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Start   >  Master's & postgraduate courses  >  Education  >  Master's degree in Urban Design
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  • discount
    10% discount if you enrol before 31th July
  • discount
    This programme is part of the Employment Help grants programme


27th Edition
90 ECTS (555 teaching hours)
Blended learning
Language of instruction
€9,450  €8,505 (10% discount if you enrol before 31th July)
Payment of enrolment fee options

The enrolment fee can be paid:
- In a single payment to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
- In two instalments:

  • 60% of the amount payable, to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
  • Remaining 40% to be paid up to 90 days at the latest after the starting date of the programme.
- In four instalments, splitting the payment by direct debit:
  • 40% of the amount payable, to be paid within the deadline specified in the letter of admission to the programme.
  • The remaining 60% will be divided into 3 direct debit payments, which will be distributed equidistantly during the first year of the course.
  • The student must have and be the holder of a bank account with IBAN ESXX
Notes 0,7% campaign

Registration open until the beginning of the course or until end of vacancies.
Start date
Classes start: 21/09/2020
Classes end: 28/05/2021
Programme ends : 30/06/2022
Monday: 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Tuesday: 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Wednesday: 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Thursday: 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Taught at
ETSAB - Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona
Av. Diagonal, 649
Why this programme?
Urban planning cannot be indifferent to the fast transformations of our society in the new information era. The increasing complexity of the urban phenomena and their interactions, the impact of the new communication technologies in relationship between the city and the territory, the role of the big metropolises, which is getting more and more relevant to an international scale, make the urban planner develop suitable methods and instruments of intervention in this context.

This new common program faces up to the challenges of contemporary urban planning, attending to the development of new instruments for a critical intervention in different contexts. The workshops constitute the core of each semester.
The UPC's Masters in Urban Planning Project Design has been designed to train highly qualified architects in the development of urban projects that have to adapt to a dynamic and very complex urban environment. The Master's program emphasizes the physical form of the interventions, in relation to which the rest of aspects in urban planning are considered (economic, social, management, etc.). This is the reason why the workshops based on real urban planning projects in different towns, carried out in close collaboration with the corresponding administrations, are the focal points of the Masters. The rest of subjects, which bring extensive theoretical and methodological knowledge about the processes of urban and territorial transformations, are articulated around the workshops.

The aim of the Master's is that students is to capacitate students to do the following:

  • Address urban projects in a dynamic and highly complex urban environment.
  • Analyse the urban problems of urban and territorial spaces.
  • Design proposals for planning, remodelling and urbanization of these spaces.
  • Integrate in the reflection on the forms of physical intervention, the sociological, economic, technical and management dimensions of urban planning.
  • Incorporate in the projects the different urban scales.
  • Prepare a personal and informed reflection on the main problems of the different fields of action of urban planning.
  • Critically reflect and incorporate the dynamics of urban complexity within a clear conceptual scheme.
  • Carry out research through design, which enhances the capacity of this approach, as well as offering an innovative technique, through the project as a producer of knowledge.
Who is it for?
  • Architects with advanced or associates degrees
  • Urban Developers
  • Managers working for public administrations
  • Geographers
  • Economists
  • Civil Engineers
Exceptionally, other professionals linked to urban planning will be admitted.

Training Content

List of subjects
1st year
15 ECTS 120h
Territorial and City Workshop
This workshop focuses on formulating a real, current and representative intervention proposal for one of the issues that territorial organization is currently dealing with. The effect of massive infrastructures, the geography of activities, recognition of the shape of territories as an intervention criteria, among other things, will be some issues that will be articulated in the focus of the project. This project will be initiated using information that has already been generated allowing students to use the materials and create adequately detailed proposals.
3 ECTS 18h
Planner Organisation Theory
This section seeks to offer key urban development and design studies into the origin and evolution of territorial organisation and an evaluation of the current situation of our context and other nearby urban development cultures through the selection and detailed discussion of a meaningful group of plans and studies. This includes definition of objectives, technical development of the main proposals and application instruments.
3 ECTS 18h
Cultural Landscapes
This course aims to provide an overview of developments in the treatment of heritage from the protection of cultural landscapes:

  • Learn the concepts of 'cultural landscape' and 'heritage park'.
  • Specific assessment of the situation in our immediate context and the challenges posed by this new conception of the landscape.
  • Evaluate criteria and instruments in the successive stages in the development of a project in an area full of heritage resources and develop through analysis of representative examples, methodological guidelines for intervention.
3 ECTS 18h
Cities-Networks: Eco-Systemic Urbanism
The aim of the first part of the course is to offer a focused view of the relationship between two concepts (infrastructure and planning) on an urban scale. This course proposes systematising characteristic problems from each type of infrastructure according to remodelled planning where issues and flows (communication, energy, mobility), logistics, environmental infrastructures, public transportation, together with other relatively traditional layouts of streets and urban services constitute fundamental themes.
Responsible: Profs. Joan Miró and Francesc Magrinyà (Department of Infrastructures, Transport and Regional Planning).

The second part of this course introduces environmental principles on an urban scale, integrating them into the urban landscape. New concepts, parameters and techniques following the environmental paradigm are incorporated into this course with the aim of improving the integration of natural and urban environments.

3 ECTS 18h
Urban Structure and Systems
In the first part of this subject it is a question of deepening the knowledge of the operation of the territories and providing devices for the territorial project. The practice and development of strategic guidelines, bases and project actions to manage transformations of the new socio-environmental demands from a perspective of intervention and space management.

In the second part, Urban Structure and Systems, aims to understand a varied repertoire of urban situations in main cities that allows us to delve into the ways of understanding the problems that contemporary cities pose, the dimension of the challenges they raise and the strategies that are applied according to the different socioeconomic contexts. Concepts of the urban structure of cities or metropolitan realities will be reviewed, as well as specific urban systems that in certain cases can play a determining role in conflicts or in the quality of the results that the interventions reach. The development of the subject consists of a program of lessons taught by the teachers accompanied by the completion of a monographic work by each participant, which is explained and delivered at the end of the course. The theme of the works is proposed by the teaching staff and will focus on the investigation of a specific case of relevance in contemporary urban planning. Its realization takes place under the permanent tutoring of the teaching staff.

3 ECTS 18h
GIS, Data Base and Territorial Project
This course aims to show, with practical cases, the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool in the process of projecting the territory and the city. For this, the management of Big Data is investigated through the use of GIS.

The objective is to learn to work with data from multiple sources and start processing them to obtain knowledge that is useful to us in our project. The information available may be excessive, and our objective is to give it added value, using it as the basis for a positive analysis.

15 ECTS 120h
Urban and Place Workshop
The workshop raises as a central theme the relationships between the new pieces of the contemporary city, which are frequently distinguished by their isolation, mutual indifference and insensitivity to the urban context, events that have generated periurban territories, where disintegration is dominant. The proposed projects focus on the exploration of possible functional and formal links between these units to configure new urban structures, a condition of their complexity, vitality and beauty.
3 ECTS 18h
Urban Planning Theory
This subject proposes the revision of the theory of intervention in the field of urban planning, based on the disciplinary contributions of the main urban planning plans and documents.
A reflection on the evolution of theory and planning methods is also embroidered, considering the representative elements of the recent process.
4 ECTS 24h
Urban Project Theory and Urban Economy
Based on the contents and techniques of action of recent proposals, selected for their paradigmatic value, this subject analyses different aspects of urban intervention on an intermediate scale, of the urban project.
In the second part it is taught to read the processes of growth and transformation of cities from their economic and social keys. Issues such as local labour markets, industrial districts, incidence of new modes of transport and exchange, information flows and information dissemination ... are some changes to which physical planning has to respond.
4 ECTS 20h
Design of Public Space
This course aims to introduce the role of public space and its characteristics as a fundamental element in the urban structure of the city. Review the different elements and techniques used in the construction of the public space. Special attention is paid to the recent conceptual revision in its design and the gradual enrichment of techniques and materials. It is also proposed to define the fundamental elements on which the urban public space project is based, as well as to publicize the public spaces carried out in Barcelona since 1981, which have been the cause of international recognition.
9 ECTS 54h
Urban Planning Seminars
6 ECTS 36h
Research by Design
15 ECTS 55h
Módulo Situaciones y Escenarios: Seminario de Investigación
This fourth module of the Master of Urban Design is the development of a research project, scheduled by a research seminar with a clear methodological orientation.
2nd year
4 ECTS 20h
Urban Composition and Residential Urban Project
In the first part of this subject, reference is made to the compositional aspects of the urban project, based on the recognition of a double ambiguity: the lack of definition of the distinctive open spaces of the current city and that of the computing instruments, once we renounced the Simple geometry and symmetry that have characterized the historic city. The mechanisms capable of constructing these formal structures are debated, among which the new geometries of nature and the new natural referents stand out.
Next, the discussion of the recent evolution of the urban regulation instruments of architecture, especially those more specific in the field of planning and urban design, will be considered.
Finally, residential management models of recent years are analysed, which affect aspects such as centrality, accessibility, endowments, community spaces, leisure and nature.
The UPC School reserves the right to modify the contents of the programme, which may vary in order to better accommodate the course objectives.
Special master's degree issued by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Issued pursuant to art. 34.1 of Organic Law 4/2007 of 12 April, amending Organic Law 6/2001 of 21 December, concerning Universities. To obtain it, is necessary to have an official university qualification. Otherwise, the student will receive a certificate of completion of the programme issued by the Fundació Politècnica de Catalunya.
Range of modules
The master's degree programme is organized into the following modules. If you don't wish to take the entire master's degree you can sign on one or several modules.
Master's degree:
relation Postgraduate courses:

Learning methodology

The teaching methodology of the programme facilitates the student's learning and the achievement of the necessary competences.

The teaching methodology of the program facilitates student learning and achieving the necessary skills.

Due to the unique circumstances we are going through, this next academic year 2020-2021 will start online. Far from seeing it as an inconvenience, we consider it as a magnificent opportunity to renew pedagogical practices; to reflect on new content; to delve into research and project techniques; to intensify interaction and adjust to different rhythms and needs, without giving up, neither for the workshop work, nor for the visits to the field.

The master is structured in two stages:

The first will be carried out online, between September and December 2020, in which the theoretical subjects corresponding to the Postgraduate Project of the territory-city will be developed. If the health circumstances allow it, in January-February 2021, the workshop corresponding to said Postgraduate will be carried out in person and intensively in Barcelona.

In the second stage, between February and July 2021, depending also on the health circumstances, the Postgraduate Project City-Place will be developed in person.

Finally, between July and December 2021, the Final Master's Project will be carried out, which is aimed at applying the knowledge acquired in both Postgraduate degrees. The Final Master's Project will be developed with the support of a tutor and online, face-to-face or virtual, depending on the student's place of residence.

Learning tools
Participatory lectures
A presentation of the conceptual foundations of the content to be taught, promoting interaction with the students to guide them in their learning of the different contents and the development of the established competences.
Practical classroom sessions
Knowledge is applied to a real or hypothetical environment, where specific aspects are identified and worked on to facilitate understanding, with the support from teaching staff.
Case studies
Real or hypothetical situations are presented in which the students, in a completely participatory and practical way, examine the situation, consider the various hypotheses and share their own conclusions.
Students are given technical support in the preparation of the final project, according to their specialisation and the subject matter of the project.
Students are supported when undertaking group work, including theoretical sessions which provide the tools and knowledge needed to achieve a result. Ideas and results are exchanged between all the participating groups.
Advanced asynchronous communication
Systems that enable smooth and clear communication in any situation (video chats, forums, recorded lectures, etc.).
Streaming sessions
Synchronous online interactive open sessions will be planned. Professors attend these sessions and students pose questions and address their concerns. Synchronous sessions will be scheduled in calendar.
Assessment criteria
At least 80% attendance of teaching hours is required.
Work out projects
Studies on a specific topic, by individuals or groups, in which the quality and depth of the work is assessed, among other factors.
Completion and presentation of the final project
Individual or group projects in which the contents taught in the programme are applied. The project can be based on real cases and include the identification of a problem, the design of the solution, its implementation or a business plan. The project will be presented and defended in public.
Work placements & employment service
Students can access job offers in their field of specialisation on the My_Tech_Space virtual campus. Applications made from this site will be treated confidentially. Hundreds of offers of the UPC School of Professional & Executive Development employment service appear annually. The offers range from formal contracts to work placement agreements.
Virtual campus
The students on this master's degree will have access to the My_ Tech_Space virtual campus - an effective platform for work and communication between the course's students, lecturers, directors and coordinators. My_Tech_Space provides the documentation for each training session before it starts, and enables students to work as a team, consult lecturers, check notes, etc.

Teaching team

Academic management
  • Sabaté Bel, Joaquim
    View profile in futur.upc
    Doctor in Architecture and Economist. Professor of the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning (UPC). Coordinator of the PhD in Urban Planning and of the Official Research Masters in Urban Planning. Conferences, seminars, master's courses and doctorates in more than fifty universities of Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. Research activity on the tools, methods and theories of urban development project, and the relationship between patrimonial resources and local development. All this has been translated in more than a hundred of books or book chapters, and in projects recognized four times in the National Awards of Planning.
Teaching staff
  • Albareda Fernández, Elena
    View profile in futur.upc
    Architect Associate professor since 2015 to the Department of Urban Planning and Planning (UPC). Gets the DIOSA (2009) in the PhD in Energy and Environment Architecture through an FI-Agaur scholarship, from which the current thesis is derived. She is a founding partner of the cooperative of architecture Cíclica [space, community & ecology] combining, since 2012, professional projects with teaching in her field of research. She is the author of publications related to ecological urbanism projects, urban metabolism, landscape ecology and sustainable transformation of the territory.
  • Castiñeira Palou, Isabel
    View profile in futur.upc
    Doctor in Architecture and Urban Design. Professor of the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning of the UPC. She has reconciled her teaching at the ETSAV with classes of Master in Urban Design and with her professional exercise in Castiñeira Corominas Sabaté SCP, CCRS architects, where it has developed numerous works of planning to several scales, territorial and urban.
  • Corominas Ayala, Miquel
    View profile in futur.upc
    Dr. Architect, Professor of Urbanism at ETSAB. Special doctoral award of UPC for the thesis: "Sòl, tècnica i iniciativa en els origens de l'Eixample de Barcelona". He has participated in several exhibitions about the Eixample and has published several articles, chapters and books about Cerdà and about the Eixample and others about urban planning. He has been invited lecturer in various universities of Europe and America. Architect responsible of Eixample in Barcelona City Council from 1983 to 1987. Combines teaching with professional practice of urbanism in the study CCRS, architects and partners.
  • Cortellaro, Stefano
    View profile in futur.upc / View profile in Linkedin
    Professor of the Department of Urbanism of the ETSAB and author of the book "Morna, Atzaró: the construction of the territory of Ibiza", published in 2007 by the College of Architects of the Balearic Islands, book finalist at the FAD Awards 2008 , in the category of Thought and Criticism. His projects have won awards in various architectural competitions (FAD Awards, European Landscape Biennial, Baricentrale International Competition, GISA, COAIB Awards, COAC Girona Awards, among others).
  • Fayos Molet, Ricard

    Architect (UPC, 1974). Professor at the School of Architecture of Barcelona (UPC) and professor of various Master¿s programs and international seminars. Since 1984 is linked in several important charges in the town hall of Barcelona and since 1992 is the Technical Director of Planning and Infrastructure of the town hall of Barcelona.
  • Franquesa Sanchez, Jordi
    View profile in futur.upc
    Architect and PhD in Urban Planning by UPC (ETSAB), teacher of ETSAB since 1996. He has taught at different universities: Venice. Lisbon, Holland, Mexico and Brazil, and has been a speaker at a congress on innovation at Harvard. His doctoral thesis on the garden city won the Extraordinary Doctorate Award. He is the director and founder of the research group GILDA, Group for Innovation and Educational Logistics in Architecture, where 6 Jidai congresses have been held so far, Conference for Teaching Innovation in Architecture. He has written numerous articles on teaching innovation.
  • Galindo Gonzalez, Julian
    View profile in futur.upc
    Doctor in Architecture and Professor of the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning (UPC), where also develops his activity as a researcher. He has taught in several courses and international workshops, such as the Biennial of Spanish Architecture and Urbanism in Santander. He has coordinated, with the Historisch Amsterdam Museum, the exhibition "The construction of the open city. Amsterdam 1934-1995", presented in Spanish and European universities, and was invited by the universities of Palermo and Venice at the seminars that accompanied the exhibition in Italy. His works and articles have been recognized in publications, magazines and on national and international awards.
  • Magrinyà Torner, Francesc
    View profile in futur.upc
    Civil Engineer by UPC (1988) and Doctor in Urbanism from the ENPC and Paris-Sorbonne (2002). Town Planning and Transport Consultant (1988-1996). Head of mobility at the Barcelona Urban Ecology Agency (2000-2006), Director of the Strategic Planning Area of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (2015-2019). He has been a councillor in the Eixample District of Barcelona since 2015. Professor of Urbanism in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (UPC). Coordinator of the EXIT-UPC Research Group (Engineering, Networks, Infrastructures and Transport). Outstanding publications: The evolution of engineering in urban planning (2002); The urban space of mobility (2007); Cerdà, one hundred and fifty years of modernity (2010).
  • Moreno Sanz, Joan
    View profile in futur.upc / View profile in Linkedin
    PhD in Urban studies at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Extraordinary Doctoral Award UPC 2016, with the doctoral thesis "Territorial corners. Mobility and territorial planning. A model of integration: the Randstad-Holland" (2014). Master of Research in Urbanism from DUOT-UPC (2010). Master's degree in urban planning at DUOT and architect at ETSAB.  His fields of research are urban mobility and university pedagogical innovation. He currently teaches as a lecturer at ETSAV-UPC and collaborates with public administrations in the drafting of technical reports.
  • Navarro Acebes, Ferran

    Urban Architect from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). Associate Professor of the ETSAV-UPC (Department of Urbanism Vallès Section). Specialist in Urban Management. Adviser to the Federation of Barcelona Residents' Associations on urban planning issues. Experience in municipal planning in various municipalities, both as a technical and external professional. Author of several specific publications on urban management.
  • Pesoa Marcilla, Melisa
    View profile in futur.upc
    Architect, MSc and doctor in Urban Planning from the UPC. A lecturer and researcher at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in the areas of theory and history of the city and urban morphology. She has participated as a lecturer in the Master's degree on Urban Planning at the UPC and in international workshops. She is responsible for organising the Urban Planning Research Seminar and is a member of the editorial board of the journals QRU (Quaderns de Recerca en Urbanisme) and ID (Identidades).
  • Sabaté Bel, Joaquim
    View profile in futur.upc
    Doctor in Architecture and Economist. Professor of the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning (UPC). Coordinator of the PhD in Urban Planning and of the Official Research Masters in Urban Planning. Conferences, seminars, master's courses and doctorates in more than fifty universities of Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. Research activity on the tools, methods and theories of urban development project, and the relationship between patrimonial resources and local development. All this has been translated in more than a hundred of books or book chapters, and in projects recognized four times in the National Awards of Planning.
  • Vilanova Claret, Josep Maria
    View profile in futur.upc
    Josep Maria Vilanova i Claret, doctor architect for the Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona, professor of the Department of Urban Planning and Planning since 1983 with teaching at the Vallès School of Architecture and in Barcelona, teaches at various Masters of the Polytechnic Foundation and the UOC. Professional specializing in urban rehabilitation, urban planning and planning, with the multidisciplinary team Equip EARHA SL and the professional company Equip BCPN SLP. National Prize of Urbanism 1983, Extraordinary Prize of Doctorate UPC 1995, Prize Catalonia of Urbanism 2001 and 2011.

Career opportunities

  • Technical manager in urban planning departments.
  • Consultant in Urban Planning and Territorial Planning.
  • Urban planner specialist in urban project, urban planning and regional design.
  • Project manager in the area of ​​urban planning.
  • Freelance urbanist.

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How to start admission
To start the enrolment process for this programme you must complete and send the form that you will find at the bottom of these lines.

Next you will receive a welcome email detailing the three steps necessary to formalize the enrolment procedure:

1. Complete and confirm your personal details.

2. Validate your curriculum vitae and attach any additional required documentation, whenever this is necessary for admission.

3. Pay €110 in concept of the registration fee for the programme. This fee will be discounted from the total enrolment fee and will only be returned when a student isn't admitted on a programme.

Once the fee has been paid and we have all your documentation, we will assess your candidacy and, if you are admitted on the course, we will send you a letter of acceptance. This document will provide you with all the necessary information to formalize the enrolment process for the programme.

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