Dual mode in Spatial Planning

What does it entail?

Next to the regular programme, the master in Spatial Planning can also be followed in dual mode. In the dual mode you complete two work periods of four months in the spatial planning practice, usually one period you work for a government organisation and one period for a consultancy firm.

What is the value added?

As a graduate of the dual mode programme, you complement the disciplinary knowledge and academic skills gained through the university education with relevant work experience in the field. The latter work experience is an important value added once you apply for starting positions in the labour market. You can demonstrate relevant experience in analysing and solving spatial planning issues. Next to this, participants of the dual mode also earn a small salary during the eight months of their work experience. However, you are required to pay tuition fee.

Who can participate?

Only students with good study results and high motivation are eligible to participate in the dual mode. Before applying for work experiences at potential employers, candidates first need to pass an internal selection procedure in mid-September. Students may apply for this programme by sending a motivation letter, CV and list of grades to Dr S. Lenferink, coordinator of the dual mode. Applications will be considered by the exams commission, which decides which students are admitted to the dual mode on the basis of the motivation and prior obtained grades. Also, to be eligible, students must have fully-completed the bachelor curriculum.

What is the structure of the dual mode?

The programme in the first semester is the same as in the regular programme. Thereafter, you will start your first work period of four months. In this period you work four days per week for your employer and you return to university on the fifth day to share your experiences with fellow students, complete assignments to foster your professional development, and for supervision by the coordinator of the dual mode. Also, you can use this day to work on your research proposal for your master thesis. Participants of the dual mode receive 6 ECTS for their participation and are exempted for one of the specialisation courses of the regular programme.

In the second work period of four months you work full-time for an employer and combine your work with writing your master thesis. You work on a research question that is relevant for your employer and that is suitable for your master thesis. In this period you return regularly to university to discuss your progress on the master thesis with your thesis supervisor.

How to find a suitable work placement?

The RU teaching staff involved in the Spatial Planning master programme has many professional contacts with government organisations at different administrative levels, consultancy and engineering firms and research institutions. Many of these organisations are interested to temporarily employ our dual mode students. In consultation with the coordinator of the dual mode you apply for a work placement at these organisations. Once you have found a work placement, a contract will be signed between you, the education programme and the employer. Although, the RU staff and coordinator of the dual mode will facilitate your application process, it is your responsibility to find a suitable work placement and no guaranteed placement is provided through participation in the programme. If for whatever reason you do not succeed in finding a suitable work placement, your participation in the dual mode ends and you can complete the regular master programme instead.

Want to know more?

For more information on this programme, please contact the coordinator of the dual mode, dr. Sander Lenferink (sander.lenferink [at] ru.nl)