Urban Governance

Why study Master Urban Governance

This master track is part of the Master of Science in Public Administration of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. A unique asset of this master track is the collaboration between the Department of Public Administration of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (ESSB) and the Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS).

What is this master track about?

Cities are complex, challenging and fast-growing. They are major economic and development drivers that generate vast amounts of wealth and are home to more than half of the world’s population (estimated to be closer to 70% by 2050). Cities are at the heart of cultural, social and political innovation. They play a key role in discovering answers to social issues such as migration, social segregation, poverty, climate change, health, unemployment, and terrorism. Sustainable governance policies are crucial to securing global resilience to these issues and to secure the well-being of people who live inside and outside of cities.

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Cities require competent managers who are able to develop and implement innovative policies to tackle these issues. They need experts who understand the importance of involving the community in urban governance and decision-making. Experts who are able to employ cross-jurisdiction solutions to land and environmental issues, who drive the sustainable economic development of cities while protecting public interest, and who oversee the development of international, public and non-profit organisations.

Within the governance of cities, governments do not act alone. They rather involve a variety of public, private and social actors with their own interests during the process of urban development. The MSc in Urban Governance offers insight into this new way of governing and seeks to equip students with expertise in public administration, political sciences, urban economy, sociology and urban planning. In this master you will learn how to analyse urban governance issues.  Furthermore, you will develop specific skills and strategies for the management and design of urban governance processes that enable stakeholders to effectively and legitimately deal with various issues.

Public Administration

Why choose this programme?    

1. Get your MSc from a top 100 university. Benefit from the knowledge of two renowned partners; The Department of Public Administration was # 1 in the 2017 en 2018 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities on Public Administration. IHS was honoured in 2007 with the UN-HABITAT Award for ‘leading the way as a global center of excellence and knowledge through its high-quality teaching programmes in urban management and planning’ and which has over 60 years of experience in educating and training local and national governments officials.

2. Learn from both leading scholars in the field and active urban policy advisers. 

3. Join in our interactive urban governance labs where you will use your theoretical knowledge to solve real-life examples of urban governance issues.

4. Prepare for your career and network during your project work and field visits to local stakeholders such as the Port of Rotterdam, Housing Associations or the Municipality of Rotterdam.

5. Gain knowledge on current trends, topics, innovations and tools from various disciplines in the field of urban governance (such as the circular economy, place-making, co-production and self-organisation etc.)

6. Apply and develop your knowledge globally by learning from international case studies, staff and classmates.

7. Conducting your own research (thesis) using social scientific research methods.

8. Take the unique opportunity to conduct your thesis abroad within our partner network.


This new master programme offers an opportunity to learn how to develop innovative urban policies and appropriate management strategies.
Ingmar van Meerkerk
Programme Coordinator Master Urban Governance
Read more about Ingmar van Meerkerk

#1 worldwide for Public Administration in 2017 en 2018
Shanghai rankings

#5 worldwide for Planning and Development
Center for University Ranking (CWUR)

#70 worldwide in 2019
Times Higher Education (THE)

Why study at Erasmus University Rotterdam?

Welcome to the highly-ranked Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), a research university located in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. EUR offers 13 selective bachelor programmes, and more than 50 top master programmes, taught in English.

Erasmus University traces its origins back to 1913. The university has become internationally recognised for its distinct social orientation in education and research. Our 30,000+ students come from more than 100 countries all around the world.

Erasmus University Rotterdam. Make it happen.

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Roterdam: Make It Happen