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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Architecture, Building & Planning


  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 2 years

  • Course Type

    MSc, Other

  • Course Fees

    Students with citizenship in countries outside the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, are required to pay application and tuition fees. Please visit website for further details.

  • Last Updated

    28 October 2019

The programme engages with current intellectual and political concerns about urbanisation and urban spaces from international and interdisciplinary perspectives. Situated in core debates around these issues, the programme responds to current demands for training informed urban researchers and practitioners able to address urban challenges and potentials. It has a strong research basis and courses provide a number of novel and exciting dimensions.

In the first year, students will acquire an overview of the field of urban studies and its development. Students will then deepen their knowledge on current urban challenges in a global perspective as well as the growth of different urban conditions and forms. After this, students will hone their ability to investigate the relation between people's everyday lives and the physical forms of the city. At the end of the first year, an independent project is conducted.

During the second year, students will take elective courses amounting to 30 credits. To complete this part of the programme, students can choose to do international exchange at one of Malmö University's partner universities or take elective courses at the Department of Urban Studies. The second year concludes with a master's thesis (30 credits).


Master's Degree (120 credits).

Degree of Master of Science (120 Credits) with a Major in Urban Studies.

What is Urban Studies?

The field of urban studies involves interdisciplinary studies of urban areas' content, form, planning and development.

What will I learn?

You will learn about cities both as stable and slow-changing structures and as dynamically crossing flows of people and goods. You will also learn about urban visions, programmes and plans, and the various processes and projects that shape them. In addition, you will learn that the city is expressed and constructed through everyday life and through the unplanned and spontaneous actions that contribute to its atmosphere and attraction.

A distinct characteristic of the programme is the multidisciplinary foundation with roots in social sciences, arts, architecture and planning. Training students to switch between and combine modes of reasoning in these different domains is a distinct quality. The approach includes the development of critical understandings of the roles of different actors and processes in the making of cities and urban spaces. Students are trained as experts in urban research and/or the identification of current urban challenges. Unpacking urbanity by applying varied – and at times unorthodox – methods is a key signature of the programme. An important starting point is that students must be able to follow their own interests where possible.

The education takes place in the heart of the Öresund region, an area offering an abundance of examples of global urban development issues.

The necessity of urban studies

Working with urban development has increasingly come to require an understanding of social and spatial processes, rather than viewing the city as a static physical entity. Urban studies provide such an understanding of contemporary urban development, planning and management strategies, based on broad and advanced expertise. This is important, since projects that consciously deal with time, experiments and development processes question results of planning in the form of specific products and thus leave more space for spontaneity and creativity. Furthermore, participatory processes involving wider and alternate groups in society open up possibilities for deepening democracy and increasing equality, not least by making use of everyday users' experiences.

Forms of teaching and academic structure

Theoretical studies are alternated with empirical field studies, conducted independently or in groups.

The programme is based on active student learning, and students are expected to contribute creatively and enthusiastically. Your experience of urbanity, ranging from everyday use to academic studies, forms an important starting point for the programme. You will present, comment and discuss your work and be the critic of your fellow students' work. You will — both independently and in groups — carry out studies of environments and contexts in the city and the region. You will present results in the form of texts, illustrations, oral presentations, sketches, maps and suggestions for concrete designs.

The programme is structured around core training in theory, methods and urban issues through common courses during the first year. Options in the third semester then allow students to choose either a route that connects more with practitioners, through relevant courses that address forms of practice, or one that provides experience of academic research through acting as an intern with a current project at the university. The fourth term will be devoted to essay writing and seminars on essay topics chosen by students.

Career opportunities

After completing your education, you will be qualified to work with questions of city development in many different types of organisations. This may involve working projects spanning across different sectors, from public authorities to companies. You might work as a researcher, coordinator or project leader. Your future employers may be found in businesses, public authorities and organisations working with buildings, cities and regions.

The master’s programme also provides a solid basis for PhD studies.

Visit the Urban Studies page on the Malmö University website for more details!





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