How do global transformations such as heatwaves, flooding, increased diversity in cities and infrastructural problems affect a local scale? What are the opportunities, assets, conflicts, contestations, and dilemmas that arise during these processes? And how do they shape the local spaces where people live, study and work? During the research Master’s programme Global Urban Transformations your aim is to find the answers and contribute to a more sustainable world. 

Grafische weergave van personen in gesprek met elkaar
enters a PhD programme

Transformation at its core

Global urban transformations have long-lasting spatial and social effects, and have resulted in new dynamics of in- and exclusion in cities worldwide. During the two-year programme you will therefore, analyse transformations taking place in cities all over the world, using multiple social-scientific theories and methods based on a geographical and spatial planning perspective. By identifying the complexities of developing, planning and governing cities in the context of global transformations, you will master a multi-scalar approach to understand how global forces intersect with local conditions, as well as how they create opportunities and barriers for cities therein.

See the full study programme

Research as a starting point

The need for researchers capable of analysing the complexity of contemporary urban issues is growing rapidly. With this Master's programme you will not only develop critical thinking skills in regard to current approaches and instruments for the governance of urban transformations, but also gain knowledge on how these findings can contribute to shaping policy. All while being part of the research community of the academic department, consisting of leading scholars from the fields of urban geography, economic geography, international development studies, and spatial planning.

What you need

To enrol in this two-year Master programme you need to have a background in geography or proof of related courses. Furthermore, extensive knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research is required, as is a grade point average of 7.5 or higher.

See all entry requirements

I want to combine my passion for researching and learning new things with my wish to build on a sustainable and just world!

Student Marte

Why in Utrecht

Studying Global Urban Transformations at Utrecht University has several advantages and benefits. The research Master’s Global Urban Transformations:

  • The programme is research driven, with theoretical development and advanced method training, and provides you with an excellent preparation for conducting research in academic, policy and consulting environments;
  • You are taught by leading scholars who actively participate and bring both expertise and experience from research across the globe. Here you read more about our teaching staff;
  • The small-scale setup allows for extensive interaction between you and the staff, and the strong international focus provides you with opportunities to study abroad and/or conduct research in international settings;
  • Beyond creating foundations for a PhD, this programme will also prepare you for a career in research-oriented NGO’s, industry, public administration and urban planning, and activism.

Key facts

Human Geography and Planning (research) (MSc)
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
2 years

Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April

Dutch & EU/EEA students: 1 June

Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 20,043

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Graduate school: 
School of Geosciences
Request a brochure