Technische Universität Berlin
© Martin Meyer

Urban Development, M.Sc.

Program overview

Rapid urban growth currently poses a great global challenge. Theoretical and operative tools adapted to the social, economic, and institutional conditions of the respective region are needed to address this challenge. The master’s program in Urban Development trains you to become an expert in urbanization processes in Europe and the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa). You acquire a comprehensive but also detailed understanding of urban development shaped by a breadth of technical knowledge from the fields of urban planning and development, urban project management, urban infrastructure, and interdisciplinary studies. The study program has a particular emphasis on sustainability, specifically on the link between ecology, economy, social context, cultural background, and governance.

The master's program in Urban Development is a continuing education master's program and thus is fee-based.

The Urban Development master’s program is held in two locations: the TU Berlin campus in EL Gouna, Egypt and TU Berlin’s main location in Berlin.


DegreeMaster of Science
Standard period of study 4 semesters
Credit points120
Program start Winter semester
Admission Restricted admission
Language of instruction English

Admission requirements

The formal admission requirements for the Urban Development master’s program are a first university degree qualifying the applicant for professional work as well as at least one year of subsequent work experience in a qualified professional field. You can find the proposed course schedule in the application and admission regulations.

The master’s program is taught exclusively in English. If English is not your native language, you must provide proof of English skills. The following certificates are accepted: internet-based TOEFL (at least 87 points), IELTS (at least band score 6) or equivalent.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of study places available, applicants will be ranked according to the following criteria:

1.   Practical professional experience (30 points)

2.   Overall grade from previous degree program (25 points)

3.   Volunteer work and civic engagement and/or participation in urban projects and initiatives (15 points)

4.   Study subjects from previous degree program (10 points)

5.   Argumentation in the letter of motivation (10 points)

6.   English language skills (10 points)

Program structure

The standard period of study for this program, including the completion of the master’s thesis, is four semesters. The curriculum and exam process are specifically designed and organized so that students can complete the program within this standard period of study. Students must earn a total of 120 credit points. Students take subjects from all four study fields each semester (see content & modules).

The program always begins in the winter semester at Technische Universität Berlin’s campus in El Gouna, Egypt. Students spend the following summer semester (2nd semester) in Berlin. The second winter semester (3rd semester) is once again spent in El Gouna. The 4th semester is reserved for the master’s thesis; students are free to choose where they would like to complete it.

Content and modules

The Urban Development study program encompasses four study fields and the following topics/content:

-  Urban planning and development (24 LP)

  •    Urban planning basics
  •    Urban analysis and geodata
  •    Urban sociology and governance
  •    Landscape architecture and environmental planning

-  Urban project management (21 LP)

  •    Project management
  •    Legal and economic framework
  •    Corruption and integrity management, current urban issues

-   Urban infrastructure (18 LP)

  •    Water and waste water technologies and circular economy technologies
  •    Energy supply and technology and waste management
  •    Mobility and traffic planning

-   Interdisciplinary studies (27 LP)

  •    First term project (in El Gouna, topic: new settlements)
  •    Second term project (in Berlin, topic: urban renewal)
  •    Third term project (in El Gouna, topic: informal areas)

Preparation and independent completion of the master's thesis make up 30 LP.

To module database

Internships

The interdisciplinary studies component includes a soft skills module in which students complete an internship. The internship is completed in urban planning and development, project management, architecture, public administration, NGOs, or a similar area. Students are responsible for arranging the internship themselves. The internship is intended to not only provide an opportunity for students to gain further knowledge and experience in the professional field, learn about new methods and instruments, and network, but also to critically reflect on and localize what they have learned in the program.

Stays abroad

Due to the program’s mandatory alternating study locations, stays abroad are an important component: students spend the 1st and 3rd semesters at the TU Berlin campus in El Gouna, Egypt. The 2nd semester is spent at the campus in Berlin. Additionally, students are free to choose where they would like to complete their master’s thesis and internship. This offers them an opportunity to complete an additional stay abroad.

Acquired skills

Our graduates possess a broad spectrum of both theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of urban development. They are guided by the principles of sustainability and their intercultural skills enable them to adeptly handle unique situations. The program takes an interdisciplinary and international comparative perspective - with a special focus on the MENA region - exploring the specific conditions for interventions in differing urban contexts. The program prepares you to design, structure, and effectively implement ambitious projects in urban development, develop scientific strategies and processes to solve problems and then appropriately apply these solutions based on the relevant needs and project using modern technologies. The program also enables you to reflect on practical phenomena and draw conclusions subsequently contributing these to the relevant scientific discourse for the further development of solution strategies and processes. Furthermore, students hone their leadership skills and possess an outstanding ability to work at the cross-section of different fields and in management.

After your studies

The Urban Development program is primarily oriented to future leaders in the complex field of sustainable urban development. Graduates will be highly qualified to work in leading positions in the local, regional, national or international contexts of urban development. This includes work in governmental institutions, national and international NGOs, development cooperation, industry, consulting agencies, urban planning offices, architecture, and real estate development. The qualifications acquired in this study program are typically required in the fields of sustainable urban development, town planning, master planning, sector planning, and city management. There is also demand in the areas of strategic planning, sustainable urban renewal, area and project development, public administration, local economic development, facility management, business development and consultancy as well as in scientific research in university and non-university educational and research institutions. Upon successful completion of this master’s program, students will also be qualified to apply to doctoral programs. 

Further information & downloads

Guidance and choosing the right degree program: Academic Advising Service

General questions: Student Info Services

Official website of the study program

Direct contact