M.Sc. Urban Planning and Management

Aalborg University

Application deadline: 1 April
Tuition fee:
  • Free (EEA)
  • € 12,573 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Urban Planning and Management (Urban, Energy and Environmental Planning) (Aalborg)Urban development is societal development!Planning and managing the development of contemporary cities is one of the major societal challenges all over the world today. The global spread of technology and economic activity continues to impact upon towns, cities and urban mega-regions. In short, we live in an 'urban society'.

Urban society needs plans and visions

The city must be seen as a complex physical, technical and social phenomenon linked to networks of both local anchoring and global spread. However, not all cities share the same fortune in terms of positive development. In an age of global transformation, cities are competing fiercely for companies, employees and investment. Cities linked to global networks of transportation, communication and flows of images may be today's winners, whereas cities outside the reach of such networks are running the risk of 'splintering' into layers of mobility and living spaces mainly regulated by economic powers. Such urban competition leads developers, politicians and planners to think about the particular identity of their individual cities in a global urban context.

These development trends mean that the 'urban society' needs plans, visions and guiding principles for intervention in this complex context. In order to increase the positive social, economic and environmental facets of the urban society and reduce the negative ones we must put forward well-informed analyses, realistic visions and soundinterdisciplinary solutions.

Job and career Professional Profile

Students who have graduated in the field of Urban Planning and Management at Aalborg University can seek employment within a broad and diverse range of fields ranging from private consulting firms, over local, regional and national administrations to research institutions throughout the world.

The unique interdisciplinary approach of the Masters programme, where engineering and social science theories and methodologies are combined and fused, offer our students a state-of-the-art solution oriented approach to the ever-changing and complex world of urban problems and challenges. The Masters Programme gives our graduates the necessary skills and competences to apply for and manage a wide range of different jobs on a national as well as international level.

These include among others:

* Consultant in major international consulting companies
* Urban planner and consultant in leading national and regional consulting firms
* Planning consultants for NGOs throughout the world
* Urban planner for regional authorities
* Urban planner for municipalities and local authorities
* Advisory positions at a ministerial level
* Research and teaching positions at university level.


The future of cities and urban regions concern all of us. Urban development and change play a key role in societal development all over the world. Urbanism and urban life is a primary mediating force in transforming economies, technologies, social interaction and the environment. Cities and urban regions encompass a complex mixture of social activities, innovation, flows, movement and networked technical infrastructures, and as such urbanism is a dynamic socio-technical phenomenon.

The Master's Programme in Urban Planning and Management at Aalborg University enables candidates to understand and cope with the challenges of urban development in the 21st century through a unique integration of engineering and social science. Managing the challenges of urban policy and planning in the global era requires an interdisciplinary approach that combines technical, social, economic, and environmental knowledge. The future development of cities and urban regions requires urban policy makers and planners with an understanding of global development trends as well as of local-regional contexts and identities. It takes imagination and creativity as well as solid socio-technical knowledge and skill to envision, plan, and manage urban transformations that underpin and support goals of economic, social, democratic and ecological development.

Programme structureSemester 1 - Theme: The complex city

The semester of the complex city is devoted to understanding and assessing the complexity of the multiple forms of transformation of urban land use and transport infrastructure. Special emphasis is put on the behavioural, welfare related, distributional, environmental and economic consequences of such transformational processes.

In the project oriented group work the students are asked to evaluate a recent strategy or plan related to a specific aspect of urban development; this could be, among others, building activity, town green areas, transport infrastructure, public services.

Courses at the 1st semester

* Urban Development, Causes and Consequences
* Complexity, Interrelationships, Synergies and Conflicts
* Theories of Science and Research Designs.

Semester 2 -Theme: Planning and PowerTaking its point of departure in the notion of contemporary urban development being affected by increased complexity and new local-global transformation processes, this semesters theme is the issue of power and conflict within urban planning and management.

Leaving aside the idealised notion of urban planning and management as something neutral or inherently consensus based, the theme deals with real life issues of: who decides? Who gains and loses? And by what strategy is urban development performed?

Courses at 2nd semester

* Policy, Planning and Governance
* The Deliberative Practitioner
* Planning theory.

Semester 3- Internship, study abroad or prolonged project periodThis semester will provide the student with the option of applying the theoretical and methodological knowledge gained during the 1st and 2nd semesters into practice in real life situations in Denmark or abroad. This could take form as a internship within a private planning consultancy firm, a public planning department or a private NGO.

An alternative option is to enrol at another (Danish or foreign) university in order to undertake a semesters study there.

Finally there is an option for adding the 3rd and the 4th semester into a prolonged project period, if for instance the research question demands more time and energy for collecting data or conducting field studies.

Semester 4 - Masters Thesis preparationIn the final semester the main focus is on the writing of the Masters thesis. Students work individually or in small groups, under the guidance of supervisory staff. The Masters thesis, being the highest level of work undertaken, should aim at synthesising theories and methods in order to perform a potential solution for real life urban planning and management problems.


To enter this master programme you must have a relevant bachelor degree. The bachelor in Urban, Energy and Environmental Planning at Aalborg University, Denmark, gives you direct access to the programme. Other relevant bachelor degrees could be within engineering, geography, politics or social science. However, all applications for the master programme is evaluated individually and the relevancy of the bachelor degree is evaluated through this process.

Entrance requirementsYou can study as a guest student on the first and/or second term or as a master student following the entire two-year degree programme.

Students seeking to enrol in the programme are required to have the following qualifications:

* A bachelor of science degree in engineering, geography or natural sciences.
* Documented working knowledge of written and spoken English (verified IELTS score report with a minimum score of 6.5, TOEFL (paper based) 550, TOEFL (computer based) 230, TOEFL (internet based): 80 or Cambridge ESOL: C1.

All applications are evaluated individually.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550
TOEFL iBT® test: 80


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