Unravel complex interactions between man and environment

Geographers are in equal parts natural and social scientists and have specialised knowledge of techniques for analysing complex interactions between man and environment. They make a major contribution to the debate on environmental change, globalisation, and other societal challenges and seek solutions for a more sustainable development of our planet, on both local and global scales.

Unravel complex interactions between man and environment

Geographers are in equal parts natural and social scientists and have specialised knowledge of techniques for analysing complex interactions between man and environment. They strongly contribute to the debate on environmental change, globalisation, and other major societal challenges and seek for solutions for a more sustainable development of our planet, at both local and global scales.

Daniela Pombal, Geography student

After my bachelor I wanted to spread my wings

"I am Portuguese and I studied Meteorology in my home country. After my bachelor I wanted to spread my wings and looked on the internet for something like a Master in Geography. Most of the English programmes are on very specific subjects. What attracted me in this master in Brussels was exactly its multidisciplinary approach. Besides your specialisation it also offers you a wide curriculum in physical and human geo-sciences. This means that you can really personalise and specialise your programme and still have a broad overview of everything Geography offers."

VUB and KULeuven: the best of Belgium!

The geography departments of both Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KULeuven continuously develop and maintain innovative and internationally recognised research programmes on fundamental and applied aspects of geosciences, covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Most research programmes are international collaborations, and both departments take part in various international research networks.

Faculty


Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences

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Any questions?


Don’t hesitate to write us an email. We’d be happy to help you on your way!

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How does it work?

The Department of Geography of Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of KULeuven (both in the top 100 of the QS ranking) have joined forces to offer a highly competitive 2-year interuniversity master programme in geography (120 ECTS).

The set-up of the programme, which includes a common core and three research tracks, either focusing on physical geography, social and urban geography, or GIS and spatial modelling, gives you the possibility to match it to your interests and ambitions. The programme offers comprehensive coverage of spatially explicit approaches for analysing social and natural phenomena and how these interact. Hands-on training in the use of qualitative and quantitative geographical research techniques prepares you perfectly for your future career.

3 Tracks

Earth & Climate
In this specialisation you will gain a deep understanding of land surface and atmospheric processes shaping the physical environment and acquire quantitative skills for analysing and modelling the dynamics of these processes. You will also learn to independently define and carry out research projects in geosciences and develop a synthetic vision of environmental issues, at local, regional and global levels.

City, Society & Space
In a strongly urbanised world there is a growing need to better understand social, economic, cultural, and political dynamics of urban areas. The City, Society & Space track focuses on the multifaceted issues that cities are experiencing in the current era of globalisation. During your studies, you will be introduced to key urban social and economic theories and become familiar with critical views of urban development. In the interdisciplinary spirit of urban studies, you will have the chance to engage with and integrate insights from key debates in urban planning and design, housing and real estate markets, tourism and regional development, and much more. What’s more, you will be trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods that will allow you to analyse contemporary urban dynamics in a synthetic and rigorous way.

GIS & Spatial Modelling
In the GIS & Spatial Modelling track you will become acquainted with new approaches and techniques for acquiring, managing, analysing and mapping spatial data. Based on your skills in spatial data handling and your background in both natural and human sciences, you will be trained in analysing complex interactions between man and environment and in the application of spatial decision-making mechanisms. As an expert in geodata processing and spatial modelling you will get the opportunity to improve your knowledge in important application fields of geo-information science, including natural resource management, spatial planning, mobility and transportation. A big bonus is that you can also opt to include a 2-month GIS internship in your study programme.

AFTER GRADUATION

A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Your job? Solving real-world problems!

Geographers integrate the study of physical and human systems. They are in equal parts natural and social scientists and have specialised knowledge in geographical information science techniques.

There is a growing interest for the multidisciplinary approach geographers can offer to solve real-world problems at all spatial scales - from local to global - and a strong demand for competent professionals in the broad field of geospatial sciences. As a graduate from the interuniversity programme Master of Geography, you may be recruited by public authorities, private companies and research institutions dealing with urban and regional planning, mobility and transportation, tourism, environmental conservation and management, natural risk assessment, as well as by a multitude of providers and users of geodata-based tools and services.

Careercenter


The VUB helps you to make your first step in the job market with workshops, networking events, job fairs, tips ‘n tricks for job interviews. All an ambitious student needs!

First step on the market

Phd?


If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

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Harry Zekollari, PhD student

Unforgettable excursion to the Alps

"Studying at VUB opened my mind and was my introduction to the fascinating world of physical geography. After an unforgettable excursion to the Alps I decided to focus on this region for my Master's thesis and during my last year I had the opportunity to participate in two field work campaigns on a glacier in Switzerland. The thrill and excitement of working on a glacier made me realise that this was the environment where I belonged and where I wanted to spend the coming years of my life.
After my Master in Geography, I therefore started a PhD focusing on glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets around the world. During my PhD I travelled to some of the most remote places on earth and had the unique opportunity to visit ice masses in the European Alps, Alaska, Russia, Spitsbergen and even Antarctica. Working and living for several weeks in the Belgian Princesse Elisabeth research station, the first 'zero-emission' station in Antarctica, was an absolute highlight. It has been a truly amazing adventure so far and I often realise that non of this would have been possible if I had not studied Geography at VUB. It was probably the best choice I made in my life, one I would recommend to anyone."

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The world is your oyster

As a geography student you are privileged. As the Earth is your study subject, you need to go out there and discover the world so you can truly understand it. Field trips and excursions are a crucial element of your study programme, and allow you to look at the world from either a physical or societal perspective. The departments at both universities have a host of research projects and collaborations from which you can benefit. That means you might spend a few months abroad for fieldwork in the framework of your master thesis (Equatorial Africa, Asia, South-America, European cities, etc.). You can also include a semester in another (European) country in your study programme or do an internship abroad. As you can see, the world is your oyster!

Do these international excursions give you an appetite for more? The departments at both universities have a whole host of research projects and collaborations from which you can benefit. That means you might spend a few months abroad for fieldwork in the framework of your Master's thesis (Equatorial Africa, Asia, South America, European Cities, etc.). You can also include a semester in another (European) country in your study programme or do an internship abroad. 

Within Europe, the Department of Geography has Erasmus+ mobility agreements with the following universities:

Austria 

Belgium 

France 

Netherlands 

Sweden 

Sweden 

However, multiple possibilities also exist for stays outside of Europe.

For more information, don't hesitate to contact the exchange coordinator Prof. Dr. Matthieu Kervyn De Meerendre.

Direct admission - Flemish diploma's

Bachelor of Science in Geography

Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geomatic

Prerequisite

The Master’s programme presupposes a broad basic knowledge of the natural and social sciences, as well as a broad introduction to geography. The starting conditions are expressed in the amount of ECTS the student should have already acquired in both natural and human science fields. Students should also provide a proof of sufficient knowledge of English.

For other bachelors, equivalency and admission to the programme will be based on a review of each student's academic record and will be evaluated case by case.

Application deadline

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree. Applications can only be submitted through our website.

  • Students who require a visa (non-EU/EEA nationals) need to submit their application before June 1st
  • Students who do not require a visa must apply before June 1st
  • Note: if the proof of English proficiency or APS certificate is not ready before the deadline, you can always submit it later instead of missing the deadline

Tuition fees

All Flemish universities in Belgium are subsidised by the government, which results in relatively low tuition fees. The general tuition fee for our master programmes is €890/year. Some master programmes have an increased tuition fee for students with a non EU/EEA nationality. A detailed overview of the tuition fees can be found here.

For more details on admission requirements and application

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