MSc in Urban Management and Development


12 months


1 October 2018 – 20 September 2019

Tuition Fee

€ 12,900



Application deadlines

Early Bird: 15 April/ Regular: 15 June

Application deadline for NFP candidates


Abbreviation code

UMD 2018

Programme information

Desislava Yordanova 

Admissions information

Requirements & application procedure

 NFP information

Procedure and deadlines


*Important note:

The application for the MSc in Urban Management and Development 2017-18 is reopening until the 30th July 2017. A few spots have become available and we would like to offer qualified prospects the opportunity to make an application for the UMD course starting this October. Please be aware that we will only be able to accept applications from self-funded participants as all scholarship deadlines have passed and we have no further information regarding other funding opportunities. 

We look forward to receiving your application and you can expect a response by 10th August 2017 at the latest. 


This 12 month master programme provides a unique opportunity for professionals and bachelor graduates to invest in their future. It will enable you to become an innovative urban manager, a leader who analyses and develops cities based on a thorough understanding of urban theory and practice.

Key features

  • Participants from more than 45 different nations 
  • 4 partner universities with expertise in the field 
  • Multi-national lecturers with wide experience in the field
  • International high profile guest lectures
  • Unique training methodology of role-playing games, real case study analysis, class debates
  • Practical focus and problem solving approach
  • 6 different specializations - a chance to tailor your study
  • Balanced training of analytical and practical skills

A step in your career

The Urban Management and Development programme enables participants to advance their career opportunities. Our alumni international network  which includes ministers, mayors, successful businessmen and renowned NGO specialists, provides an entrance into international networks of urban professionals, institutes and capacity building initiatives. Participants of the UMD programme will benefit from the extensive network of IHS, including an alumni association with over 8,000 members and contacts with donor agencies and training centres. IHS is engaged in over 100 urban programmes and projects at any point in time, enabling a direct link between theory and practice. IHS lecturers have worked all over the world thus creating a possibility to discuss and initiate programmes and projects in your country and your cities.

Programme structure

The intensive 12-month MSc programme is divided in three periods: the core period, the specialization period and the thesis period. Below you can find more information about the structure of the programme.

Core period

(October - January)

This period will build a common understanding on urban management and development, by laying down a foundation based on its main disciplines, like urban theory, planning and governance, economics and urban sociology.

Specialisation period

(January - April)

You can choose between 6 different specialisations that provide ample choices for you to go in-depth in your field of study.

Research & Thesis


During this period, you will be guided through the process of designing your own research, considering strategy, methodologies, instruments and fieldwork plan.

Training Methodology

Throughout the master programme, participants get engaged in group and individual exercises, are requested to write papers and essays, make presentations that are assessed throughout the course. The training methodology of this programme includes field visits, fieldwork, simulation games, film discussions and case studies. In order to complete their study, participants also prepare their research through a continuous work on research methods and techniques.

The courses addressed during the core period and blocks and modules from the specialisation period are specified within the short courses section of this website. 


The Dutch Ministry of Education accredits the course as an academic master programme based on assessment by Quality Assurance of Netherlands Universities (QANU). The stringent quality criteria applied by the Dutch Government are based on European standards for higher education. NVAO, see report.


Double degree partners

The IHS MSc in Urban Management and Development is also offered as a double degree with selected partners. Students who participate in these 2 or 3 year programmes start with one year in their home university, continue with the year at IHS studying in the UMD programme and graduate with two degrees (double degree); one of their home university and one of IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam. The admission and selection procedure to join these programmes take place at the home university of these partners.

Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Yogjakarta, Indonesia Master in Urban and Regional Planning (MPKD)
Renmin University (RUC), Bejing, China

School of Public Administration and Policy

School of environment and Natural Resources

Sun Yat Sen University (SYSU), China School of Government (SOG)
Wuhan University (WHU), China School of Resources and Environmental Science (SRES)

Fudan University, China School of Social Development and Public Policy