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Historical Urban Studies, M.A.

Program overview

The master’s program in Historical Urban Studies examines the city of today in its historical continuities and fractures. You will be addressing the specific forms of design and lifestyles of European urban life and their developments compared to their international counterparts. You will also acquire an understanding of fundamental aspects of key topics in the following modules: Public Space and Urban Culture; Urban Governance and Public Sector; Resources and Protagonists of Urban Production; Visions, Innovations and Identities; Deconstructions, Reconstructions and Change of Role Model; and City as a Network. Students test and evaluate theoretical knowledge and skills through practice, develop creative ideas in projects, and implement these ideas according to their target group, for instance in an exhibition, book publication, website, or city tour.

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

Admission requirements

Prospective students applying to the master’s program in Historical Urban Studies must possess a first university degree in history, political science, cultural studies, literary studies, art studies, music studies, media studies, business and economics, architecture, monument conservation, sociology, philosophy, urban/regional/landscape planning, cultural and social geography, or psychology.

The Historical Urban Studies master’s program is taught in German. If you are applying with a foreign school-leaving certificate, you must provide proof of German skills at a specific level. This is a prerequisite for admission.

As a certain amount of the professional literature is in English and some of the courses are offered in English, applicants must also submit proof of English skills at CEFR level B2.

Program structure

The master’s program is composed of compulsory and elective components. Different perspectives are utilized to understand the processes and structures of the production, design, and use of urban living spaces. Students complete the program by writing a master's thesis.

There is a proposed course schedule for the degree program. It contains examples of when to take certain modules and is a recommendation for how to complete the degree program within the standard period of study of four semesters. While this proposed course schedule is ideal on paper, it is not mandatory. It is simply an example of how to successfully schedule and shape your studies. You can find the proposed course schedule in the study and examination regulations.

Content and modules

The master’s degree program Historical Urban Studies consists of modules which combine curriculum content on a specific topic and often include various study and teaching formats such as lectures, practical tutorials, seminars, and practical projects. Students are required to earn a specific number of credit points and complete certain coursework and assessments in each module.

You can find a module list which offers a current overview of all the modules in TU Berlin’s module transfer system (MTS). In the MTS you have an overview of which modules are mandatory for your degree program and which are elective. Detailed module descriptions provide information on the content, learning outcomes, participation requirements, workload, assessment methods, and much more. The module catalogue is based on the study and exam regulations. The most current version of these regulations applies to new students.

To module database


You have the option of completing a five-week internship as part of the elective component of the program.

Stays abroad

The degree program is designed to enable you to incorporate a stay abroad into your studies while remaining within the standard period of study. The study abroad officer in the faculty will assist you with selecting a university and creating a course schedule.

Acquired skills

Graduates of the program are equipped to critically evaluate and re-design past, present, and future problems in urban development using an interdisciplinary approach. They can analyze urban spaces as designed, lived, and imagined places and understand their historical development. The program provides them with the necessary fundamental knowledge of processes and structures of the production, design, and transformation of urban living spaces. Graduates additionally acquire analytical and conceptual skills that enable them to develop their own positions and subsequently defend them.

After your studies

Graduates of the Historical Urban Studies program find work in a wide variety of fields and professions. Likely job markets for graduates include: all institutions and projects that make use of expertise in the humanities and social sciences whose task it is to produce and configure urban living environments. Within these markets they can work in public relations, advertising and marketing, tourism, consulting, cultural affairs, monument conservation, neighborhood management, and communication.

They may further find work in university or non-university research and teaching. Graduates may additionally be professionally active in political parties and associations; international non-governmental organizations; or municipal, state, or national, or EU institutions involved in urban construction and development.

Further information & downloads

Guidance and choosing the right degree program: Academic Advising Service

Questions about the degree program: Course Guidance

General questions: Student Info Services

Application and enrollment: Office of Student Affairs – Graduate Admissions

Recognition of previously acquired credits: Examination Board

Further information about the Master's program