regions and cities in both developed and developing countries. Environmental changes can also generate unhealthy living conditions and lead to a displacement of people and businesses. In general, regional and urban areas worldwide experience disparate development due to differences in their position in globalised systems; their location in a developed or developing country or region; and specific cultural, social, political, and economic characteristics.

As a student in the two-year Master’s programme in Urban and Economic Geography at Utrecht University, you will focus on research questions such as:

  • Why do regions and cities differ in terms of economic and innovative performance, creativity, and quality of life?
  • How do social and economic inequality and tensions arise within and between cities and regions?
  • How do individuals and businesses experience changes in their urban and regional conditions, and how do they respond to these changes?
  • Which governance systems and policies are most effective in addressing the social, economic, cultural, and mobility issues of the globalised and urbanised world?
  • How can we use and develop scientific theories and methodologies to investigate these issues?

Research skills and ethics

The course content includes various courses on research skills and philosophy in order for you to acquire both advanced research skills and an ethical framework. You will also participate in research, carry out your own research, and discuss your research with peers and advanced researchers throughout the programme. You will form an integral part of the research community at the Urban and Regional research centre (URU) of Utrecht during your studies.

Programme objective

In Urban and Economic Geography at Utrecht University, you will study the reasons behind the diverse developments in the globalised and urbanised world, and you will learn to translate up-to-date theoretical and methodological developments into empirical research. You will also formulate effective policy recommendations to make cities and regions more viable and sustainable.

As a graduate, you will have an excellent basis for completing a PhD in the fields of urban geography, economic geography, development studies, and urban and regional planning. You will also qualify for senior research functions within international and national organisations, such as the United Nations, Dutch ministries, regional and local bodies, NGOs, and multinational companies. You will be able to perform advanced scientific research within the fields of human geography and spatial planning.

Career

This programme will equip you with the ability to critically assess research designs and results and policy implications. This will give you an excellent basis for either a PhD research position at a university or a senior position in national or international companies and research institutions.

As a graduate, you will be eligible for PhD research or senior research and other positions in organisations such as government ministries, regional and local authorities, urban and country planning consultancies, and private research institutes. 

Many of our recent graduates find jobs in companies (31%), while the second largest group of our graduates choose an academic career by entering a PhD programme in the Netherlands or abroad (26%), or by starting research-teaching activities at a university (10%). A few of our students found employment with non-academic research institutions (18%).

Accreditation

Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • The New Science of Cities
  • Quantitative Urban and Economic Analysis
  • Urban Social Dynamics
  • Doing Qualitative Research in Dynamic Urban Settings
  • Urban Resilience
  • Writing Competences
  • Key Thinkers in Urban and Economic Geography
  • Communication Competences
  • Scientific Research Proposal
For more information, please visit the programme's website.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:

    6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):

    193

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:

    93

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • Besides TOEFL, IELTS and CAE, also Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE - at least Grade C) is accepted as a proof of English Proficiency.
  • You have a University Bachelor's degree in human geography and/or urban and regional planning
  • You have a University Bachelor's degree in another spatial, social or economic science discipline with at least a minor of 30 ECTS in human geography and/or urban and regional planning
  • University Master's degree in another social or economic science field with a substantial amount of ‘spatial’ and ‘research’ content
  • You are able to express yourself in proficient English, both orally and in written text, as evidenced by your motivation letter and/or writing sample, and the interview that is part of the selection procedure.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15575 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15575 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    2060 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

For more information about tuition fees and exemptions have a look at the programme website.

Living costs for Utrecht

  • 900 - 1450 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.

Funding

Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university.  You can begin your search for funding by reviewing the list below, which contains some of the scholarships and loans available to international students:

  • Utrecht Excellence Scholarships
  • Holland Scholarships
  • Orange Tulip Scholarships
  • Canadian student loans
  • Fulbright / NAF
  • US Federal Loans
  • Erasmus+ Master loans

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.