Dual mode in Human Geography

Master’s programme in Human Geography

The Master's programme in Human Geography offers students of all specialisations the option to conduct the programme in a dual mode: a combination of paid work and study. In this programme, you take courses in the Master's programme while simultaneously gaining experience as a geographer at a professional organisation, which have been pre-selected by the Human Geography Master’s programme as Dual Employer Organisation. This work is directly related to what you learn on campus. The dual mode provides a very effective combination of academic knowledge and work experience. Students can test their newly acquired academic knowledge immediately in the field while enriching the work they do with the latest academic findings.

Please note: this dual mode does take an extra semester and is selective. Unfortunately due to work permit restrictions, dual mode is not available for non-EU citizens.

Advantages dual mode

What the dual mode can offer you

  • Practical experience from the very start of the programme
  • Intensive supervision from both academia and the field
  • Immediate connection between theory and practice
  • Time and opportunity to development practical skills
  • Work experience and direct preparation for the labour market (good start of your resume)
  • Earning money in the field while still a student
  • More time to gain in-depth knowledge during your research project
  • More opportunities for thorough and extensive fieldwork (perhaps even abroad)

What you can offer the dual-mode employer

  • Enthusiasm as well as the fresh ideas and insights of someone just starting off in this field
  • High-quality research that is supervised by the university
  • Sharing what you learn about the latest developments in the field at university with your colleagues

Programme outline

The education is offered by lecturers at Radboud University and is equivalent to the education in the regular programme. You will also work approximately 236 days for an organisation. The work-study distribution during the three semesters depends on when the courses are taught and on the wishes of the employer. You will therefore follow a customised programme which will be agreed upon between yourself, your Master’s supervisor and the employer. Every semester the objectives and deliverables will be determined in a so called ‘red-threat’-assignment.

Sharing your experience

As a dual-mode student we encourage you to share your experiences with the students in the regular mode. We will therefore ask you to plan one or two meetings in which you tell your fellow classmates about the work and research you’re doing at your employer’s organisation.

Dual mode and Master’s thesis

In general, dual-mode employers don’t have research projects that last three semesters which could serve as a basis for your Master's thesis. Instead, it is customary that you work on a research portfolio regarding a specific theme and link this theme to your Master’s thesis research as part of your portfolio.

Credit points

The dual programme takes longer than the regular Master's programme. Nevertheless the total amount of European Credit points for the full programme is equal (60 EC) according to the legal requirements. For the course work 30 EC are allocated. For the work at the dual employer’s organisation, including the Master's thesis research and ‘red-threat’ assignment you receive 30 EC.


At this moment we work with the following dual employer organisations. Please click on the name to see the employer's webpage.

We are currently negotiating a Dual mode agreement with the following organisations, so keep tuned:

Practical matters

Study and Work agreement

Between the dual employer and student a labour contract will be signed. For the period that the student works for the dual employer the dual student will receive at least the minimal salary as demanded by labour law. If the student cannot make use of the public transport ticket for students (‘OV jaarkaart’), he or she may count on a travel allowance from the dual employer.

Please note: Unfortunately due to work permit restrictions, dual mode is not available for non-EU citizens.

Tuition fee

For the period that the student is taking part in the dual programme, the student will be enrolled at the Radboud University, and needs to pay the regular tuition fees. He/she will need to apply as a Master's student ‘Human Geography’.

Selection procedure

The dual employer is responsible for the selection of the student. On behalf of the dual employer organisations the Master's coordinator pre-selects students and advises the dual employer organisations. If a student registers as dual student, but is not successful in finding a suitable dual employer, the student can continue the Human Geography Master's programme as regular student without delay.

Students who are interested in the dual mode for the Human Geography programme first need to apply for the regular programme and then need to take the following steps:

  1. Have a look at the website of the dual employer’s organisations (see the organisations mentioned above), to see what they are doing, and if this is of any interest to you contributing to.
  2. Compose a CV enhanced with a brief motivation why you would like to take the dual mode track in collaboration with them. In doing so, allow enough flexibility, as dual employers of course also have their own priorities.
  3. Send your CV + motivation to the Master's coordinator lothar.smith [at] ru.nl (dr. Lothar Smith). He will contact the respective contact person at the dual employer’s organisation to ask if they have any vacancies for dual students and if they are willing to have a job interview with you.
  4. In this job interview from both sides it is assessed if a “match” can be made. A negative result is not a disqualification, but only implies that no match of interests can be made. In that case you will need to go back to step 2 and re-try with another dual employer’s organisation.
  5. If a match can be made, a follow-up agreement can be made between student and dual employer.

Make sure you take these steps well in advance, but at least before the end of June.


The opportunities to receive a scholarship as a dual students are the same as a regular student. However, the implications of the scholarship might be different. For more information, contact the coordinator lothar.smith [at] ru.nl (Lothar Smith).

More information

For more information regarding content, selection process, participating employees, finances, exemptions and other practical matters, please jackie.vandewalle [at] ru.nl (contact the study advisor).