M.Sc. Urbanism and Strategic Planning (Adv.)

KU Leuven - University of Leuven

Application deadline: June 1 (EEA); March 1(Non EEA)
Tuition fee:
  • € 5,600 / Year (EEA)
  • € 5,600 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
Partnership: Joint
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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The Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP) is a four-semester academic degree offered by the Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning (ASRO), first organised in 2005-2006.

As an internationally oriented programme developing a critical understanding of contemporary conditions of cities and urban regions, it 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 programme interacts with research conducted by the research groups active in the ASRO Department.

The MaUSP programme 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. Applications to the EMU are subject to approval by the EMU Board.

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.

The Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning is an advanced Master's programme. You can follow this programme on a full-time or part-time basis.


The aim of the programme is to deliver graduates who are able to work in a critical and independent way in the discipline. They should be able to create workable spaces which structurally influence the complex developments in the field of urban and regional planning.

By the end of the programme the student will have acquired:

* knowledge of diverse contexts of urbanization, in Europe and the world;
* knowledge of working at various levels of scale, with an ability to explain the interference between these levels of scale;
* design methods that are supported by a thorough analysis of the spatial phenomena dominating contemporary urbanization, and an understanding of the social forces underlying these phenomena;
* the ability to intervene in a strategic project which is politically and economically feasible, and which exercises a structuring effect that transcends its direct impact;
* skill in designing spatial interventions and strategies;
* skill in achieving a critical view of society's spatial functioning;
* sound communicative skills;
* the knowledge and skills required to participate in scholarly research.

Lecture series

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 settlements and urbanism. Professionals involved in teaching, design, and consultancy activities from different corners of the world reflect the international character of the MaUSP curriculum.

Study trips

Study trips to various destinations are organised 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 organised 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.

EMU design workshops

Annual design workshops are a compulsory and crucial activity offered by K.U.Leuven and the other three partner universities (IUAV Venice, UPC Barcelona, and TU Delft). This weeklong exchange of ideas and exposure to four different schools' approaches intensifies and broadens the programme's purpose. To date, students have had the opportunity to undertake design investigations in Conegliano (Italy), in the area of "Prà dei Gai", and the area around Venice.


Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file:

* Master of Science in Engineering: architecture
* Master of Science in Architecture
* Master of Science in Landscape Architecture
* Master of Science in Spatial Planning
* Master of Science in Urban Planning / Design
* Master of Science in Human Settlements

Applicants should fulfil the following formal requirements:

- Be a graduate (with minimum 5 years of university education) in Architecture, Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Urban or Physical Planning with a good academic record (normal level of 70 %, of GPA 2.8/3.0, second class upper). The relevance of the academic record will be compared for each university and/or country of origin.- Have a good command of English, certified by a score on al language test (e.g. TOEFL/IELTS) indicating a C-1 level on the Common European Framework of the Council of Europe (Further information about language requirements is available on our web pages at Candidates who can prove that their entire university education was taken in English (for example in a Commonwealth country) can be exempted from this requirement.- Submit a letter of motivation and a portfolio which clearly demonstrate their sound professional intentions and relevant experience.- Applicants with some years of relevant professional experience will be preferred.Admission is given by the programme director.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550

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