The European Euromaster in Urban Studies (4Cities) is a unique two-year interdisciplinary and international programme. 4Cities takes students to Brussels, Copenhagen, Vienna, Madrid and a number of surrounding cities. The European Euromaster adds a European perspective to the field of Urban Studies: it wants to break up and to open the national perspective on urban problems. The growing importance of globalisation and the shift towards a world of flows calls for a new approach in important fields of urban policy like culture, economy, planning.
Globalisation - the processes of globalisation and localisation - as a general context leading to a renewed importance of the city and urbanity in the 21st century. The city is considered a nodal point in post-national developments. Europe as the unit of analysis: Europe and the European unification process is seen as part of and a reaction to this globalisation processes. Our scope is Europe seen through its cities and urban networks. Interdisciplinarity and internationality as a surplus value. The Unica master is a thematic masters programme focused on transdisciplinary approaches and transdisciplinary practices (not the least bridging urban planning and urban sociology, geography, etc) with a focus on the socio-spatial analysis of cities. An education build on strong cases: Brussels (capital of EU, small global city) – Copenhagen (the Scandinavian mode of regulation), Vienna (metropolis at the centre of Europe: gateway to the East), Madrid (the Mediterranean cities) and a number of surrounding cities. The importance of fieldwork: research experience in each city and comparative or transnational research as the basis for a final masters thesis. A number of excursions and visits: a central attractor will be that we incorporate well prepared excursions in each block. Each excursion will incorporate a socio-spatial introduction to the city (a city walk) and an institutional visit with a focus on certain aspects of policy or management. Moreover a number of projects and institutions will be visited.
During a period of two years, students take part in an interdisciplinary programme and study in four cities: Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid and Vienna. Students live in each of the cities for one semester, except for the first block (Brussels) which takes a few weeks longer and the last block which consists of a short intensive stay in Madrid. Students spend most of the last semester in a location of their choice, where they are able to work on their master thesis.
In each city the programme consists of: academic courses fieldwork excursions & visits exams
I came to the VUB from the United States because the opportunity to join the 4CITIES Erasmus Mundus Master course in Urban Studies was too good to pass up. At the core of urbanity is the interaction of diversity, the ways in which different perspectives, attitudes, skill sets, and ways of living rub against each other. What better way to study urbanity than in situ, in six different universities, four different cities in four different countries, and with a cohort of 25 fellow students from wildly different academic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds? Our first stop was Brussels and VUB/ULB. The semester was intense, challenging, and inspiring. 4CITIES was, for me, transformational in the best sense of the word.
I studied Development Planning as an undergraduate in Ghana. I was always interested in urban issues - especially urban transportation. So after my Bachelor degree I applied for a Master in Urban Studies at VUB. The multidisciplinary approach of the courses provided me with a wide variety of angles to view urban issues and it gave me the chance to push myself and to have an interest in other paradigms of thought. The semester at VUB was my first experience in Europe. But the diversity of the people, the vitality of the city together with its key function as the heart of the European Union meant that I could not have chosen a better city to start my education in Europe.
You can apply for this programme if you have a 180 ECTS bachelor degree in geography, sociology, literature & cultural studies, architecture & planning, economy, political sciences, public management, tourism, history, criminology, leisure studies, media studies or a similar discipline. In order to be admitted, you need to be proficient in English.
EEA students: 4500 EUR / Non EEA students 9000 EUR
Recipient: Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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