The programme combines several degree options from Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. The target degrees are listed in the section “Qualifications”. The target degree is to be selected in the application process, and the application should be directed to the suitable university and according to the target degree. The applicability of previous studies is assessed according to the selected target degree.
For example, a student aiming for a M.Soc.Sc degree at the University of Helsinki has to have suitable previous studies to qualify for the target degree, and the application has to be made for the University of Helsinki. The chosen target degree cannot be changed.
After the initial choice of the target degree, students will choose their study line (USP Plans/Peoples/Systems). The chosen study line cannot be changed. There are three study lines in the Master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning:
Urban Planning and Design
Urban Planning and Design (USP Plans) addresses urban development by integrating the knowledge, skills and pedagogical approaches of planning and design and by developing synergies across multiple disciplines. The constructive power of design to imagine, structure, visualise and communicate is combined with analytical rigour and a critical understanding of planning and urban governance history, methodologies and tools. USP Plans develops and deepens such skills while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based learning within concrete cases, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and learning-by-doing experimentation. USP Plans is oriented towards planners, architects, landscape architects, and spatial, service and strategic designers.
Urban Life, Economy and Cultures
Urban Life, Economy and Cultures (USP Peoples) addresses urban development by integrating analysis of socio-economic, digital and physical structures with planning. Theories and methodologies from the social and political sciences are explored and applied. The focus is on socio-spatial dynamics changes, including influences of policies and markets, actors and structures, decision-making processes, social mixing and demographics. The study line also introduces the historical layers of urban life and urban environment as lived space. USP Peoples deepens your knowledge of foundational studies while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based and collaborative learning, including situated municipal and field studies. USP Peoples is oriented towards developing abilities to conduct scientific research in the field of Urban Studies. As the research is linked with problems in urban policies and planning, the study line is oriented not only towards researchers but also to planners, urban economists and managers and those interested in urban humanities.
Urban Ecologies and Systems
Urban Ecologies and Systems (USP Systems) addresses urban development by integrating fundamental concepts of ecological and computational systems thinking. This includes future-oriented methodologies for studying, assessing, planning, designing and simulation of ecological resilient, technological innovative and complex adaptive urban systems. It applies systems approaches to identify multi-dimensional planning, while retaining a holistic perspective on the complex and dynamic urban layers affecting multiple scales. USP Systems develops your understanding of foundational studies while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based and collaborative learning. Advanced data informed analysis, simulation and modeling, including ecological and environmental science, will lead to an interconnectedness of data and knowledge. USP Systems is oriented towards planners, engineers, architects, landscape architects, and environmental managers.