Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics

Tackle problems of cities and regions, transport, and the environment - from an economic viewpoint

A unique master's programme: the only one in the world that offers an integrated view on urban/regional issues, transport, and the environment from an economic perspective.

This high-quality one-year programme offers you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to tackle complex problems at a high level of abstraction, keeping in mind the need to translate theoretical solutions into clear-cut policy advice. It is designed for students with an interest in spatial, transport or environmental economics. It is firmly rooted in economics, but enables you at the same time to establish a multidisciplinary orientation. The programme addresses highly relevant and closely interrelated policy issues in today’s modern society in the field of regional development (such as the advantages of agglomerations), urban problems (such as crime), transport policies (such as congestion management) and environmental degradation (such as climate change). As such, it is concerned with virtually every aspect of society, in which space, distance and networks are key issues.

Students learn to adopt a structured approach in applying economic analytical tools to practical problems. Using economic models, you analyse real-life societal problems such as regional differences in income, traffic congestion and environmental pollution. You learn to tackle these problems at a high level of abstraction, assessing the pros and cons of different solutions and formulating your own alternative.

Top rated programme

Keuzegids Masters Top Rated Programme 2017

In October 2016, Dutch students and education experts gave Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics high marks for the quality of teaching staff, internal communication and course content. The Netherlands Higher Education Center therefore recognised the programme as a Top Rated Programme in the Keuzegids Masters 2017, the Dutch higher education guide for prospective students.

Best programme
The MSc Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics programme at VU Amsterdam ranked first among similar programmes in the Netherlands (National Student Survey 2017). Dutch students gave our programme high marks for their overall satisfaction.


You apply for the Master's programme Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics. Later on during the year, you may specialize in one or a combination of the following fields:

  • Urban and Regional Economics
    Regions, cities and buildings: Understanding the spatial and economic dimensions of urbanization, agglomeration and regional decline and development
  • Transport Economics
    Understanding the economics of the great societal challenges in urban and international transport, mobility and accessibility
  • Environmental Economics
    Understanding the economic and spatial aspects of the great societal challenges in managing local and global environments, natural resources and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy

The master's programme offers a yearly single scholarship (Piet Rietveld Scholarship) for an excellent student in the programme originating from a developing country. Especially Indonesian students are encouraged to apply.

Overview Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics




1 year



1 April for international degree holders (different deadlines may hold for other category students);
1 June for Dutch degree holders


1 September




Economics, Business and Law