Technische Universität Berlin
© Philipp Arnoldt

Urban Design, M. Sc.

Program overview

Architects and urban, regional, and landscape planners can often not truly do justice to the complex tasks of urban development with their specific expertise and skills. Urban development requires a multidisciplinary, cooperative approach both because of the complexity of the tasks and the large number of affected and participating actors. The master’s program in Urban Design brings together architecture, urban and regional planning, sociology, and landscape architecture.

In cooperation with Tongji University in Shanghai, China, you have the opportunity to complete the degree program Urban Design as a double master’s degree (dual degree program). Participants in the special program study together for one year in Berlin and for one year in Shanghai.

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 requirement for the consecutive master’s program in Urban Design is a first university degree in architecture, urban or regional planning, landscape architecture or a closely related subject qualifying the applicant for professional work.

The Urban Design master’s program is taught in English. Applicants are therefore required to provide proof of English skills at CEFR level B2 or equivalent. This is a prerequisite for admission. Proof of German skills is not required.

You can find more information about the application, admission, and selection procedures in the application and admission regulations of the degree program.

Program structure

The Urban Design program is divided into compulsory, compulsory elective, and elective components. The compulsory component encompasses a total of 78 credit points including the projects and master's thesis. The compulsory elective component includes 30 credit points. You must complete a total of 12 credit points in the elective component. The objectives and structure of the program as well as the examination requirements and details on how the examinations are carried out are set down in the study and examination regulations.

Urban Design is considered a project program with a high proportion of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teaching in the form of student projects. These projects are focused on problems in the practice and are based on a scientific foundation. Students work on current planning and design tasks at the municipal, regional, state, and international level. In the first semester, all students must complete the project "Urban Design Studio,” and in the second and third semesters they must work on two appropriate projects from the master’s programs Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning. The projects must be chosen from different degree programs.

There is a proposed course schedule for the degree program. This is a recommendation for how to complete the degree program within the standard period of study of four semesters. You can find it as an annex to the study and examination regulations.


Examination regulations

Content and modules

The master’s degree program in Urban Design 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.

A current overview of all modules in the program is available in TU Berlin’s module transfer system (MTS). The MTS also provides an overview of which modules are mandatory for your degree program and which are elective. Detailed module descriptions provide information about the content, learning objectives, participation requirements, workload, type of assessment, and much more.

The module catalogue is based on the study and examination regulations. The most current version of the regulations applies to applicants.

To module database

Internships

Before starting the program, one or more internships totaling at least 640 hours (typically in 16 weeks) must have been completed. Professional work that you did before and during your previous university degree program can be counted towards this. At the latest when registering the master’s thesis, proof of these internships must be submitted. All further details relating to internships can be found in the internship regulations.

Stays abroad

You can generally complete parts of the program abroad, either in the form of study abroad or internships. General information regarding stays abroad can be obtained from the TU Berlin International Office (study abroad) and from the Career Service (internships abroad).

Acquired skills

As a graduate of the master’s program in Urban Design, you are familiar with transdisciplinary working methods that not only transcend the boundaries of the individual disciplines but also offer specific solutions for socially relevant problems with the affected and participating actors. You have an extended understanding of design and can graphically convey and visualize information that shapes urban space. Your solutions include aspects such as knowledge generation and knowledge materialization as well as societal transformation. After completing the program, you possess architectonic, urban planning, urban sociological, and landscape architectonic knowledge augmented by ecological, economic, and gender-sensitive perspectives and are able to creatively bring all of these together.

After your studies

As an urban designer, you design and work scientifically. You work in state, municipal, and civil society institutions, in universities, research institutes, and private offices. You work in large, mid-sized, and small cities as well as in rural spaces. The spectrum of your work spans from detailing objectives and strategies of urban development and master plans to planning and carrying out urban development measures.

Typical fields of work for graduates include:

  • Urbanization processes both in the Global South as well as the Global North and reflecting on their interdependencies,
  • Considering dynamic and rapid urban growth and the implementation of design approaches using process methods,
  • Critical and creative consideration of changing social conditions,
  • Urban structuring of existing and new settlements, open spaces, and urban landscapes,
  • Designing public spaces under consideration of ecological, cultural, social, political, technological, and financial conditions.

Another focus of work in Germany and abroad includes scientific studies on urban development issues.

Further information & downloads

Guidance and choosing the right degree program: Academic Advising Service

Questions about the degree program: Course Guidance and http://www.urban-design.tu-berlin.de/

General questions: Student Info Services

Application and enrollment: Office of Student Affairs – Graduate Admissions 

Recognition of previously acquired credits: Examination Board

Subject-specific Counseling and Services

Office of Academic and Student Affairs