Urban Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English, Estonian (take IELTS)
The two-year Master’s 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.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


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 Master’s 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 today’s cities.

The mission of the English-speaking Master’s 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 Master’s 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.


International Accreditation

Programme Structure

The Master’s 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 ‘real’ 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 Master’s 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: Master’s thesis


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

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
    • Estonian
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
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Academic Requirements

  • Application (submitted through Dream Apply by May 1st)
  • 50€ application fee (paid via bank transfer)
  • Bachelor’s 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

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • Free International
  • Free EU/EEA


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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