Urban and Economic Geography is the largest Master’s programme in this field of study in the Netherlands, and our programme welcomes a significant share of international students every year. The programme trains students in fundamental and strategic research in fields that are relevant for future academic and professional careers. This programme is unique in the Netherlands and worldwide for its:

Research orientation

The programme provides you with an excellent preparation to carry out research in academic, policy, and consulting environments. Urban and Economic Geography at Utrecht University has a research-oriented approach that focusses on theoretical concepts and the development of methodological skills. Moreover, during your thesis you can choose from amongst a wide range of topics (e.g. urban resilience, regional innovation, urban inequality, healthy urban living, and sustainable mobility) and opt to specialise in one of them. 

The programme is an integral part of the Urban Futures (UF), a leading international research centre in human geography and planning. Its research takes place through the research programme Sustainable Cities and Regions, which integrates economic geography, international economics, development studies, geographical information systems, spatial and social segmentation, environmental studies, transport, information and communication technologies, spatial development, urban governance, and demography.

The latest Research Assessment Exercise evaluated the UF as high quality and innovative, with strong policy and societal relevance. As part of your studies, you will be embedded in this challenging research environment and have the opportunity to build a network of connections that will assist you as you begin your career.

Educational approach

The educational approach of this Master’s programme emphasises working in small-scale groups and carrying out real-world tasks that allow you to practice knowledge and skills. You will receive frequent feedback and benefit from the involvement of highly qualified and committed research staff. The programme offers courses in small settings, which enables direct contact and intensified interaction between staff and students – and among students themselves.

International focus

Because of the programme’s strong international focus, we encourage students to study abroad. Moreover, the programme’s partnership with the UF offers you access to researchers who are part of a vast network of international projects, research institutions, and international organisations. The UF also hosts visiting researchers from international organisations and regularly organises research seminars and workshops with international guests. As a Urban and Economic Geography student, you will have multiple opportunities to participate in these events and interact with this extensive international community.


The Master in Urban and Economic Geography programme allows you to specialise in a variety of relevant topics in the field of urban and/or economic geography. You will have considerable freedom to choose research topics and pick courses from among a wide range of electives offered both in and outside the Master’s programme. You are also welcome to study at institutions outside of our list of partners.