Spatial Humanities

Social Sciences
Open to :
  • Applicants holding an undergraduate degree (Bachelor)
  • EU/EEA students
  • Non-European students
Language proficency requirements :
  • French: B2
  • English: B2
Year of study :
  • Master's degree (1st year)
  • Master's degree (2nd year)

    The Master of Social Sciences at ENS de Lyon offers two-year training in the scientific methods and practices of the social sciences. Interdisciplinary, the master’s enables the rigorous acquisition of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis in their historical, spatial and social dimensions in common courses taught in M1 and M2. Each program also enables you to acquire a specialization based either on a disciplinary field or on a thematic approach.

    The "Spatial humanities" program aims to offer a high-level training in human geography, which enhances the interdisciplinarity constitutive of the Social Sciences Master’s. While contemporary societies are rediscovering space, it is the subject of a form of enlistment in public debates: the media, political exchanges rustle with exchanges and controversies on "peripheral France", "the migrant crisis", the contamination of the environment by pesticides, globalization ...

    To reflect on this situation, the contemporary social sciences (first and foremost geography) have equipped themselves with conceptual tools that define a "spatial turning point" (Soja, 1996)  and question the way in which space, in all its conceptual variations, intervenes in the emergence, structuring and intelligibility of social phenomena (Barney & Santa, 2009; Jacob, 2014). The "spatial turn" uses spatial concepts (territory, place, border, center, periphery, urban, scale, map, network, local and global) to unfold the forms taken by social institutions and individual practices. Produced by societies, internalized by individuals, space is a privileged entry point to understand the mechanisms of power, the segmentations of the world between humans and non-humans, collective demands, development practices, the structuring of knowledge, and contemporary ways of being in the world.

    The teachers of the course are concerned to establish a fruitful dialogue between theory and practice, showing that the "spatial turn" enables not only to better understand contemporary societies but also to propose informed interventions. Students will be encouraged to address personal research topics that demonstrate social significance, and to reflect on a broader professional integration than teaching-research.

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    Language of teaching

    100% of this program is in French.

    Career opportunities after this course

    • Research, secondary and higher education
    • Senior managers in the French public administration as well as French and European companies on French mainland and overseas

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