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Master's Program in Urban Studies and Planning, MSc in Architecture

Aalto University
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
15,000 EUR
Aalto University

Program description

Master's Program in Urban Studies and Planning, MSc in Architecture

Would you like to work on the future of urban environments? The Aalto - University of Helsinki joint USP program will enable you to understand and address complex urban development challenges. The program balances theory and history with training in key methods and skills, as well as experiential learning. You'll gain a broad knowledge of the problems and issues affecting cities, and how to address them in collaborative and concrete working groups.

After completing a degree in the master’s program in Urban Studies & Planning, the student will be able to:

  • Excel as a professional, capable of understanding and addressing complex urban development challenges,
  • Identify theories, concepts and empirical research methods relevant to urban studies and planning from related fields of social sciences, humanities, ecology, engineering, architecture, design and art,
  • Demonstrate a working understanding of the role of urban government, policy-making and planning in urban development,
  • Critically and creatively pose and answer significant research questions relevant not only within but across multiple fields of theory and practice,
  • Gather, process and develop relevant conclusions based on information from multiple sources
  • Produce, collect and analyse cases and data relevant to urban phenomena,
  • Use digital and other tools to collect, analyse and share data,
  • Develop responses to urban problems using relevant tools and techniques for representing, modelling, prototyping, testing and evaluating solutions,
  • Understand and develop integrated approaches within and across urban research and applied planning,
  • Communicate understanding of and responses to urban phenomena visually, graphically, verbally and in writing,
  • Write academic, professional and popular texts on urban themes based on relevant literature,
  • Apply and develop skills for co-production of knowledge and co-design,
  • Work productively and cooperatively in multidisciplinary, multiprofessional and international, environments.

Admission requirements

You are eligible to apply in master's admissions if you have a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor's degree must be equivalent to 180 ECTS credits or three years of full-time study. The degree must give eligibility to apply for master’s degree studies at university in the awarding country. The awarding higher education institution has to be a recognized part of the official national education system of the country. It has to be accredited as a degree-granting higher education institution by the country where it is located or by a relevant international organisation (such as UNESCO).

For more information, please visit the university website.

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Program content

The Master’s Program in Urban Studies and Planning prepares students to excel as professionals capable of understanding and addressing complex urban development challenges. Students learn to address such challenges through a curriculum and pedagogical approach that includes interdisciplinary breadth as well as depth in core areas of knowledge, skill and practice. The program balances theoretical, historical and conceptual knowledge with the acquisition of methods, skills and experiences. Thus, students gain a broad understanding of urban phenomena as well as practical experiences in collaborative and concrete situations. This is the basis both of the structure of the program and of elements in the curriculum.

Taking full advantage of the joint university structure, the program joins leading expertise from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. Signature elements of the program includestudios that address urban challenge themes. Themes relate to current and urgent contemporary issues articulated not only in Finland but on the European and global scale, including controversies intrinsic to urbanization. Urban challenge themes may be attached to focus areas, research projects or collaborations within our universities, municipalities and regions in order to provide a constructive and critical framework for study and practice. Urban challenge themes are transdisciplinary and trans-professional, uniting the core areas in a joint effort towards a common challenge, and emphasizing an outward and forward-looking perspective.

The studies are part of a transdisciplinary master's program jointly executed with the University of Helsinki. This admission track is for students aiming for the M.Sc. (architecture) degree.

Tuition fees

The full tuition price for non-EU/EEA citizens is €15000 per year

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


Upon completion of the program, students will graduate with a Master of Science (Architecture) degree. 

Continuing studies

After completing a degree in the Master’s Program in Urban Studies & Planning, you can apply for doctoral Programs at the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and other top international universities.

At the University of Helsinki, the relevant doctoral Programs include:

  • Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences DENVI,
  • Social Sciences,
  • Sustainable use of renewable resources AGFOREE,
  • Political, Economic and Regional Change,
  • History and Cultural Heritage,
  • Philosophy, Arts and Society,
  • Political, Societal and Regional Change (PSRC).

At Aalto University, the relevant Programs include Doctor of Science (architecture), Doctor of Science (landscape architecture), Doctor of Science (economics and business administration), Doctor of Arts, and Doctor of Science (technology). The relevant doctoral Programs include:

  • Arts, Design and Architecture,
  • Business, Economics and Finance,
  • Engineering,
  • Science.

Career opportunities

The program prepares you to be a professional in a field that is meaningful, growing and in demand. You will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience needed to fill both traditional and emerging planning roles (such as urban planning and design, real estate development, strategic planning, environmental planning, landscape architecture, policy and service design). To these established or emerging roles, you will bring an integrated understanding of, and training in applying, more interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to urban development. As a graduate you will be prepared to compete for local and international positions within public, private and non-profit organisations, planning, architectural and policy advisory firms, research institutes and NGOs.

About this institute

Aalto University

Aalto University

Aalto University is a multidisciplinary community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future....

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Contact info

Aalto University

Otakaari 1B
02150 Espoo

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