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Master in Geography : General with focus territorial Development

Master in Geography : General with focus territorial Development

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  • Programme title
    Master in Geography : General with focus territorial Development
  • Programme mnemonic
  • Programme organised by
    • Faculty of Sciences
  • Degree type
    Master 120 credits
  • Tier
    2nd cycle
  • Field and branch of study
    Sciences and technics/Sciences
  • Schedule type
  • Languages of instruction
  • Theoretical programme duration
    2 years
  • Campus
  • Category / Topic
    Sciences and technics - Sciences
  • Jury President
  • Jury Secretary
    Eléonore WOLFF



General information

Degree type

Master 120 credits

Theoretical programme duration

2 years

Learning language(s)


Schedule type




Category(ies) - Topic(s)

Sciences and technics - Sciences

Organising faculty(s) and university(ies)

Succeed in your studies


The information and guidance counsellors at the InfOR-études service will help you choose your studies throughout the year.


Take part in preparatory courses or get help to succeed, before or during your studies.

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Interested in the transformations of cities and urban policies? In projects dedicated to mobility and land use planning? In the international division of labour and in company locations? In geopolitical issues and development inequalities? In cartography? By analysing geographical spaces, their structures, and their evolution, a lot may be learned on these questions, and new ways to manage these territories and new development models may be conceived. This is the main goal of the Master in Geography: to give students the ability to analyse, interpret, and represent spatial data on a map, from the scale of a single neighbourhood to that of a city, a region, a country, a continent, and even the entire world-system.

Beyond the specific approaches used in the various focuses, we rely on active teaching as much as possible. Based on concrete experiences and problem questions that reveal contemporary issues, students are gradually taught to appropriate theories, experiment with methods, and test models. This is also why we place great emphasis on field observations, including during excursions.

The limited number of students makes it easier for them to interact with teachers, teaching assistants, and researchers. It also makes it possible to support students individually, including during research and project seminars, field work preparations, personal project coaching, and work placements in companies, public administrations, or associations.

Interactions between students are enhanced by their diverse academic backgrounds.

A programme with roots in Brussels: students are encouraged to reflect on how the city was planned, in contact with its neighborhoods, inhabitants, and decision-makers.

Training on open-source software (GIS, etc.) that can be used beyond the scope of university studies.

Active learning: starting from problem questions, students learn to appropriate theories, experiment methods, etc.

twice-yearly field trip (southern Morocco and Istanbul) gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and gain real-world experience with a previously analysed geographical situation.

Seminars are given throughout the year, to support each student's dissertation work.

s also advantages of the long experience of contractual research done by staff members for external (public or private) institutions.

The Master in Geography has signed Erasmus+ exchange agreements with a number of European universities in France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Romania, and Switzerland. Students may also attend classes at VUB or KUL, as part of the Erasmus Belgica programme. Lastly, exchange programmes are also available with universities outside Europe, including in Quebec.

Access conditions


The Master in Geography includes three distinct focuses: territorial development, teaching, and urban studies. While they each cover specific contents, these focuses are built around a shared philosophy: enabling students to acquire the knowledge and methods required to analyse spatial questions while developing their intellectual curiosity and their critical perspective. To this end, particular emphasis is placed on active learning, field work, and work placements. The Master in Geography takes advantage of the University's location in Brussels, encouraging students to reflect on current issues of the city.

The Master with a focus on ‘territorial development’ is devoted to analysing the structure of territories, their transformations, and development projects at various scales. Particular emphasis is placed on the economic, social, and political dimensions of territorial issues. From a methodological perspective, the programme covers the production, management, analysis, and diffusion of optimal geographical data, with a view to helping students work autonomously. Courses in this focus include lectures on specific topics (political geography, analysis of urban spaces, cultural geography, etc.) and methods (remote sensing, geomarketing, database management, etc.). In addition to lecture classes, students attend seminars where they can work on practical projects in small teams, under supervision. Students complete their curriculum with electives chosen from a wide range of courses in areas such as urban studies, mobility, transportation, tourism, environmental studies, or development.

The Master with a teaching focus prepares students to teach geography. Its main purpose is to train skilled teachers who can get students interested in the richness and significance of geographical issues in relation to understanding the world and living as a citizen. Graduates of the teaching focus receive the official title of ‘agrégé’ (AESS): only graduates of this programme—and holders of an AESS—may teach geography in secondary schools in Belgium. This programme includes courses on geography and didactics, as well as work placements involving teaching in a school environment. This approach blends theory and practice, with field experience, micro-teaching exercises, lesson preparations, organising a school trip, etc., always keeping in mind the creative and rewarding aspects of teaching.

The Master with a focus on urban studies (Erasmus Mundus programme) is fully integrated into an international urban studies programme, given entirely in English: the 4Cities Master, organised jointly by universities in Brussels (ULB and VUB), Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid (Universidad Complutense and Universidad Autonoma). Students attend common classes in English during both years of the Master, in Brussels and Vienna for the first year, and in Copenhagen and Madrid the second year. Since 2013, this Master has been part of the Erasmus Mundus programme. Enrolment is subject to certain criteria: applications must be sent to the team coordinating the 4Cities programme (see www.4cities.eu).

The Master in Geography with a focus on urban studies is fully given in English, in Brussels. Classes are held at both ULB and VUB, with students receiveing a joint degree upon graduation. This gives them access to a wide range of classes on urban studies (with many electives that let them specialise in topics of interest), as well as to field visits and the opportunity to complete an international work placement or a semester abroad. Please not that this programme is subject to specific access requirements. For more information, visit the programme's website: https://urbanstudies.brussels/education/msc-urban-studies/msc-urban-studies

What's next ?


The idea that geography studies are only for future geography teachers is a myth: graduates in geography can work in a wide range of professional capacities, as they are appreciated in many environments for their knowledge and skills, as well as for their ability to combine different disciplines. Our former students are now experts in urban planning, regional development, and environmental management; designers of geographic information systems; spatial data analysts; project managers in the fields of tourism, transportation, retail, real estate, civil safety; but others are involved in associations, research, or indeed teaching in secondary or post-secondary education.

  • Experts in urban planning, regional development, and environmental management,
  • Designers of geographic information systems and spatial data analysts,
  • Project managers in the fields of tourism, transportation, retail, real estate, civil safety, etc.
  • Professionals in associations or in development cooperation,
  • Researchers,
  • Teachers in secondary and post-secondary education,
  • etc.