The Master in Human Settlements addresses rapid urbanization in the developing world and contemporary urban transformations within the scope of sustainable development. The programme aims to provide insight into the problems of human settlements as related to rapid change and to the interaction between modernity and tradition, formal and informal city-making.
Architecture, urbanism and spatial planning are the core disciplines of the programme. Contributions from economics, geography and anthropology, among others, complement this core.
The structure is organised around:
Design studios form an important part 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 mixed groups from inception.
Core courses are related to the studios themselves, whereas for students selecting a more research-oriented trajectory in line with the programme's profile supporting courses are organized for the elaboration of a research Master's thesis.
Study trips to various destinations are organised throughout the academic year as a compulsory part of the MaHS programme. You will be able to observe and experience the area being studied and will have a unique opportunity to link your theoretical knowledge to daily practice and fieldwork. The trips include visits to sites, lectures by local experts and a range of assignments. Recent study trips in Europe have been made to:
In addition, one-day visits within Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent) are organised to support courses and provide an understanding of current trends in Belgian urban transformation. Moreover, as a key feature of the MaHS programme, a study trip and studio-related fieldwork sessions are offered in a non-Western context. You will be given the opportunity to travel for a two-week period to a non-European studio context for fieldwork and visits to best practices sites and other relevant sites.
This is an Advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The programme produces interdisciplinary graduates capable of understanding and managing the complexity of urban development as well as promoting sustainable territorial transformations. Graduates of the MaHS programme find employment in numerous and widespread areas. Many alumni work as civil servants in urban development agencies in cities or national governments. Others are independent professionals in the field of urban design, planning, and community development. Some join private architecture offices or take on in leadership and policymaking positions in regional, national, and international human settlements institutions, such as UNCHS or UEPP. A small number of graduates continue on to an academic career by obtaining a PhD, and some become professors.
Visit the Human Settlements MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!