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Master in Geography : General with focus Urban studies

Master in Geography : General with focus Urban studies

This formation is taught in english.

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  • Programme title
    Master in Geography : General with focus Urban studies
  • Programme mnemonic
    M-GEOGE
  • Programme organised by
    • Faculty of Sciences
  • Degree type
    Masters 120 credits
  • Tier
    2nd cycle
  • Field and branch of study
    Sciences and technics/Sciences
  • Schedule type
    Daytime
  • Languages of instruction
    english
  • Theoretical programme duration
    2 years
  • Campus
    Plaine/Solbosch
  • Category / Topic
    Sciences and technics - Sciences
  • Jury President
    Jean-Michel DECROLY
  • Jury Secretary
    Mathieu VAN CRIEKINGEN

Details

General information

Degree type

Masters 120 crédits

Theoretical programme duration

2 years

Learning language(s)

english

Schedule type

Daytime

Campus

Plaine/Solbosch

Category(ies) - Topic(s)

Sciences and technics - Sciences

Organising faculty(s) and university(ies)
Infor-études

Student support

The small number of students makes for easier interactions with professors and teaching assistants, but also with the researchers at IGEAT (Institut de Gestion de l’Environnement et d’Aménagement du Territoire).

Students can also rely on a computer lab, a map library, and a network of libraries to help them in their studies.

For their dissertation, they will also receive support as a series of seminars. Srarting in the second term of the first year, these seminars provide a structure for each student's work, based on a number of phrases: define an issue, phrase a research question, take stock of the current literature, develop a method, and present and interpret results.

Succeed in your studies

ULB offers a number of activities and resources that can help you develop a successful strategy before or during your studies.

You can make the transition to higher education easier by attending preparatory courses, summer classes, and information and orientation sessions, even before you start your studies at ULB.

During your studies, many people at ULB are there specifically to help you succeed: support staff in each faculty, (inter-)faculty guidance counsellors, tutors, and experts in academic methodology.

Presentation

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.

enabling much use beyond the university.

The "Didactique" programme specifically trains future teachers of secondary education in order to prepare them to arouse students' interest vis-à-vis the importance of geographic issues for understanding the world and practicing democratic citizenship.

The 4Cities programme adds an European perspective to the field of Urban Studies: it wants to break up and to open the national perspective on urban problems. The growing importance of globalisation and the shift towards a world of flows calls for a new approach in important fields of urban policy like culture, economy, planning… The strength of this master programme results from the integration of analytical skills typical for the (social-)sciences and the more design oriented skills of planning and architecture. The need for interdisciplinary knowledge and skills as opposed to the more narrowly defined academic disciplines is strong.

Please see www.4Cities.eu for a full description of the programme’s mission statement, format and content.

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 low 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.

A 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

Programme

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: http://urbanstudies.brussels/master/urban-studies

What's next ?

Prospects

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.

nvironment, real estate, ...

  • associative workers

  • researchers

  • teacher

  • etc.

A specific page of the Human Geography Laboratory website lists institutions that regularly recruit geographers - see http://labogeo.ulb.ac.be/labogeo/apres.html. See also http://labogeo.ulb.ac.be/labogeo/emplois.html for job offers.

“4CITIES” leads to the following kind of occupations : Research and teaching on issues of urbanity and urbanism, Urban policy advise, Urban project management, Urban planning and design, etc.