Urban Management and Development, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #72 ,
IHS is the home of all things urban. We love cities and work passionately for their development. Moreover, we are happy to welcome talented and driven individuals, who want to extend their expertise in the sphere of urban management and development. This Urban Management and Development programme is offered by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Are you always coming up with solutions and innovations for the cities of the world? Do you think globally and act locally? Have you got what it takes to be a city changer?

Our lecturers, students and alumni are excellent professionals, developing and managing urban projects and initiatives all over the world. If you want to learn the ins and outs of city management from our international expert lecturers and guest lecturers, this might be your spot!

Your MSc. degree in Urban Management and Development at IHS

IHS, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies is proud to be a part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, widely recognized as an excellent institution for education and research. Two faculties of the EUR participate in the MSc programme: the School of Economics (ESE) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS).

We believe that a strong understanding of concepts and theoretical framework goes hand in hand with a rich practical experience. At IHS you will find the space and support to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice. Moreover, you can team up with fellow scholars, who are outstanding young professionals from over 45 countries, with experience in the urban field.

Together, you will learn from highly skilled lecturers and guest lecturers from all over the world, through a unique methodology of real case study analyses, games, class debates and not only. Your focus will be rather practical throughout the programme, thus helping you assimilate a problem-solving approach.

But the best has to be the vicinity of such a masterfully planned city like Rotterdam, that will inspire you to take your daring ideas one step further. The countless bold initiatives and urban experiments, a large community of experts and a wide array of niche events are within your close reach.

Erasmus University Rotterdam #rankings

In the The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, EUR occupies position #6 in the Netherlands position #25 in Europe and position #71 global. Times Higher Education - Global Employability University Rankings ranks Erasmus University at position #85 global and #2 in the Netherlands. Only the world’s top 150 universities are listed in this ranking.

Career prospects/employability
  • city/town planner
  • local government officer
  • housing officer
  • transport planner
  • accessibility specialist
  • infrastructure planner/manager
  • facilities manager
  • heritage preservation specialist
  • civil service administrator
  • community development worker
  • urban economy and finance specialist
  • environmental manager
  • urban environment officer
  • urban risk reduction expert
  • city resilience specialist
  • climate change expert
  • urban reconstruction specialist
  • social & resettlement specialist
  • spatial planner
  • real estate developer
  • consultant/advisor in development projects
  • research coordinator
Wondering what's your city-changer dream job? You could be a...

A career in urban development offers quite a wide range of job choices. You can work in different areas, sectors and specialize in something you're passionate about. With the increasingly fast expansion rate of cities, urban professionals are more and more in demand. Curious about what your options are? We listed a few positions, if you want to get a better idea of what's in store for you.

Programme Structure

Core period

(October - January)

This period will build a common understanding on urban management and development, by laying down a foundation based on its main disciplines, like urban theory, planning and governance, economics and urban sociology. Usually, core period is divided in two blocks, with three main courses and two workshops.

block 1 - Urban Theory | Gaining from Land Use Transactions Game

Part 1 - lecture themes

  • space and the city
  • sustainable city
  • green city
  • people and the city
  • informal city
  • competitive city
  • Part 2 - workshops

    Workshops on each of the themes of the previous lectures. Participants can choose two workshops.

    Part 3 - GLUT game

    Gaining from Land Use Transactions is an interactive learning game, where you will play the role of key actors and negotiate positions in a stylized city, mediated by markets and regulations.

    block 2 - Urban Governance, Policy and Planning | Action Planning Workshop

    Urban Governance and Urban Policy

    Action planning workshop - You will work on a case study and apply different tools that will guide you through the action planning process. You will learn how to integrate different sectors and balacing the needs of different stakeholders.

    Urban Planning and Public Private Partnerships

    Economic and Financial Analysis - techniques and methods for optimal solutions to complex investment decisions at the urban level.
    Specialisation period

    (January - April)

    You can choose between 6 different specialisations that provide ample choices for you to go in-depth in your field of study.

    blocks 3 & 4

    Urban Strategies and Planning (USP)

    • theory and conceptualization: collaborative planning, strategic planning etc.
    • place-making and visioning
    • from vision and quality to objective and intervention
    • implementation plan

    Urban Environment and Climate Change (UECC)

    • environmental and climate multi-governance
    • urban environment & climate change policy analysis &instruments
    • assessment methodologies & decision support tools
    • framework for cost and benefits

    Managing and Financing Urban Infrastructure (MFUI)

    • management & governance of the infrastructure sector
    • links with other urban fields
    • key issues of infrastructure finance
    • green issues: infrastructure resilience, greening, energy efficiency, renewable energy

    Urban Land Development (ULD)

    • land markets, policies and instruments
    • land and property; land rights, taxation
    • land use zoning at structure level
    • land assembling and land readjustment
    • public land leasing
    • tenure options
    • land registration & administration

    Urban Competitiveness and Resilience (UCR)

    • theoretical background (relevant theories on UCR and the annual theme)
    • developing technical skills for answering research questions through data analysis
    • applied research

    Urban Housing and Livelihoods (UHL)

    • housing theory
    • functioning of the housing sector
    • livelihood theory
    • from welfare state to a participatory society
    • trends and paradigms in housing and social policies
    • creating liveable neighbourhoods
    • Rotterdam field work
    During the specialization period, participants are confronted with a multidisciplinary approach to their area of specialization, by combining lectures and participatory learning methodologies, such as workshops, simulation games, seminars and group work. In this period, participants are able to interact much more with each other and with lecturers. The group size of each specialization course is limited, to enable interactive learning.
    Research & Thesis


    A unique thing about this programme is the fact that you are encouraged to perform action-oriented research in your home country or a country other than your own, during the fieldwork period. As a way to support your work, as well as the quality of your output, during this period, you will be guided through the process of designing your own research, considering strategy, methodologies, instruments and fieldwork plan. The thesis period starts with six research workshops, directly linked to each specialization course. They provide the ideal environment to work on the thesis topic under the guidance and supervision of academic staff.
    blocks 5 & 6 - Research Methods and Techniques | Research Workshops

    Research Methods and Techniques

    • Problem statement
    • Introduction into academic research (research design, criteria for research questions etc.)
    • Operationalization of conceptual framework, data collection methods and research instruments workshop
    • Data analysis workshop - SPSS/Atlas.ti (3 workshops)
    • Self-Organizing Cities
    • Urban Sustainability and Climate Change
    • Sustainable Urban Infrastructure
    • Land Value
    • Capture
    • Urban Competitiveness and Resilience
    • Dynamic Urban Neighbourhoods

    Detailed Programme Facts

    • Programme intensity

      You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

      • Duration 12 months
    • Languages
      • English
    • Delivery mode
      On Campus

    English Language Requirements

    You only need to take one of these language tests:

    • Minimum required score:


      The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

      Take IELTS test
    • Minimum required score:


      The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

    • Minimum required score:


      The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

    Academic Requirements

    Note: 15 June is the regular application deadline and 1 June is an early bird payment deadline.

    Do you want to join the Master’s programme in Urban Management and Development? Then you're required:

    • To have at least a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university in a field related to the chosen course.
    • To have the ability to interact and work with people from very diverse cultures and backgrounds.

    Bonus! If you have working experience in a relevant field, this can give you extra points during the selection procedure.

    English language requirements

    This entire programme is in English! To make sure you benefit the most from this degree, you will need to prove your English level through a TOEFL or IELTS official language test.

    • TOEFL Score: 575 (paper-based) / 232 (computer-based)/ 90 (internet-based)

    Please note: TOEFL ITP will not be accepted as a proof of English proficiency for IHS.

    • IELTS – Score: min.6.5, no subtest lower than 5.5

    If you have previously studied in English, you don't need to take an official exam. Instead, just provide the following documents:

    • An example of a previously submitted, substantial essay or thesis in English.
    • Confirmation from the institution that the language of instruction was entirely in the English medium.

    Tuition Fee Per Year

    • EUR 12900 International
    • EUR 12900 EU/EEA

    Admitted applicants who submit their tuition fee for the master’s programme before 1 June benefit from a tuition fee reduction of €500 and at the same time secure their place in the programme.

    • Early bird payment deadline: 1/06/17


    Fellowships are available from various donors. Several bilateral and multilateral organisations may be prepared to grant fellowships to eligible candidates, subject to budgetary limitations and particular criteria.

    Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) and Mena Scholarship Programme (MSP)

    The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) promote capacity building within organisations in 50 countries by providing training and education through fellowships for professionals. The Mena Scholarship Programme covers 10 Middle East and a few countries in Northern Africa. The NFP and MSP programmes are initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the budget for development cooperation.

    Joint Japan World Bank Scholarships (JJWBGS)

    In 1987, the World Bank, with funding from the Government of Japan, established the World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program for graduate studies in subjects related to economic development. Each year, the Program awards scholarships to individuals from World Bank member countries to undertake graduate studies at renowned universities throughout member countries of the Bank.

    Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS)

    The Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme (OTS) is a scholarship programme administered by Nuffic and offered to excellent students who wish to pursue the MSc in Urban Management and Development (UMD) here at IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    The Orange Tulip Scholarship in relation to the IHS courses is available in Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil.

    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.