Last edit: 25/05/2016
Approved: 25/05/2016

Structure of the education

Structure of the education

Since the program results in a double degree, student should complete at least 60 ECTS of coursework at KTH and at a partner university. Students who apply to the masters program Sustainable Urban Transitions at KTH will start their first year of studies (60 ECTS) in the track Urban Regional Transitions (UR Trans) at KTH and continue at either DTU or Aalto University to complete their second year of studies (60 ECTS), including a 30 ECTS degree project. Students who are admitted to the track Transitions of Urban Structures TRUST, complete the first year (60 ECTS) at NTNU and continue the second year of studies at KTH (60 ECTS) or DTU (60 ECTS). The second year of studies includes a 30 ECTS degree project.

During the first year in the track Urban Regional Transitions (UR Trans) at KTH, the determinants of urban and regional transformation will be addressed. These encompass the role of cities in regional contexts, the prerequisites for infrastructure and urban development as well as the economic mechanisms that facilitate or constrain transitions processes. Sustainable develop­ment is a key question during the entire study, and students will be challenged to transform overall objectives into policies, plans and actions. The course work encompasses a sub­stantial share of studios and projects that aim to develop your practical skills and to gain a better understanding of planning practice. To support the professional training and to streng­then analytical skills, the curriculum also contains a number of theoretical and metho­do­logical courses that provide a contextual and conceptual framework.

In the second year in this track, the acquired knowledge can be deepened at either Aalto University of DTU. The second year at DTU will allow the student to use the knowledge about urban regional strategies to develop a strategy on a city (municipal) scale. This will be complemented with a classic analysis of the relationship between infrastructure and land use in an international metropolitan region. Students continuing their studies at Aalto University will continue to develop skills in the particular areas of interdisciplinary and creative understanding and action, particularly at the regional level. They will address the key issues of regional development through laboratory work and selected studies from the university’s six Schools. They will be working in a new School combining the creative disciplines (architecture, urban design, urban and regional planning, design, media, and arts), but they will also have access to a variety of courses offered by the four Schools of Technology and the School of Economics. The core of their studies will be the Urban Laboratory, where they will address a selected contemporary issue related to local urban development (such as local impacts of globalization, regional segregation, multiculturalism, migration, networking of cities, etc.), coupled with potential field studies and courses in urban and regional studies. The Laboratory continues during the second semester to support the writing of the Master’s Thesis. Common seminars with the supervising team from the two or three universities involved will be arranged.

Students who want to join the study track Transitions of Urban Structures (TRUST) will start at NTNU in Trondheim, where the students will be given an introduction to planning for sustainable urban development both in a local and a Nordic context. The first two semesters the teaching will be offered at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art will be responsible for the program. This track is offered every second year starting in September 2012.

Students with a B.Sc. (eng) background can stay the third semester DTU in Copenhagen. The second year at DTU will allow the student to go even deeper into analyzing the relationship between infrastructure and land use development by studying the plans and actual developments of an international metropolitan region. This will be complemented with the opportunity for the student to develop a strategy for future development of a chosen larger city. Students with a background in architecture or planning proceed their studies in the third semester at KTH in Stock­holm. In the second year at KTH,students can choose among three project courses, either towards urban planning, environmental planning or urban design. The projects are advanced learning experiences in which students should address some of the main challenges in contemporary urban planning and design in a practical setting. Depending on the choice of project course, students can select an additional elective. In the fourth semester students conduct a degree project.

A course in Theory of Science and Research Methodology (7,5 ects) is mandatory for all master programs at KTH and students who have not completed an equivalent course in their previous studies, should choose the course Theory of Science and Research Methodology in Planning and Design or Theory and Methods of Science or equivalent during their studies in the program.

The academic year covers 40 weeks, starting in September and divided into two terms, which each consists of two study periods. Each study period concludes with a regular examination period of at least one week.


The programme is course-based. Lists of courses are included in Appendix 1: Course list

During the first year at KTH in the track Urban Regional Transition (UR Trans), the program includes a set of courses which allows students to acquire specialised professional skills. In the second year in the track Transitions of Urban Structures (TRUST), KTH offers three alternative projects (15 or 22,5 ECTS) that students can choose between.

Grading system

Courses in the first and the second cycle are graded on a scale from A to F. A-E are passing grades, A is the highest grade. The grades pass (P) and fail (F) are used for courses under certain circumstances.

Conditions for participation in the programme

For citizens of a country within the EU/EEA or Switzerland, the application and tuition is free of charge. Non EU/EEA students will be charged fees at the university he/she is studying in accordance with the pre­vailing university regula­tions, i.e. he/she has to pay fees for 2 semesters at KTH. More information on tuition fees at the Nordic partner universities can be found on the websites of respective university.

Students who have been admitted to the programme have to attend the registration meeting in order to enrol for the programme. Students who received conditional acceptance should provide documented proof that he/she has a completed Bachelor's degree or equivalent to a minimum of 180 ECTS. If a student is not able to attend the registration meeting for reasons beyond his/her control he/she should register not later than two weeks after the start of the courses.

A prerequisitefor a students' participation in studies at KTH is that the student performs a course registration and semester registration for each semester.

Before the first semester you are automatically registered in connection with enrollment in the semester.
Before the second, third and fourth semester students must register online. Registration is made under the personal menu after logging on to the web page.

For registration in term 3 students should have completed at least 45hp. For registration for the degree project students should have completed at least 60 hp of the courses, of which 30 ECTS should be at advanced level in the main subject area.

All of program students from second semester do a course application on, and course registration done in the personal menu.

Recognition of previous academic studies

Students may request to be given credit for a course/courses from another college/university within or outside Sweden. KTH’s policy for recognising previous academic studies is available in full in KTH’s regulations at

Studies abroad

Besides 60 credits from KTH, the Nordic master program Sustainable Urban Transitions requires 60 credits of studies at one of the partner universities. For students in the track Urban Regional Transitions (UR Trans) this implies that students have to complete one year of studies (60 credits) at DTU or Aalto University. Students in the track Transitions of Urban Structures (TRUST) need to complete 60 credits of coursework at NTNU. The programme offers no opportunities for studies at a third university.

Degree project

The degree project comprises 30 credits and provides students with the opportunity to in­vesti­gate a problem in depth under the supervision of experienced practitioners and researchers.

Students in the Urban Regional Transitions (UR Trans) will conduct the Degree project at the second year university (DTU or Aalto University) who provides the main supervisor, while KTH provides a co-supervisor. Students in the Transitions of Urban Structures (TRUST) can conduct the Degree project at KTH or DTU who provide the main supervisor. In these Degree projects a staff member of NTNU will offer co-supervision. The supervision from each of the two degree awarding institutions involved in the study ensures the integration of the program components.

Information regarding the grading scale on the degree project refer to the syllabus.


To obtain the master's degree from KTH, students must have passed courses of at least 120 higher education credits, of which the following must be included:

  • at least 60 higher education credits from courses at KTH and at least 60 higher education credits from courses at DTU, Aalto University or NTNU
  • at least 105 higher education credits from courses on the second level among which the programmes mandatory and conditionally elective courses as well as a 30 credit degree project. In addition, a maximum of 15 credits from courses in any engineering area can be included.

Students who have fulfilled the degree requirements will be awarded a double degree from the universtities at which the student has completed 60 credits within the Masters programme. The degrees that are awarded are:

KTH: Teknologie masterexamen, translated into English as Degree of Master of Science (120 credits)

DTU: Master of Science in Engineering

Aalto: Master of Science in Architecture

NTNU: Master of Physical Planning