European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism

Master's degree. Face-to-face.


UPC School

The field of urban planning cannot be oblivious to the rapid changes in our societies in the new information age. The growing complexity of urban phenomena and their interactions, the impact of new communication technologies in the relationship between city and country, the increasingly important role internationally in large cities, forcing the developer to develop the methods and intervention tools best suited to act in this context.

Four relevant European Universities (UPC, TU Delft, KU Leuven and IUAV Venice) designed in 2005 a first European Postgraduate Masters Programme in Urbanism: Strategies and Design for Cities and the UPC Master in Urban Design takes part of this new Program. With the European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU), four leading European institutions in research and education in the field of urban planning have joined forces to provide an educational urban planning program of high-level. The participating universities are: Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD), Delft, The Netherlands, Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Leuven, Belgium; Università IUAV di Venezia (IUAV), Venice, Italy and University of Catalonia (UPC-ETSAB / ETSAV), Barcelona, Spain.


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 two-year program meets professional experiences, methodological approaches and theories from different European countries, as well as the respective culture in terms of planning and design of the participating universities.

The four universities join efforts to the specifically European tradition, in terms of the consideration that the Urbanism (urban planning and design) is a discipline socially responsible to improve the lives of all citizens. In addition, each university has its approach related and developed according to their geographical, historical and cultural situation. This specificity makes students to gain valuable experience in different physical and cultural landscapes.

The Degree finally obtained is European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism, issued by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. Students must take during the second year of the program one semester at another university other than the UPC to get the European certificate that will come signed by representatives of each university integrated into the EMU.

The module that is carried out will be taught in English, and the student must certify the level requested by the host university. Here you can check the level required in each university

Related eventsRelated events:


The Masters 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.)

Because the participants on the Master come from all over the world, we often work in multicultural groups, an enriching situation that is more and more common in the professional activities of the urbanists.

The aim of the Master's is to capacitate students to do the following:
- Analyze urban problems in urban and regional areas.
- Design proposals for planning, remodeling and developing these areas.
- Understand the sociological, economic, technical and managerial aspects of urban planning and weave these into their understanding of the forms of physical intervention.
- Incorporate the different scales involved in Urbanism into their designs.
- Develop discriminating, well-grounded views of the field of Urbanism.

Beyond that, the specific objectives in the Master are: (1) think critically and incorporate the dynamics of urban complexity within a clear conceptual framework, (2) encourage research through design, which enables enhanced visibly ability of this method of approach and offer an innovative technique (project as a producer of knowledge), (3) be able to initiate a contextual and flexible dialogue within the framework of a strategic bargaining with the different stakeholders or affected by the design proposal in order to achieve a better understanding of the implementation process, and (4) promote wider perspective on the consequences of decisions and actions on shaping the current and future city.

Who is it for?

  • Architects.
  • Urban Developers.
  • Managers working for public administrations in urbanism departments.
  • Geographers.
  • Economists.
  • Engineers.

In this sense, the Master is aimed basically at architects and engineers and especially to new graduates of these careers (including students pending of the final project). Thus, the program is conceived as a continuation of urbanism's training that the career not allow to develop sufficiently.

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.


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.

Urban Design

Postgraduate course face-to-face. Start date: 29/01/2019. Barcelona

Designing The Region

Postgraduate course face-to-face. Start date: 23/09/2019. Barcelona

City Design

Postgraduate course face-to-face. Start date: February 2020. Barcelona


The EMU program lasts two years and is divided into four semesters or modules. The first three refer to the three fields of the urban planning intervention: "Designing the City" devoted to urban planning, "Designing the Place", devoted to the design of urban projects, and "Designing the Region", devoted to the regional planning, and the last is dedicated to the development of the final Master Thesis that is the development of a research project.

Students must take during the second year of the program, one semester at another university other than the UPC to get the European certificate that will come signed by representatives of each university integrated into the EMU.

There are five types of subjects in the Masters. The workshops are over real and current cases and are the core of the degree and around these workshops are organized the different subjects, which provide extensive theoretical and methodological knowledge about the processes of urban and territorial transformations. The proposed themes are clearly focused on urban intervention, not only in its physical design but also in its construction materials, and in the temporal dimension and management of this process. Each of the three thematic modules has his own workshop, where is proposed an exercise based on an urban system structure or territory particularly suited to integrate and apply the considerations raised in the theoretical subjects. The Workshop is the backbone of the module and is usually done in close collaboration with the different administrations involved. On the other hand, the theoretical subjects, provide conceptual discussions and reflections on the recent evolution of the city and the territory and the mechanisms for an urban intervention. The methodological subjects are directed at promoting the knowledge of the application of a technique or instrument from the analysis of several plans and other project design figures. The seminars treat present topics, but with a transcendence beyond the local and concrete thing, which invites theoretical reflection. The specialization courses are subjects that approach practical questions like the land arrangement, systems of mobility, environmental management, etc.

Finally, the fourth module of the program, is a research project in which the student can integrate, apply and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired during the teaching period of the Master. The work will be led by one or two tutors. The first must be from the host university and the second, from another university of the consortium of the EMU. The task of the tutor is to continuously monitor the work done by the student for the preparation, written presentation and oral defense of the final thesis.

Start admission
Information form
(34) 93 112 08 70

120 ECTS
(710 teaching hours)

Start date:
Classes start:23/09/2019 Classes end:17/12/2020Programme ends: 23/12/2021
Monday  16:00 to 20:00Tuesday  16:00 to 20:00Wednesday  16:00 to 20:00Thursday  16:00 to 20:00
Taught at:
ETSAB - Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona
Av. Diagonal, 649

Registration fee:
12.000 €

Language of instruction:

Registration open until the beginning of the course or until end of vacancies.

Print course details