BSc in Spatial Planning and Design


Program Description

If you have a special interest in the living environment, and you aspire to combine analytical thinking with creative design, then Spatial Planning and Design is the field for you.

What effect will climate change have on our future cities and rural areas? How can you develop sustainable strategies and designs for new and existing urban systems? How do you deal with a complex built environment and related planning processes? Planners are asked to translate these kinds of spatial transformations into new opportunities to enhance the quality of life.

The Bachelor's degree program in Spatial Planning and Design (in Dutch: Technische planologie) revolves around physical and institutional design. The course units are related to spatial planning and design, water management, infrastructure and environmental planning, spatial computer programs, complex decision-making, and academic research.

You will work in virtual realities but also go on excursions to see spatial projects in real life. There will be an opportunity to develop your personal interests via elective course units. You complete your Bachelor's degree with a research project. Excellent students can take part in a more in-depth program at the Honours College, which has a wider range of topics.

Why study this program in Groningen?

The Bachelor's degree program in Spatial Planning and Design is unique within the Netherlands. It covers a wide range of topics and gives students the opportunity to explore their own fields of interest within the physical and institutional design. This degree program gives you the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned and highly trained teachers.



  • Power of Design (SD1) (5 EC)
  • Urbanism and Planning (SP1) (10 EC)
  • Economic Geography (10 EC)
  • Statistics 1 (5 EC)
  • Geographic Information Systems (10 EC)
  • Introduction to Academic Research (5 EC)
  • Spatial Design Atelier (SD3) (10 EC)
  • Spatial Design Standards and Conditions (SD2) (5 EC)

Year 2


  • Mobility and Infrastructure Planning (10 EC)
  • Physical Geography (5 EC)
  • Urbanism Atelier (SD4) (5 EC)
  • Water and Planning (10 EC)
  • Governance Dynamics (SP2) (10 EC)
  • Statistics 2 (5 EC)
  • Global Course or Comparative Urbanism (related elective) (5 EC)
  • Landscapes (5 EC)
  • Methods for Academic Research (SPD) (5 EC)

Year 3


  • Minor or Optional Modules (30 EC)
  • Environment and Engineering (5 EC)
  • Philosophy of Social Sciences (5 EC)
  • Bachelor's Project (15 EC)
  • Environment and Planning (5 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • For an average of 15 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Every year dozens of students of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences go on exchange with a foreign university to take electives and/or write their thesis. The faculty has exchange arrangements with universities in Europe, New-Zealand, and the USA.

Entry requirements

Choice of the degree program check

Students who apply before 1 May can ask the faculty for a matching assignment, but this is not obligatory. Students who apply after May 1st are obliged to do a matching assignment in order to get admitted to the program. Application after 1 May is only possible for students with a Dutch diploma.

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
language test

Only for students with an international degree and students without a Dutch VWO diploma:

Comparable to IELTS International English Language Testing System (Academic version) 6.0 (TOEFL: iBT 80), with minimum scores:

  • Listening 5.5 (TOEFL: 15)
  • Reading 6.0 (TOEFL: 18)
  • Writing 6.0 (TOEFL: 20)
  • Speaking 6.0 (TOEFL: 20)
  • Exemptions: Native English speakers or diploma holders from the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland.
math test

For students with a Dutch degree: you should have at least mathematics A (Wiskunde A). For students with an international degree: Mathematics should have been passed as standard/methods level subject (VWO level A) in your secondary school education.

previous education Students with a Dutch VWO diploma should have a VWO diploma with at least mathematics A (Wiskunde A) and English. Students without a VWO diploma should have an HBO diploma with mathematics A and English on a VWO level. Students with an international diploma should have an international degree equivalent to a Dutch pre-university (VWO) degree. Mathematics should have been passed as a standard/methods level subject (VWO level A) in your secondary school education.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021
EU/EEA students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students 01 May 2021 01 September 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 9500 full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first-year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Job prospects

The degree program's interdisciplinary curriculum offers students the opportunity to work in different fields in practice or research. The Netherlands is an international leader on planning topics such as water management and sustainable mobility, and an established expert thanks to its long-standing planning history.

The degree program offers knowledge that is both locally embedded and globally relevant. Graduates of this degree program are highly qualified for both the national and the international labor market. During the program, we offer support for your career preparation. The Career Services are provided by the Careers Company and the RUG Career Services.

Job examples

  • Policy advisor or policymaker in the public sector
    • In spatial planning, environmental planning, mobility and transportation, water management, or design
  • Consultant
    • For large or small consultancy agencies: GIS, spatial planning or engineering companies.
  • Project developer
    • For real estate companies
  • Postgraduate researcher or teacher
    • At spatial academic planning institutes


Spatial Planning and Design are based on research. Not only are you educated to become a researcher, but lecturers also use their own research and others to keep the education as recent and relevant as possible. The education you receive is therefore partly based on the research being done at the faculty right now!

The research at the faculty consists of several themes that are summarized in the research program: tWIST - towards Well-being, Innovation and Spatial Transformation. You will see these themes in your education.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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