M.A. Urban Studies

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • Free (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

    Free (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English, Estonian ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
| Tallinn, Estonia
The two-year Masterís program in Urban Studies combines rigorous academic research with intensive field-work. The program is situated at the trans-disciplinary crossroad of critical urban studies, urbanism and urban planning, architecture theory, sociology and urban ethnography. Integrating critical interrogation and experimental practice, the program has a triple focus on social uses, spatial programs and urban forms.



As events and transformations of the recent decades have forcefully shown, the urban question permeates all major social, economic, and political developments of today. The interdisciplinary Masterís program in Urban Studies critically engages with the wide-ranging manifestation of contemporary urbanity, integrating knowledge from urban studies, urbanism and urban planning, architecture theory, sociology, urban ethnography and geography.

Contemporary urban situation is studied as a multifaceted phenomenon, which cannot be understood from a single disciplinary perspective. In preparing students for understanding and intervening in urban space, the dual character of city as a built form and as a social process is emphasized. The program leads students to have an insight in the dynamics of institutions, actors, and conflicts that shape todayís cities.

The mission of the English-speaking Masterís program in Urban Studies is to understand and analyze contemporary urban problems and act upon these problems in terms of design, policy, activism, and research. The education prepares students to engage with urban issues at the intersection between design practice, political practice and theoretical knowledge (urban design, urban and spatial planning, state and municipal policy making, public expertise, community advocacy, social activism, academic and practice-based research). The program prepares graduates for further study at the PhD level.

The Masterís program is fully in English and it has a strong international orientation. It offers regular guest lectures and lectures courses by international scholars and practitioners. The element of interactivity is important and students often work in small groups. Intensive urban fieldwork is complemented by regular consultations with teachers.

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Started in

    Deadline was:
  • ( International

    Deadline applies if you do not have the same nationality as the university.

  • ( National

    Deadline applies if you have the same nationality as the university.


Dates reflect the university's timezone.

Tuition fee
  • Free ( International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

  • Free ( EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The Masterís program in Urban Studies provides the students with:

  • theoretical ground for understanding urban history and contemporary urban development,
  • practical research and methodological skills for analyzing urban situations in a rich, comprehensive and interdisciplinary way,
  • design skills engaging the student in work on urban and spatial planning,
  • international and comparative perspective.

Pedagogically, the curriculum consists of:

  • lectures courses, in which key debates in contemporary urban studies an architectural theory is presented,
  • reading seminars, where students are engaged in critical discussion of these debates,
  • semester-long research studios, the core element of the program, in which students analyze, engage and propose solutions to Ďrealí urban situations, utilizing wide range of planning (scenario planning, interventions) and academic (interviews, observation, archival research) methods,
  • seminaries held by invited lecturers, who provide expert knowledge on multiple fields central to the urban question (geography, history, art history, detailed planning, software tools),
  • annually changing workshops and courses on topical themes, which are shared between first and second year MA students, helping the two groups to integrate.

The basic structure of the Masterís program is as follows:

  • 1st year, autumn term: urban and architectural theory, typomorphology studio
  • 1st year, spring term: scenario-planning studio
  • 2nd year, autumn term: urban research studio, urban planning studio (held in collaboration with students of Architecture program)
  • 2nd year, spring term: Masterís thesis


Our students have previous academic background in architecture and/or humanities.


  • Application (submitted through Dream Apply by May 1st)
  • 50Ä application fee (paid via bank transfer)
  • Bachelorís degree
  • Official transcript of records (translated into Estonian, English or Russian and notarised)
  • Proof of English proficiency: FCE or CAE, IELTS 5.5+ or TOEFL 70+
  • Copy of the data page of your passport or ID card
  • CV
  • Writing or design portfolio
  • Motivational letter
  • Interview

More Information


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Estonian Academy of Arts

Tallinn, Estonia

Estonia The mission is to implement ideas that develop in the creative field. We believe that designers, architects and people working in other creative fields should participate in business activities, execute ideas and solve the emergent assignments with an interdisciplinary approach. We are convinced that companies are more successful when they employ design, technology, information and communications technology and entrepreneurial talent right from the start.

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