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Economic Geography (Human Geography)

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The Master Economic Geography focuses on how the globalised economy has affected the lives of people in different parts of the world. Processes of globalisation are deeply intertwined with changes in communication and transport technologies as well as with policies of de- and re-regulation. We will not only explore economic aspects of increasingly globalised production networks, but also their social impact.

UvA online Open House

This year, you won’t be able to attend any busy on-campus events with lots of people. But our online Open House is the perfect way to get to know UvA study programmes and university life from the comfort of your own home.

Every study programme has an Open House page with videos, FAQs and live events. On the main Open House website you can discover all our programmes,explore the city and campus, and get inspired during our theme weeks.

About the programme

Global economic integration has profoundly affected the lives of increasing numbers of people around the world, from Amsterdam to Phnom Penh and Mumbai to New York. Economic Geography at the UvA emphasizes the role of the institutional framework and its distinctive set of social and political relations to understand the rapidly changing global division of labour and ongoing struggles over power, profit, and socio-economic rights. The Master's in Economic Geography adopts a multi-scalar approach to global production networks - exploring the local, national and global level of dynamic interconnections enabled by communication and transport technologies, labour migration and outsourcing, as well as state policies of de- and re-regulation. 

The relationship between teaching and research in this Master's track offers students the opportunity to develop skills on a topic that is highly relevant for policymakers, development planners and activists: the socio-economic implications of the globalisation of production. Students can participate in ongoing research projects headed by economic geographers Dr Dennis Arnold and Dr Niels Beerepoot, as well as other academic staff members in geography and planning. Students will engage empirically grounded and theoretically informed scholarship that draws on the lecturers' state-of the-art and hands-on knowledge of economic conditions in Asia and Europe, and networks of experts and key persons in the field of global production networks, new economic activities, and migrant entrepreneurship. The more qualitative orientation of the Master’s in Economic Geography programme is complemented by quantitative skills taught in the Geo-skills courses. 

About Economic Geography
Programme director Hebe Verrest and Prof. Ewald Engelen explain what the Master's track Economic Geography is about in this video.

Student profile

The programme is very high-level and demanding, and we expect students to devote full attention to their studies during the entire year. Students are actively involved in the content of the programme by organising track seminar sessions, and are also continuously challenged by involved academic staff to explore the boundaries of human geography. The Master’s programme Human Geography welcomes international and Dutch students from all universities with a bachelor’s degree in Human Geography & Planning or a related discipline. This makes the group of students very diverse and results in an international classroom with stimulating group discussions, as all participants bring in their specific background and experiences.

FMG Human Geography: Economic Geography - Atlantis-the-palm
Photo: Werner Bayer


Within various interdisciplinary and problem oriented projects, the programme encourages students to develop their skills in:

  • GIS – Geographical Information Systems
  • Social Science research methods – both qualitative methods, quantitative methods, and mixed methods;
  • Presentation and communication – to pitch an idea or present research outcomes;
  • Cooperation – to work in teams and evaluate the work of peers.

The combination of taught skills, together with the specialisation track and the focus in the thesis will prepare students for their future career as a geographer in a wide array of institutional contexts: either public service, profit sector or civil society, either local, national, international or transnational organisations.

FMG Human Geography: Economic Geography - Starbucks
Photo: Connie Ma

Studying Geography in Amsterdam 

Geography is all about studying people, space and place - and the city of Amsterdam itself is the perfect location and junction to study, explore and experience geography. Furthermore, the University of Amsterdam, a major research university, offers a Master’s programme taught by one of the highest ranking geography departments in continental Europe. The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) of Amsterdam provides a vibrant and international academic community. The GSSS values diversity in both research and academic content, academic staff and the student population.

Academic staff

The lecturers in the Master's track Economic Geography are all active researchers involved in the  Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR), Amsterdam research centres such as Centre of Urban Studies, IMES, ACCESS EUROPE and numerous international research networks and projects. The programme is enriched by their  research expertise and networks.

This track builds on cutting-edge research projects from the related research group of the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research. Insights from these research projects are integrated into the main thematic course, and the master thesis projects which take place in the second semester of the programme.

The teaching in this track is organised in small groups. This results in small scale research communities in which academic staff and students work closely together in a less formal and more open environment.

Is Economic Geography for you?

If you are interested in:

  • studying people, space and place
  • global economics
  • being actively involved in the content of the programme by organising track seminar sessions, and are also continuously challenged by involved academic staff to explore the boundaries of human geography
  • studying in a personal, inspiring and international environment

Then Economic Geography might be the track for you!

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Human Geography
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66620