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Urbanism and Strategic Planning

Course Description

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

Career paths
After successfully completing the programme, you will have acquired a thorough knowledge of urbanisation in different contexts. You will have learned to work on various scale levels, with an understanding of the interferences between scales. You will be able to conduct a critical analysis of spatial phenomena in relation to the social and economic forces driving them. Building upon such analysis, you can design strategic interventions that are politically and economically feasible, and that have a structural impact. You will have developed excellent communication skills, visually as well as textually, and you will be able to function in a research environment.

Graduates will be able to provide professional architectural and/or urban design experience to design offices, consultancy firms, or work as public servants. Urbanism is closely related to current and rapid social transformation and there is a continual need for professionals capable of elaborating new interpretations, strategies and designs in response to emerging trends. MaUSP graduates are highly valued in urban design offices, consultancy firms for urban development and management, real estate agencies that develop public-private partnerships and the public sector.

Entry Requirements

Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file: Master of Engineering, option architecture; Master of Architecture; Master of Landscape Architecture; Master of Spatial Planning; Master of Urban Planning / Design; Master of Human Settlements. More information: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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