The Master's Degree in Geography aims at:
- Educating researchers who demonstrate the importance of space and the cultural context in the social analysis.
- Contributing to the current development of this area in Colombia, which in spite of boasting a long tradition, has only recently attained an important academic progress, thanks to the creation of different undergraduate and graduate programs.
The Master's Degree in Geography is designed for professionals of different areas interested in conducting research from a geographical perspective. It is organized around two thematic axes:
1) The relation between societies and the environment, and 2) Space as a fundamental category to understand social phenomena. The first axis has defined geography since its origins, and the second axis has become in the last decades an essential contribution of geography to social science. Based on these premises, the Master's degree is characterized by its close links to social science, with a constant consideration of its relations with physical geography.
Subjects are divided in three major areas: Basic Knowledge Area, Seminars Area and Research Practice Area.
Basic Knowledge Area
It is composed of four subjects (society and nature, space and society, physical geography and cartography workshop), which provide students with basic topic and theoretical knowledge for their geography studies.
Elective Seminars Area
The program includes an area of elective seminars, which allows students to explore different areas of geography. Students can choose from seminars offered by the Master's Degree and those with related subjects offered through different programs in the School and the University.
Research Practica Area
This area comprises the development of the graduation thesis.
Research or Focus Areas
Geography research revolves around two areas that compose the curriculum: space and society, and society and nature. Each of them is composed of lines of research that define more specific interests.
Space and society
Space, territory and o y ethnicity
This line of research focuses on the study of territorial organization and space management in a long-term perspective, from pre-Hispanic America until today. There is an interest in discussing certain crucial aspects in the relation between geography and power. The efforts to control the population through territorial organization and the responses to said efforts, as well as the unequal appraisals of different regions in the country, are some of the relevant aspects in this relation that are object of the research in this area.
The notion of development is based on a particular understanding of world geography that analyzes and assesses the socio-economic structures in different societies. This line of research focuses on the study of factors that affect local and regional development in specific contexts. It also includes the relation between different assessment scales with special attention to the dimension of globalization. Another important area is the relation between gender and development.
Society and nature
Environmental history and political ecology
This area discusses how societies relate to their environment. There are different focus areas including environmental technology management, reconstruction and evaluation of landscape transformation, analysis of conflicts generated by access and use of natural resources. Research in these areas is conducted through different methodologies, including archeological excavations, press analysis, and the use of geographical information systems.
Travels and appropriation of the (natural) world
The appropriation of the (natural) world through observation, science and trade, is the focus of this line of reseach. Special attention is given to the analysis of exploratory trave, history of cartography and trade of vegetal and animal species. Another important topic is the influence of literary studies and contribution of sociology of science in understanding the relation between geography and power.
Graduates of the Master's Degree course can pursue professional careers in the field of research and teaching, as well as directing and consulting in projects in the public or private sector where geography plays a fundamental role. Their skills to make socio-spatial analyses and to understand the environmental issue from a social perspective, but with a sensitive approach towards the natural world, will allow them to work in territorial organization plans, in projects related to urban and rural planning, and those related to environmental issues. They will also be in a privileged position to update teaching knowledge about geography.