Human Geography

About the subject

Are you interested in maps, in how the landscape has come about and how globalisation affects our daily lives? Then the field of human geography might just be for you. Come and study at a world class university, learn from the best researchers and enjoy teaching that is closely connected to research.

Human geography is about the relations between people and places. A starting point is that all human activities take place somewhere and that this is crucial for how we can understand and analyse both local phenomena and global processes. While studying human geography you will learn how spatial processes, such as migration, landscape change and spatial planning, shape people’s lives and activities. In human geography, unlike in other social sciences, we use core geographical concepts – place, space, mobility and landscape – to study historical and present-day phenomena. You will address topics such as urban development, segregation, environmental change, provision of resources and housing, migration, rural development, and cultural heritage. To analyse such processes, you will learn a variety of methods such as mapping, analysing media texts, doing interviews, and quantitative analysis. Field excursions and fieldwork are an important part of the training, where on-the-spot experiences and observations will broaden your understanding of how people and places interact. This knowledge and methods provide a good basis for working with most of today's major societal challenges, such as migration, environment, and inequality, in business, government and non-profit organizations.

Human geography is a broad subject, and you will have the opportunity to choose different areas of specialization that relate to social, political, historical and economics sub-disciplines, both in courses and in thesis writing. Focusing across spatial scales, you will study both local, national and global perspectives of people’s lives and social processes. Possible topics include housing, migration, urban and regional planning, heritage management, land use, resource provision, environmental justice, social and ethnic segregation, gender relations, identity construction, transport and tourism.

Career opportunities

The labour market for human geographers is favourable as geographical insights are valuable for tackling today’s major social challenges. You will develop skills and competences that both facilitate independent learning, evaluating policies and programmes, collaborative research and writing academic reports. Our programmes also prepare future professionals to be effective team contributors through fostering communication skills in group work. Human geographers often work for governmental organisations, such as municipalities and county councils, which help plan our society.  They are also employed in the private sector in consultancies and non-governmental organisations, working with environmental issues or development aid. Furthermore, geographers and human geographers are excellent researchers contributing geographical perspectives to a multitude of topics and disciplines.

Courses and programmes

Degree

For a bachelor’s degree in Human Geography you can choose to study individual courses or join one of the bachelor’s programmes listed under Educations within the subject.

A master’s degree in Human Geography can only be obtained through enrolment in one of the master’s programmes listed under Educations within the subject.

More information about degrees at Stockholm University

Research

As a student in Human Geography at Stockholm University, you meet leading researchers and teachers in urban geography, historical geography and landscape studies, agricultural geography, migration and population geography, economic geography, gender and planning, and Geographical Information Systems. Our department has a vibrant research climate, opportunity for interaction in small-scale seminars, and approachable staff. The research group working on population geography and migration is expanding and their expertise focus on migration, integration, segregation, neighbourhood effects, identity, housing market and labour market studies, employing mixed methods such as interviews, visual and mobile methods, and spatial analyses of register data. The research group “historical and landscape studies” draws focus on heritage planning, landscape management, land use change, development of agriculture and rural areas, and relations between people and environment in Swedish and international contexts. The planning group specialises in the politics and governance of Swedish and European spatial planning, the urban cultural economy and urban processes in a global perspective.