Last edit: 26/10/2016
Approved: 26/10/2016

The information applies to students starting their studies in the academic year 2017.

The master of urbanism studies aims to help students develop a capacity to look comprehensively and holistically into the theory and practice of the urban design and city planning fields, especially the issues of the design of the public realm and the effects urban form has on social life and human behavior. Additionally they should be able to understand the complexity and diversity of different public realms design-wise, but also get a clear and present picture and a comprehension of the plan-making processes. All of this will be dealt with within a wide range of scales—metropolitan, city, district and neighborhood level—in a sustainable and effective manner. The primary purpose of the program is to prepare students to become creative, problem-solving professionals working in the urban design, planning, landscape, architecture and development sector in Europe and internationally with the necessary skills, tools, knowledge, understanding, and abilities to address and face the complex urban challenges of our age and understand, plan, appraise and deliver future urban public spaces and places in an integrative way.

The program offers further studies for those students with initial training in urban-city planning, architecture, and landscape architecture and design, who wish to complete or expand their professional education with a special focus on the public realm. In addition to the general objectives for Masters Programs as stated in the national degree ordinance and the local degree policy of KTH, specific learning outcomes are defined for the Master’s program in Urbanism Studies (TURSM). After completing the program requirements students shall be able to demonstrate the following aspects: 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Be acquainted with the theoretical foundations and present developments within urban design and urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture and design and their value and implementation in the work with the public realm.
  • Have a sound knowledge of processes and forces that determine urban change and renewal, the actors that are involved in these processes, and the aesthetical, spatial, social, economic, real estate, institutional and planning determinants that contribute to liveable city design.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the tools and methods that can be applied to analyze the current condition of cities and regions, especially in and for the public realm and the prerequisites for future change in urban spaces and public places.
  • Comprehend the relationship between theory and practice in urbanism, i.e. urban planning and urban design, and the connections to other disciplines involved in urban and city planning and design on the local and metropolitan level.
  • Are qualified to track developments within the disciplines of urban design and urban planning and analyze how these will affect city development and planning practice in terms of public realm.

Skills and abilities

  • Are qualified to carry out advanced studies on contemporary urban spaces and public places problems and future plans and by that contribute to the development of the field of knowledge as well as relate them to their political, social, economic, environmental and real estate context
  • Are qualified to have proficiency in qualitative and quantitative research skills and their application to theory-building, data-collection, analysis and synthesis, as well as policy-making processes.
  • Are qualified to convey own results and others viewpoints in a coherent and qualitative way through drawings, sketches, essays, social media, films, group narratives and oral presentations.
  • Are qualified to make effective oral and written presentations of complex tasks in urbanism and the use of all modern communication techniques and tools to illustrate and visualize design, city plans, new concepts, scenarios and strategies.
  • Are qualified to have proficiency of communication skills for public (community) and policy settings and be able to organize and lead multi-disciplinary groups with experts on current planning and design problems, tasks and projects and thereby be able to practice in the private and public sectors, and accept leadership roles in the design, planning and development of the built environment.

Ability to make judgments and adopt a standpoint

Through studio work, module and seminar discussions, design and strategic project work and examinations in urbanism, the program aims to equip and prepare students to be capable of debating, reasoning, arguing, self-reflecting and proposing solutions and putting forward ideas throughout their studies. This also entails making sound judgments and coming up with new ideas, theories and designs on issues relating to the multifaceted elements of urbanism. In particular we aim to train and educate our students to be able to contextualize plans, concepts and policies in different temporal, cultural and institutional backgrounds. They should be qualified to reflect critically on the nature and manner of dealing with problems at hand in planning and design. Last but not least the students should also be qualified to have a very strong awareness and sensitivity towards the political, social, environmental and ethical issues inherent in design work and the planning practice, as related to minority or -and disadvantaged urban communities, either formal or informal ones.