What do you learn on the master's programme?
Our programme is especially designed so you can align it with your specific interests and ambitions. Next to a common basis, you can select two out of four specialisation modules: Earth and Climate; Society and Space; Geo-information Sciences and Mixed Methods. The programme offers comprehensive coverage of spatial methods for analysing social and natural phenomena and their interactions. Hands-on training in the use of qualitative and quantitative geographical research techniques prepares you perfectly for your future career.
Earth and Climate
This module focuses on environmental processes such as global warming, ice – climate interaction, meteorology, and geomorphology. By choosing this module, you will gain a deep understanding of the physical aspects of the environment and a synthetic view of environmental issues. Combined with strengthening modules, it will provide you with all the knowledge needed to understand and participate in geo-scientific research.
Society and Space
Given the imminent climate crisis and the ever-increasing impact of humans on our planet, a true understanding of how society and space relate to each other is needed. In this module you will focus on the processes of economic development, urbanisation and urban development, policy and governance, but also on how use of the natural environment impacts social inequality. Through strengthening courses, you can further specialise in themes such as sustainable development and tourism or the interdisciplinary field of urban studies and urban planning.
This module offers you the latest methods and techniques for spatial data collection and data processing, particularly in the area of remote sensing. You will also develop a strong understanding of how to model the complex interactions between human and the environment. Combined with strengthening modules, you will become an expert in the use of spatial data in those fields where it matters most, such as environmental management, spatial planning, transport and mobility.
In the Mixed Methods module, you will deepen and broaden your knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods. We provide plenty of opportunities to apply these methods to geographic problems and to deepen the understanding of novel research approaches. How can we use big data to tackle complex urban problems? How can land use changes be modelled? And what are state-of the art techniques for qualitative research? Combined with the other modules, you will master geographical methods and apply them to study human-environment interactions.
The strengths of our Geography master's programme
- The world is your oyster, thanks to diverse international opportunities to gain new perspectives and learn during fieldwork, internships, excursions and field trips.
- VUB and KU Leuven: the best of Belgium! We 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.
Students as scientists: our 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 refine your scientific skills.
Student reviews of the course
- Harry Zekollari | PhD student
"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 thesis, and during my last year I had the opportunity to participate in two fieldwork 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 Princess 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 none 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."
Your job? Solving real-world problems!
As a geographer, you integrate the study of physical and human systems. You are a natural and social scientist offering specialised knowledge in geographical information and scientific techniques. There is a growing interest in the multidisciplinary approach geographers can offer to solve real-world problems on every scale - from local to global - and a strong demand for competent professionals in the broad field of geospatial sciences. This interuniversity programme opens doors in the offices of 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 with a multitude of providers and users of geodata-based tools and services.
Discover the many opportunities
A better idea of the programme?
Would you like to know more about this VUB programme? Take part in our (online) study choice activities. Leaf through our brochure, chat with other students, put questions to our professors in an online info session, read our alumni testimonials or attend an open lecture or info day.