Why choose this programme?
All places –small or large, rich or poor, near or far– are unique yet connected to a multitude of other places at the same time. With a master in Human Geography you learn to understand the difference that place makes and how local and global processes intertwine and produce change around the world.
This programme aims to provide an understanding of social processes within the context of space and place. You will learn how economic, political and cultural processes manifest themselves in the urban space, regionally or globally, and how the properties of places influence broader social processes.
- You can choose between four thematic specializations – urban studies, climate change adaptation, development and politics, and economic and labour geography – or a general study programme.
- You combine specialization courses with elective courses to fit your academic interests.
- The programme’s methodological courses offer a choice of methods available to geographers, including Geographical Information Systems.
- You can link up your master thesis work with ongoing research projects at the department and among partner institutions, such as NIBR, TØI, ISF and FAFO.
- You can conduct independent fieldwork research for your master’s thesis, in Norway or abroad.
- Working on your master’s thesis you conduct independent research and develop your analytical skills under the supervision of our leading human geography team.
- With a master’s degree in Human Geography you will be prepared for a knowledge-intensive career that demands practical methodological skills. Human geographers work in areas such as urban and regional planning, public policy and administration, civil society organizations, international organisations, and academic research.
Urban studies and planning
Urban development and transformation represent a major challenge throughout the world. Cities form the material and organizational base of the current economic system, with internal networks and massive overrepresentation in growing industries and cultural production. These features, in turn, produce social inequalities both within and between cities. Urban policies and urban planning are currently confronted with serious problems concerning poverty, distributive justice, social exclusion, housing provision and the integration of new residents. Cities are also key to any policy regarding air pollution and carbon emissions, not least to develop sustainable mobility practices and transport systems. Sustainable futures need green and socially just urban policies.
Cities are also fascinating places to live in and visit. Today cities are more diverse than ever, buzzing with life and creativity, so that there is no single “urban culture” to speak of, but many. Varying degrees of diversity and complexity are an integral part of the larger transformation of settlements.
Climate change adaptation and social transformation
Climate change is more than an environmental problem; it is also a social, economic, political, cultural and development problem, and the solutions lie in all of these realms. If you are interested in understanding climate change risk, vulnerability and adaptation as well as the factors that influence transitions and transformations to sustainability, this specialization is for you.
Economic and labour geography
By choosing the “Economic and labour geography” programme option, you will acquire crucial knowledge about how people and the places in which they live and work are affected by a globalizing economy.
Economic geography studies how industries, and the people working within those industries, are increasingly interdependent across national borders. You can study global value chains and production networks and learn how the products we use in our daily lives, such as coffee or mobile phones, are produced by a large number of people in cities and industrial regions across the globe. Moreover, economic geography asks why some cities, regions and actors are able to successfully pursue innovation and undergo transition to sustainability, while others are marginalized.
Labour geography provides an insight into many of the dilemmas of a globalizing economy from the standpoint of workers. You can study how labour markets and different groups of workers adapt to globalization, and how technological and organizational restructuring are experienced, engaged with and resisted by workers and their representatives.
Development and politics
In recent decades, comprehensive and complex processes of change have occurred in countries of the global South: economic growth and decline combine with the challenges of poverty and inequality, and of democratic governance and citizenship. At the same time, the global South has gained in significance in the field of international relations. It is thus increasingly important to understand these contemporary economic, social and political changes at local, national and international level. The specialization in “Development and politics” helps you understand the complexity of power relations linking small places to global production networks, local social practices to general power relations, and national development policies to the global governance agenda. If you are interested in social, economic and political processes in the global South, this specialization is for you.
What distinguishes human geography from other social sciences is the study of social processes in terms of space and place. At the Master Programme in Human Geography you learn to understand the spatial connections and complexities of the social world, developing the analytical capabilities to examine the relationship between local processes and conditions and those at the national and global scale.
- You have in-depth knowledge of the history of human geographic thought.
- You have advanced empirical and theoretical knowledge within one or more of the following areas: Urban Studies and Planning, Climate Change Adaptation and Social Transformations, Development and Politics, and Economic and Labour Geography.
- You have in-depth knowledge of advanced methodological tools and can assess their appropriate use for the analysis of specific issues.
You will be able to:
- formulate precise research questions, develop a good research design and structure sound argumentation in the analysis of specific issues.
- apply scientific methods and tools to the analysis of empirical and theoretical problems and contribute to their understanding and solution.
- conduct an independent and clearly delineated piece of research in line with academic and methodological standards and ethical guidelines.
- employ analytical, spatial perspectives to new research questions.
- present and write knowledge-based material to an academic standard.
You will be able to:
- Communicate research effectively to other experts and the general
- Systematically and analytically acquire and communicate new knowledge.
- Independently assess and reflect upon the methodological, ethical and practical challenges of research.
- Initiate and provide constructive input to professional development activities.
- Independently conduct focused research projects.
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