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

Urbanization is a global phenomenon with direct impact on the future of our societies. Most of the key challenges of contemporary societies are encountered and addressed in cities. Cities provide enormous economic, technical and cultural opportunities, but they are also places of social conflicts and segregation as well as environmental and health problems. The magnitude of such challenges implies that no single field of research or profession can tackle them alone. Urban development requires an integrated approach. To this end, two prominent Finnish universities, Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, have joined forces in this unique and interdisciplinary master’s program. Application through Aalto University’s admissions process is oriented towards applicants with bachelor’s degree in planning, architecture, landscape architecture and urban and real estate economy.

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. (landscape architecture) degree.

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 include studios 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. (landscape architecture) degree.

Landscape architecture is a multidisciplinary field for design and planning of outdoor spaces, their construction and management in a full range of scales. Landscape architecture combines expertise in the arts, natural sciences and technology. Ethics, ecology and functionality are the fundamental values of Landscape Architecture. The aim is to create sustainable, well-planned environments and communities. The key content in USP landscape architecture studies are emphasized with urban focus, advanced multidisciplinarity and tools to work with the questions of landscape in the urban context.

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.


The program offers several degree options from two universities—from the University of Helsinki, Master of Science (nat. sci., environ. sci.), Master of Arts (humanities) and Master of Social Sciences, and from Aalto University, Master of Science (architecture), Master of Science (landscape architecture) and Master of Science (technology)—that ensure sufficient expertise to work in established and emerging expert roles in urban development in the public and private sectors, in Finland and internationally.

For landscape architecture specialization, the degree given is Master of Science (landscape architecture). Degree qualification in landscape architecture is provided for students who have a B.Sc. in landscape architecture (or equivalent).  In order to fulfill the requirements of the landscape architecture degree, students need to carefully follow the structure of studies, and their elective studies can be regulated.

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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