Society, Sustainability and Planning (MSc)

the Netherlands

For more information about Society, Sustainability and Planning at University of Groningen, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
12 Months

Domestic course fees
EUR 2209 per year

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
February, September

International course fees
EUR 16201 per year

All study options

About Society, Sustainability and Planning at University of Groningen

The master programme in Society, Sustainability and Planning centres around understanding the human factor in spatial interventions.

Society, Sustainability and Planning promotes a novel understanding of how to transform the built environment in collaboration with its users. Our courses pay attention to the social, cultural, political, and economic environment in which decision-making on spatial interventions takes place.

The emergence of self-organizing citizen collectives is a critical change in today's societal strive for sustainable places and futures. SSP emphasizes the role of citizens in shaping places. We interrogate why different stakeholders and social groups embrace, contest, or reject spatial changes, and how we can design their surroundings in such a way that it meets their diverse needs. We present spatial justice is a leading principle to design cities of the future. Moreover, we pay explicit attention to the ways in which spatial planning can contribute to achieving the UN's sustainable development goals, such as healthy ageing, a clean environment, and eliminating poverty, in collaboration with citizens and civil society actors.

Our programme highlights the social aspects of the global transition towards a more sustainable society. Sustainability challenges are interconnected with the communities that face them. As such, our students learn to adopt new methodological and interactive approaches to problem-solving in different contexts. This exchange does not only take place outside of the classroom, but also within our small-scale, international department.

You learn to analyze, develop and negotiate innovative institutional designs and policy solutions to support and lead complex transformations in light of international sustainability and planning debates. The core of our focus on the human factor in society, sustainability and planning is using real-life cases and working with and engaging people in real-world living labs.

Through this framework, our graduates are able to utilize spatial planning in solving urgent social problems, such as inequality and climate change. Our alumni are critical and engaged consultants and researchers, who are in high demand in the labour market. They are employed by NGOs, consultancies, governments, and businesses.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course startsFebruary, SeptemberDomestic course feesEUR 2209 per yearInternational course feesEUR 16201 per year

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Access with research university, bachelor degree: Human Geography & Regional and Urban Planning, Spatial Planning and Design, Urban studies, Land Use Planning and Management, Landscape Architecture, Public Administration and Cultural Geography. You might also have access with Urban/Rural Sociology (with a focus on place-space theories and governance), Environmental Management (with a focus on governance/policy/public administration). Environmental Psychology (with a focus on governance/policy/public administration). This will be assessed individually.

If you are not directly admissible you can follow a pre-master programme.

What students think about University of Groningen

    If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    Ana Quintana, Mexico, Strategic Innovation Management

    I gained a Bachelor's degree in Management & Marketing in Mexico City before I came to the Netherlands to undertake my Master's programme. During my Bachelor's studies, I spent a semester in Canada and I wanted to expand my international (study) experiences before starting work. I was keen to focus on innovation which is not usually offered in Mexico hence the combination of Innovation and Strategy in one programme directed me to Groningen.

    My Master's thesis dealt with Innovation in family businesses and I now benefit from the intense research modules offered during the programme. Now I am working as a Promotion Manager in charge of the several customer loyalty programs offered by one of Mexico's biggest hotel chains. Although the Master's program was rather theoretical, I feel that it prepared me very well for my current job. 

    There was nothing about Groningen that I did not like: the city is just beautiful. I especially enjoyed going everywhere by bike, the variety of offers for students and, of course, the Queensday (now Kings Day) celebrations. Groningen has everything to make (foreign) students feel at home.

    Looking back a year after my return to Mexico, I feel that I especially enjoyed getting to know Dutch culture. In addition, the courses offered and the beauty of the city made my stay in Groningen an unforgettable experience. If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

    I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law

    Lejla Terzimehic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Global Criminal Law

    Thanks to the European Commission Scholarship and the Talent Grant from the University of Groningen, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law that I am most passionate about, at one of the oldest and most prestigious European universities.

    Being very intellectually challenging, the master programme truly met my expectations. Sharing knowledge with my colleagues, all coming from different legal traditions, and learning from inspiring professors enriched me with the skills I hadn't attained during my previous education.

    What I found to be the most beneficial is that the Dutch education system which, taught us to develop a critical opinion on law-related issues. Moreover, this master programme had a unique approach in tackling controversial contemporary legal issues. Due to its strong comparative emphasis, it encouraged us to keep at constant track with our national law, which is of a huge significance.

    Both the master and a 6-month long internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia strengthened my belief in Justice. Furthermore, besides this academic benefit, I believe that studying abroad unequivocally broadens our horizons and tests prejudices we even are not aware of.

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