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1 year
Full time
Master's degree
On campus
01 September 2021

Program description

Urban Governance

Today, cities are dynamic and fast-growing. They can pose challenging governance questions. Professionals who possess the right knowledge and skills to tackle complex urban governance policies are therefore urgently needed to develop sustainable governance policies.

This master specialisation is part of the MSc in Public Administration of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. A unique asset of this master specialisation is the collaboration between the Department of Public Administration (Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, ESSB) and the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies(IHS).

What is this master track about?

Cities are complex, challenging and fast-growing. They are major economic and development drivers that generate vast amounts of wealth and are home to more than half of the world’s population (estimated to be closer to 70% by 2050). Cities are at the heart of cultural, social and political innovation. They play a key role in discovering answers to social issues such as migration, social segregation, poverty, climate change, health, unemployment, and terrorism. Sustainable governance policies are crucial to securing global resilience to these issues and to secure the well-being of people who live inside and outside of cities.

Admission requirements

Prior education

You are eligible for admission to the program if you have obtained a relevant Bachelor’s or undergraduate degree from a research university in the following fields of studies:

  • Public Administration;
  • Political Science;
  • Sociology.

A Bachelor’s degree in other disciplines related to public administration and societal processes, such as economics, environmental sciences, urban management/planning and urban studies may give access to Urban Governance, but only if you can prove familiarity with social sciences methodology and have followed some social sciences oriented courses (e.g. public policy, public administration or political science courses). Hence familiarity with social sciences methods and public administration or political science related theory is expected.

Language requirements 

A good command of English is essential. You might be exempted from presenting the proof of English proficiency, please check our website for all of the exceptions.


In a reasonable amount of detail (1 A4) give us more information on:
a) your motivation for applying to the program.
b) Furthermore, demonstrate relevant knowledge, experience and affinity with the field of studies (also supported by means of your resume).
c) Inform us about your plans for the future.

Academic performance 

In addition to the credentials mentioned above, the Admission Board will also take into account your academic performance, i.e. your grades. Please note that there is no minimum score or average grade mentioned; your application will be assessed against the pool of applicants of the given year.

If you would like to know more, please send an information request or click on the institute's web page.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

The programme offers a varied set of courses (obligatory and elective), seminars, working groups sessions, and a series of guest lectures by internationally well-known scholars. Furthermore, you conduct your own research project (thesis) in which you apply theories and social scientific research methods to examine urban governance issues.

The programme provides courses and training in real life settings giving an opportunity to learn and practice scientific and managerial skills. It includes a variety of teaching methodologies aimed at interaction between teachers and students, between students and practitioners and between students themselves.

Next to general lectures given by leading scholars in the field, pedagogical games such as action planning, fieldwork and excursions are part of the teaching methods. The courses provide the most recent theoretical and empirical insights in urban governance. Practical and professional skills are developed in the urban governance labs, including working group sessions and seminars. Inspirational guest lectures enable a knowledge and experience transfer from experts in the field. The urban governance labs are further used to build group identity among the students.

Scholarships & funding

There are scholarships and grants for two groups:

1. Students from abroad, who wish to study at EUR or are already doing so;

2. Students studying at EUR, wishing to go abroad for a while during or after their current study program.

Request information to learn more about the available scholarship opportunities and to find out if you qualify. 



Career opportunities

After completing this master track you are able to analyse urban governance issues and processes. You know how to design interactive governance strategies to tackle urban issues and to act as a broker and advisor in urban development projects. You are educated to organise and manage the necessary processes to tackle these problems and develop solutions.

Possible positions

Graduates will be suitable candidates for positions as a:

  • member of a project team that works on large urban development projects (such as city center restructuring, the extension of a city’s port area or the regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods);
  • government official working on urban strategies (e.g.  dealing with climate change, citizen initiatives, sustainable energy, social innovation) and urban planning at the local, regional or national level;
  • government or private party official working in public-private partnerships on increasing urban sustainability;
  • advisor working for a non-profit organisation, such as a housing corporation, a health care organisation or a big social enterprise working on neighbourhood development;
  • policy advisor, researcher or consultant working for a knowledge institute or consultancy firm dealing with urban development issues, advising on or designing co-production processes between users and providers of urban services.

Contact school

Want to know more about this program, Urban Governance? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.

About this institute

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) is home to a vast diversity of study programs and scientific disciplines: Public Administration, Pedagogical Sciences, Psychology and Sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and...

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Average rating 5

Based on 1 reviews.

After finishing my bachelors in public administration, I wanted to do a master in a field I was really interested in: the development of cities and urban areas. Besides, I was aware of the fact that these developments were not self-executive: they need to be governed. These two interests are combined in this master’s programme. In several course...
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Contact info

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam
The Netherlands

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Contact school

Want to know more about Urban Governance? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.

Program rating
Based on 1 reviews.

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