Master in Urban Management and Development (UMD)

Master of Science in Urban Management and Development (MSc)

This 12 month Master of Science in Urban Management and Development is meant for city-changers. Professionals with thorough understanding of urban theory and practice who can make cities work. 

The Master programme -Urban Management and Development offered by the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), combines theory with practice. IHS offers professionals seeking a deeper understanding of the powers at work in cities. The programme takes the participants teaches participants look at urban areas through a practical focus and worldwide experience connected with international urban research. Through its comprehensive approach, the programme takes the economic, social, physical, managerial and political aspects of urban management and development into perspective.

It provides a unique opportunity for students to grasp what they need to know to become innovative urban managers. IHS educates urban leaders who are able to analyse and develop cities based on a thorough grasp of urban theory and practise.

Why study a Master in Urban Management and Development?

  • Truly international environment: participants, lecturers and case studies from all over the world.
  • Multidisciplinary approach in theory and practise.
  • Six different specializations to cater the programme to your specific interest.
  • Joint courses with partners from the public and private sector and expertise from various international educational institutes.
  • Challenging combination of academic research, practical workshops and case studies and educational training.
  • Access to an expansive professional network (more than 8000 alumni worldwide) of graduates of IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • A solid base for a wide range of career opportunities as an urban professional.
  • Inspiring campus and study facilities in the heart of Europe.
  • Master of Science degree from a university with competitive high ranking academic credentials.

Career opportunities

This MSc-programme prepares students for career positions both in the private and public sector, international organizations, consultancy firms, advisory boards, and other government institutions. Our alumni include businessmen, ministers, mayors, successful consultants and renowned NGO activists. The programme also offers a solid basis to pursue a PhD.

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Education objectives

  • Analyse and evaluate trends and theories in urban development within a global context.
  • Argue the need for an innovative multi-actor and multidisciplinary approach in urban management.
  • Analyse urban problems, assess development potential and propose innovative strategies and policies based on applied research.
  • Apply practical skills as a policymaker, researcher, consultant or manager.


The curriculum first lays down a foundation based on its main disciplines: urban theory, planning and governance, economics and urban sociology. Themes in the specialization phase include, Self-Organizing Cities, Urban Sustainability and Climate Change, Sustainable Urban Infrastructure, Land Value Capture, Urban Competitiveness and Resilience and Dynamic Urban Neighbourhoods.

Mode of education

We believe that a strong understanding of concepts and theoretical framework goes hand in hand with a rich practical experience, helping you assimilate a problem-solving approach. You will learn from highly skilled lecturers and guest lecturers from all over the world, through a unique methodology of real case study analyses, games and class debates. 

Target audience

Our quickly urbanizing world is in need of people who can make cities work. IHS is looking for highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds that have a passion for cities and are interested in enhancing their professional knowledge and researching the combination of urban theory and practice.

Admission criteria

  • A bachelor's degree from a recognised university or similar institute in a related field.
  • Evidence of a sufficient oral and written command of the English language.
  • Convincing motivation to become an urban professional/ manager and research (MSc thesis) interest in the domain of urban management and development.
  • Working experience in relevant fields is preferred.
  • Intercultural skills

Read more about: Admission criteria Master in Urban Management and Development


To apply, please go to Through this online application system please upload certified copies of diplomas and degrees, language test results (IELTS or TOEFL), cv, passport/ ID, motivation statement and if possible two reference letters.

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You can choose between six different specialisations that provide ample choices for you to go in-depth in your field of study. Participants are confronted with a multidisciplinary approach to their area of specialization. The group size of each specialisation course is limited, to enable interactive learning.




Managing and Financing Urban Infrastructure (MFUI) Full-time n/a
Urban Housing and Livelihoods (UHL)
Full-time n/a
Urban Environment and Climate Change (UECC)
Full-time n/a
Urban Strategies and Planning (USP)
Full-time n/a
Urban Land Governance (ULG) Full-time n/a
Urban Competitiveness and Resilience (UCR) Full-time n/a