The programme offers you the broad theoretical perspectives of urban studies on cities and regions. It aims towards you who are genuinely interested in cities, urban life and all expressions of urbanity.
What is Urban Studies?
Malmö_urbanity_200pxThe subject of urban studies involves interdisciplinary studies of urban areas content, form, planning and development. Urban Studies offers theoretical and academic perspectives on the developments in cities and the environmental changes that surrounds us.
What will I learn?
You will learn about cities both as stable and slow-changing structures of buildings, streets, cables and pipelines, 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 largely expressed through its everyday life and through the unplanned and spontaneous actions that contribute to its atmosphere and attraction.
Theoretical studies are combined with independent case studies about complex urban phenomena. The case studies are organised with agencies, organisations and companies. You will have plenty of opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge in case studies dealing with urban situations and problems. The education takes place in the midst of the Öresund region, which offers an abundance of examples and issues reflecting global urban development.
The necessity of Urban Studies
Understanding contemporary urban development, planning and management strategies requires a broad and advanced expertise in social and spatial processes.
Working with urban development has increasingly come to require understanding forms of mobility and shifts over time, a perspective quite different from viewing the city as a static physical entity. 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 initiated processes. 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' experience. The programme emphasises boundary-crossing work methods, answering to the need for intersectoral and interdisciplinary competence in the field of urban studies.
Forms of teaching and academic structure
The programme is based on student-active learning which expects you to contribute actively and enthusiastically. Your experience of urbanity – ranging from everyday practicalities 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 – independently and in groups – carry out studies of environments and contexts in the city and the region. You will also present the results of your studies in the form of texts and illustrations, oral presentations as well as sketches for solving problems in the form of schedules and suggestions for concrete designs.
The Urban Studies research field comprises a set of methods that you as a student will face from the very beginning. Theoretical studies will alternate with empirical field studies, made independently or in groups. Basic knowledge about the complex processes involved in the organisation, planning and administration of cities and urban regions form an important part of the programme.
The teaching also covers several geographical levels – from the local to the global – and their mutual influence. Urban actors' varying power and possibilities to influence the development are emphasised.
During the first two terms, the focus is on discovering and understanding the city as a range of phenomena where humanities and social science perspectives – with a strong emphasis on space, flow and rhythm – play an important role. During the second year, you will be offered in-depth and specialisation studies. The third semester you can spend either on an elective international programme with relevance to urban studies or attend one of the elective courses at Malmö University. The fourth term will be devoted to essay-writing and seminars focusing on the essay topics chosen by yourself and your fellow students.
After completing your education you can work across organisation boundaries with management and coordination of city development. This may involve working in projects and processes with tasks spanning across different sectors in public authorities and in companies, for instance as researcher, coordinator and project leader. Your future employers may be found in businesses, public authorities and organisations working with aspects of buildings, cities and regions.
The master’s programme also provides a solid basis for PhD studies.