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Specialisation in European Spatial and Environmental Planning

The Master's specialisation in European Spatial and Environmental Planning trains you to become a spatial planner or environmental policy advisor who can engage with EU policies, cooperate with planners and environmental policy advisors, NGO’s or businesses across borders and sectors.

The specialisation course: International Environmental Politics
The field of environmental politics has been internationalised since the 1960s. On the one hand, some environmental problems are transboundary in nature, such as climate change or pollution of rivers crossing national borders. Managing these problems is possible only through international cooperation. On the other hand, processes of internationalisation - such as globalisation and Europeanisation - forced countries to formulate environmental policies at the international stage, not only to regulate environmental problems as such, but also to harmonise measures for the sake of market integration. As these internationalisation processes have intensified profoundly in recent decades, the quality and quantity of international environmental politics have increased greatly. Nowadays, environmental politics cannot be studied properly without taking into account its international component.

The specialisation course: Comparative Spatial Planning and Metropolitan Development
This module consists of a series of lectures and seminars on the following topics: categorisations of planning systems in Europe; planning cultures in Europe; overview of spatial planning systems in Europe; theoretical perspectives on lesson drawing and policy diffusion; research methodology. In addition, the course will look into actual strategic planning exercises at metropolitan level in European countries and further afar. 

Master’s Thesis
The Master's thesis is a crucial part of your curriculum and consists of an individual research project in which you investigate a topic of your choice in the field of Environmental and Society Studies. You should start thinking about a suitable topic for your thesis very early in the programme; we will help you make a thesis proposal in the course Research Methods and preparing Master Thesis. The goals of the Master's thesis are to mobilise and integrate the theoretical and empirical knowledge and methods from the preceding courses for use in your own research project. The research project is conducted in an external setting. This means that you link your research to one of the available internships, or we can help you find an internship of your own choice. The research project and internship will be closely supervised, the first by our expert staff and the second by your internship supervisor on location.

Elective courses
You can choose electives from all Master’s courses offered by the department of Geography, Planning and Environment. Other master’s courses might be permitted if they are relevant for Environment and Society Studies. Please consult the programme coordinator of ESS for this.

Some suggestions for Elective courses (but others are possible)
You are free to choose courses that add up to at least 6 EC and meet your interests and needs (for your Master Thesis Research) as long as they, in some way, can be linked to this specialisation and are taught at Master’s level. You can also choose courses from one of the other Environment and Society Studies' Master Specialisations or from other related Master’s programmes, for example:​

MAN-MPL033 Urban Future Lab - Creative Approaches towards Vision and Strategy Building for Regional Transformation (Spatial Planning)

MAN-MPL036 Cities, Water and Climate Change (Spatial Planning)

NWI-MM022 Water Governance and Spatial Planning (3 EC) (Transnational eco-system based Water Management)

NWI-MM018A Environmental Economics for Water Management (3 EC) (Transnational eco-system based Water Management)

MAN-MSG047 Globalising Cities and Hinterlands (Human Geography)