Unravel complex interactions between man and environment

Geographers are in equal parts natural and social scientists and have specialised knowledge of techniques for analysing complex interactions between man and environment. They make a major contribution to the debate on environmental change, globalisation, and other societal challenges and seek solutions for a more sustainable development of our planet, on both local and global scales. The Department of Geography of Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of KULevuen (both top 100 in QS ranking) have joined forces to offer a highly competitive two-year interuniversity master programme in Geography.

VUB and KULeuven: the best of Belgium!

The Geography departments of both Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KULeuven continuously develop and maintain innovative and internationally recognised research programmes on fundamental and applied aspects of geosciences, covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Most research programmes are international collaborations, and both departments take part in various international research networks.

The offered courses are strongly embedded in the ongoing research programmes of both universities. Through intensive collaboration with members of the different research groups, you will get the opportunity to develop and improve your scientific skills.

If you are more interested in urbanisation, the planning and dynamics of cities, take a look at our Master of Science in Urban Studies.

Frederik Priem, alumnus and PhD student

A well balanced mix

"A well balanced mix of physical, social sciences and spatial modelling skills is what attracted me to study geography, and this is exactly what I got when I started out at VUB. I chose to specialise in GIS and spatial modelling, yet my master programme allowed me to explore other paths as well. My fields of interest were clearly reflected in the choice of my master thesis which focused on spatial analysis of rural poverty in southwest-Ethiopia, for which I had the opportunity to perform field work in this fascinating country."

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Which path do you choose?

The set-up of the programme, which includes a common core and three research tracks, either focusing on physical geography, social and urban geography, or GIS and spatial modelling, gives you the possibility to match it to your interests and ambitions. The programme offers comprehensive coverage of spatially explicit approaches for analysing social and natural phenomena and how these interact. Hands-on training in the use of qualitative and quantitative geographical research techniques prepares you perfectly for your future career. Students follow courses at KULeuven two days per week.

Track: Earth & Climate

In this specialisation you will gain a deep understanding of land surface and atmospheric processes shaping the physical environment and acquire quantitative skills for analysing and modelling the dynamics of these processes. You will also learn to independently define and carry out research projects in geosciences and develop a synthetic vision of environmental issues, at local, regional and global levels.

Track: City, Society & Space

In a strongly urbanised world there is a growing need to better understand social, economic, cultural, and political dynamics of urban areas. The City, Society & Space track focuses on the multifaceted issues that cities are experiencing in the current era of globalisation. During your studies, you will be introduced to key urban social and economic theories and become familiar with critical views of urban development. In the interdisciplinary spirit of urban studies, you will have the chance to engage with and integrate insights from key debates in urban planning and design, housing and real estate markets, tourism and regional development, and much more. What’s more, you will be trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods that will allow you to analyse contemporary urban dynamics in a synthetic and rigorous way.

Track: GIS & Spatial Modelling

In the GIS & Spatial Modelling track you will become acquainted with new approaches and techniques for acquiring, managing, analysing and mapping spatial data. Based on your skills in spatial data handling and your background in both natural and human sciences, you will be trained in analysing complex interactions between man and environment and in the application of spatial decision-making mechanisms. As an expert in geodata processing and spatial modelling you will get the opportunity to improve your knowledge in important application fields of geo-information science, including natural resource management, spatial planning, mobility and transportation. A big bonus is that you can also opt to include a 2-month GIS internship in your study programme.

Take a look at an example of your future timetables!

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies.

Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.


International experiences give incredible opportunities and memories that last forever. They can also seriously improve your academic performance and your career prospects. That is why we want our students to go out into the world and become true world citizens. At VUB, the world is your oyster!

Field trips and excursions

As a geography student you are privileged. As the Earth is your study subject, you need to go out there and discover the world so you can truly understand it. Field trips and excursions are a crucial element of your study programme, and allow you to look at the world from either a physical or societal perspective. The departments at both universities have a host of research projects and collaborations from which you can benefit. That means you might spend a few months abroad for fieldwork in the framework of your master thesis (Equatorial Africa, Asia, South-America, European cities, etc.). You can also include a semester in another (European) country in your study programme or do an internship abroad. As you can see, the world is your oyster!


Do these international excursions give you an appetite for more? The departments at both universities have a whole host of research projects and collaborations from which you can benefit. That means you might spend a few months abroad for fieldwork in the framework of your Master's thesis (Equatorial Africa, Asia, South America, European Cities, etc.). You can also include a semester in another (European) country in your study programme or do an internship abroad.

Go abroad?


Where will you go?



A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Your job? Solving real-world problems!

Geographers integrate the study of physical and human systems. They are in equal parts natural and social scientists and have specialised knowledge in geographical information science techniques.

There is a growing interest for the multidisciplinary approach geographers can offer to solve real-world problems at all spatial scales - from local to global - and a strong demand for competent professionals in the broad field of geospatial sciences. As a graduate from the interuniversity programme Master of Geography, you may be recruited by public authorities, private companies and research institutions dealing with urban and regional planning, mobility and transportation, tourism, environmental conservation and management, natural risk assessment, as well as by a multitude of providers and users of geodata-based tools and services.


If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

More info
Harry Zekollari, PhD student

Unforgettable excursion to the Alps

"Studying at VUB opened my mind and was my introduction to the fascinating world of physical geography. After an unforgettable excursion to the Alps I decided to focus on this region for my Master's thesis and during my last year I had the opportunity to participate in two field work campaigns on a glacier in Switzerland. The thrill and excitement of working on a glacier made me realise that this was the environment where I belonged and where I wanted to spend the coming years of my life.
After my Master in Geography, I therefore started a PhD focusing on glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets around the world. During my PhD I travelled to some of the most remote places on earth and had the unique opportunity to visit ice masses in the European Alps, Alaska, Russia, Spitsbergen and even Antarctica. Working and living for several weeks in the Belgian Princesse Elisabeth research station, the first 'zero-emission' station in Antarctica, was an absolute highlight. It has been a truly amazing adventure so far and I often realise that non of this would have been possible if I had not studied Geography at VUB. It was probably the best choice I made in my life, one I would recommend to anyone."

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Direct admission or online application? Find out more on this page.

Admission criteria

Direct admission - Flemish degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Geography
  • Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geomatics

Online application
The Master’s programme presupposes a broad basic knowledge of the natural and social sciences, as well as a broad introduction to geography. The starting conditions are expressed in the amount of ECTS the student should have already acquired in both natural and human science fields. Students should also provide a proof of sufficient knowledge of English.

Equivalency and admission to the programme will be based on a review of each student's academic record and will be evaluated case by case.

Online application

Students who don't have a Flemish bachelor degree are required to submit an online application. The application procedure consists out of three steps:

  1. Apply online
    Fill out your personal information and upload your documents.
  2. Screening of your application
    The Admissions Office and the Faculty will check if you are eligible.
  3. Result via e-mail
    If your application is accepted, we will send you a Letter of Acceptance.

All information on the admision procedure, requirements, deadlines and application forms can be found on the application page.

Application deadlines

There are two separate deadlines to submit an application if you are applying with a foreign degree, depending on whether or not you require a visa to enter Belgium.

You can find all information on the application page.

For more details on admission requirements and application

Click here


Academic year 2020-2021

The programme MSc in Geography will be organised during the academic year 2020-2021.

We are currently preparing for different scenarios, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in case of a second major outbreak, our progamme guarantees that its students will obtain the intended learning outcomes.

We aim to have live classes on campus as much as possible under the condition that they can be organised safely, but will also provide the necessary online alternatives.

The VUB traditionally works with small to medium-sized groups of students. This important asset guarantees a unique and personalised learning experience with a lot of practical work and interactions with teaching staff. These smaller groups also make it possible for us to org anise classes and practicals in line with the safety regulations related to ‘physical distancing’.

The online learning platform Canvas offers the necessary technological support for the courses. We also use screencasts, recordings, discussion fora and virtual classrooms in order to keep distance learning interactive.

Practical information

Not sure how to get started? Wondering about housing?

Prepare your stay



Depending on your situation, you can either arrange your own accommodation off campus, or apply for a VUB room on campus.




Tuition fee

All information about our tuition fees in one place.




How much money do I need?

A general idea of how much money you'll need for housing, food and other living costs in Belgium.


Convinced to come and study at the VUB?

Start your application now!