As Human Geographers we study society through a geographic lens, which means that we are keen to understand the meaning of space, place, scale and territory in economic, political and social processes.
Economic development, political governance, social inequality, urbanization, workplace flexibility, social movements, international migration and climate adaptation are some examples of contemporary issues that are studied within Human Geography. These are general phenomena that have concrete expressions in different places, regions and territories, while such local expressions are also embedded in processes and relations that go far beyond specific locations. Within Human Geography, we study these kinds of social processes within relational place-space-scale contexts.
Interdisciplinary and international orientation
Human Geography is also a subject that is characterized by an interdisciplinary orientation. Our research is characterized by attempts to integrate economic, social and political processes, or apply Human Geographic perspectives on society-environment relations. Human geographical research at ISS also has a clear international orientation, not least in relation to countries in the global south.
Human Geography uses a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, including geographic information systems (GIS).
Human geographers at ISS research and teach within six key sub-disciplines: economic geography, labour geography, political geography, urban geography, development geography, and studies of society-environment relations. These sub-disciplines are central to the teaching at all levels within the discipline (BA, MA, PhD). Our research is organized into four thematic core areas, which are also study specializations within the Master's program in Human Geography:
- Urban studies and planning
- Climate change adaptation and transformation
- Development and politics
- Economic and labour geography
Human Geography at the University of Oslo is part of the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Natural Geography is pursued at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.