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Course content

The cities of today are complex with interrelated economic, social, environmental and physical challenges which need to be balanced in the ever-changing urban environment.

The intensive 12-month MSc in Urban Management and Development is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to become competent urban managers by offering an in-depth insight into urban issues, policies and trends around the world through a blend of lectures with case studies, discussions, working groups, group assignments and field visits and field work. More specifically, you will be looking into questions like (but not limited to):

What are the dynamics of urban growth? How do you manage a city in a holistic way? What about creating urban land and space use policies that reflect the “New Urban Agenda” goals? What are the theories that underpin good urban governance? Under what conditions are Public Private Partnerships (PPP) successful vehicles for urban development? How can local governments finance urban infrastructure? What is the right way to assess a social policy in the view of a paradigm shift?

The master programme is divided into three main periods: a core period, a specialization period and a thesis period. Visit our website or download the brochure to find more information about the programme structure and the knowledge you will gain during each period.

Training methodology

Throughout the course, students participate in interactive lectures, workshops and discussions, engage in group and individual exercises, analyse cases, give presentations and write papers and essays which aim to deepen their knowledge about the concepts and theory. The training methodology of the programme includes field visits, fieldwork, simulation games, discussions, best practices and case studies.

Why this programme?

  • Get your degree from a top 100 university.
  • Study in a international environment with people from over 45 different countries.
  • Follow courses and guest lectures offered by leading scholars from various disciplines in the field urban management.
  • Benefit from a unique methodology of interactive role-playing games where use your theoretical knowledge to solve real-life examples of urban issues.
  • Tailor your study with one of six different specialisations.

IHS, the Insitute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam was honoured in 2007 with the UN-HABITAT Award for ‘leading the way as a global center of excellence and knowledge through its high quality teaching programmes in urban management and planning’ and over 60 years of experience in educating and training local and national governments officials.


Visit the MSc In Urban Management and Development (UMD) page on the Erasmus University Rotterdam website for more details!

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