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As a result of the teaching quality assessment at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences in Groningen (Netherlands), the course 'Gebiedsanalyse' (Area Analysis) was set up in spring 1998. The aim was to provide an opportunity for the development of transferable and geographical skills in the context of a group-based research project at level II. In addition, an effort was made to move from tutor-led to student-led learning. Experiences from the past 3 years have shown that Area Analysis has been largely successful in providing an opportunity for the application of geographical and transferable skills but also for the 'deep empowerment' of undergraduate students.