University of Leuven

Urbanism and Strategic Planning, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English
The Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP) from University of Leuven is a four-semester academic degree offered within the Faculty of Engineering Science by the Department of Architecture. The programme interacts with research conducted by the research groups active in the department.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


As an internationally oriented programme developing a critical understanding of contemporary conditions of cities and urban regions, the Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning aims to cultivate innovative concepts and strategies for qualitative interventions in urban territories through design, planning and policies. It prepares students for leadership roles in urban design, urban development and management, and strategic planning, with a special focus on European-wide urban problems.

The Urbanism and Strategic Planning programme from University of Leuven is part of the European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU), and students can apply to attend one or two semesters abroad at one of the partner universities - UPC Barcelona, TU Delft or IUAV Venezia - to obtain the additional European Postgraduate Master of Urbanism.

The joint EMU programme is a collaborative effort bringing together the best components of existing curricula, creating new courses and offering a top-ranking professional degree by combining the specificity and strengths of the participating universities. The consortium functions as a platform for promoting an exchange of knowledge, ideas, and research projects on current urban trends in Europe and the world.

  • Guest lectures and seminars form an important part of the programme. Most are compulsory. The programme benefits from the department’s worldwide contacts in the field of human settlement and urbanism. Professionals involved in teaching, design, and consultancy activities from different comers of the world reflect the international character of the MaUSP curriculum.
  • Study trips to various destinations are organized throughout the academic year. You will be able to see and experience the area studied and will have the unique opportunity to link your theoretical knowledge to daily practice and fieldwork. The trips include visits to sites, lectures by local experts, as well as a range of assignments. Recent study trips in Europe have been made to France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and London (UK). Furthermore, one-day visits within Belgium are organized to support courses and provide an understanding of local current trends in urban transformations. As a key feature of the programme, a study trip and studio-related fieldwork sessions are offered in a non-Western context. You will be given the opportunity to travel to the non-European studio context for fieldwork and visits to best practices sites and other relevant sites for about two weeks.
Career perspectives

After successfully completing the programme, you will have acquired a thorough knowledge of urbanisation in different contexts. You will have learned to work on various scale levels, with an understanding of the interferences between scales. You will be able to conduct a critical analysis of spatial phenomena in relation to the social and economic forces driving them. Building upon such analysis, you can design strategic interventions that are politically and economically feasible, and that have a structural impact. You will have developed excellent communication skills, visually as well as textually, and you will be able to function in a research environment.

Programme Structure

Courses are organized according to the following setup:

  • Core courses
  • Design studios
  • Optional courses
  • Final design thesis

Design studios form the heart of the programme, a status reflected in their credit load. They are organized as two full days of work on Mondays and Tuesdays to provide an intensive and immersive working environment, as occurs in most professional practices. They also are courses where a balance between teamwork and individual contribution is developed, since students are subdivided in small but varied groups from inception.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • Partnership
  • More information Go To The Course Website
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English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6

    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: 550

    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).

Academic Requirements

On the basis of the following degrees, or similar degrees, obtained in the Flemish Community:

  • Master in de architectuur (Brussel, Gent)
  • Master of Architecture (Brussel, Gent)
  • Master of Human Settlements (Leuven)

Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file.
- Master in de architectuur (obtained outside the Flemish Community)
- Master of Architecture (obtained outside the Flemish Community)
- Master of Human Settlements (obtained outside the Flemish Community)
- Master of Engineering: architecture
- Master of Landscape Architecture
- Master of Spatial Planning
- Master of Urban Planning / Design

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 6000 International
  • EUR 6000 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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