Urban Development and Governance
PhD programme

PhD programme Urban Development and Governance

Study Programme

IHS provides an environment that stimulates inspiring ideas on the crossroads of theory and practice in urban development and governance. Urban professionals grow as individuals and as academics and the knowledge and the ideas they develop at IHS will contribute to them making a positive impact on the world.

The IHS PhD programme provides a refreshing academic-to-practice environment in which talented individuals can develop their ideas and broaden their experience to become the leading professionals in research, education and practice of urban development. IHS guarantees a productive working environment and offers a flexible programme with a variety of modalities and research possibilities. This PhD programme brings together professionals from all over the world, supporting their research in a variety of topics. Below, you can see an overview of our six main research clusters: 

Part of Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGSH)

The PhD programme is part of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGSH). In this capacity, IHS is able to facilitate candidates to advance their ground-breaking research by offering access to courses and workshops, and conferences organised by EGSH. All of this is geared towards enhancing the participants' research and networking skills. Through these events, programme participants interact with other PhD candidates from different Erasmus University departments and stimulate participants to look beyond their own projects and actively engage with different perspectives. Candidates also have access to the vast resources of the university library system & campus facilities. Finally, IHS PhD candidates are awarded a doctoral degree in the field of Social Sciences and the Humanities from the high-ranking Erasmus University (#72 globally).  

Four PhD candidates having a conversation.

IHS PhD Urban Governance and Development

How is the programme organised?

Students in the PhD programme receive an à la carte menu of courses, tailored to the various stages of the PhD track: Introduction courses for beginning PhD students; methodology courses and philosophy of science; In-depth theory courses for advanced PhD students; and final stages courses. Students engage with colleagues in a small-class environment on challenging research problems of interest to both academia and practice. Studying the PhD at IHS gives students the opportunity to directly contribute to research and education and receive a combination of academic guidance, as well as reflection from years of practical experience in the fields below. 

Graph with the different phases of the IHS PhD Programme

PhD Modalities

The IHS PhD programme is very flexible and caters for a variety of modalities for PhD or post-doctoral research activites. Below you can find more specific information about each of the five modalities available for PhD candidates. 

  • DescriptionDegreeTuition feeBenefits

    Entire research (3-4 years) at IHS/EUR with a mandatory stay on site of only 3 months per year.

    Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)12,500 per year
    • Variety of research possibilities (6 clusters)
    • Supervisory team 
    • Access to the vast resources of the university library system & campus facilities
    • A dedicated quiet working space
    • Access to tailored courses included in the fee
    • Possibility to supervise and to attend guest lectures
    • A PhD degree in the field of Social Sciences and the Humanities from a top 100 university 
    • A truly international environment & an opportunity to expand your network 
    • Support in visa procedures and practical assistance
  • DescriptionDegreeTuition feeBenefits
    Research at IHS/EUR + another university. Defense at IHS/EUR.Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)12,500 per year
    • Variety of research possibilities (6 clusters)
    • Supervisory team 
    • Access to the vast resources of the university library system & campus facilities
    • A dedicated quiet working space 
    • Access to tailored courses included in the fee
    • Possibility to supervise and to attend guest lectures
    • A PhD degree in the field of Social Sciences and the Humanities from a top 100 university 
    • A truly international environment & an opportunity to expand your network 
    • Support in visa procedures and practical assistance
  • DescriptionDegreeTuition feeBenefits
    Research at IHS/EUR + another university. Defense can take place at both universities.Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) + Other University 12,500 per year
    • Variety of research possibilities (6 clusters)
    • Supervisory team 
    • Access to the vast resources of the university library system & campus facilities
    • A dedicated quiet working space 
    • Access to tailored courses included in the fee
    • Possibility to supervise and to attend guest lectures
    • A PhD degree in the field of Social Sciences and the Humanities from a top 100 university 
    • A truly international environment & an opportunity to expand your network 
    • Support in visa procedures and practical assistance
  • DescriptionDegreeTuition feeBenefits
    Research at another university + 1 year (or less) at IHS. Defense at the home university.Other University 12,500 per year
    • Variety of research possibilities (6 clusters)
    • A dedicated supervisor 
    • Access to the vast resources of the university library system & campus facilities
    • A dedicated quiet working space 
    • Access to tailored courses included in the fee 
    • Possibility to attend guest lectures
    • A truly international environment & an opportunity to expand your network 
    • Support in visa procedures and practical assistance
  • DescriptionDegreeTuition feeBenefits
    Postdoc researchers visiting for a short period, who has as the primary purpose of visiting the Erasmus campus is to conduct individual research.N/A

    Administration fee

    6 months: € 1,500

    Up to 3 months: € 900

    • Variety of research possibilities (6 clusters)
    • Access to the vast resources of the university library system & campus facilities
    • A quiet working space (visiting scholars follow a flex desk policy)
    • Possibility to attend guest lectures
    • A truly international environment & an opportunity to expand your network 
    • Support in visa procedures and practical assistance

PhD Alumni Spotlight: Daniel Adamu

Daniel studied public-private partnership-led housing delivery in urban Nigeria.

Read his story

Process Support Courses

As a PhD candidate, you can take advantage of over 40 different process support courses, offered by the Graduate School. The aim of these courses is to support your research process and to help you maintain your work-life balance. Click on read more to view the complete list of courses. 

Flexible supervision style

The Netherlands is well-known for its flexible management culture, which is strongly reflected in the supervision style provided here at IHS. As a PhD candidate, you will be considered a fellow researcher and you will be able to participate in research groups. During supervision meetings you will be provided with guidance and feedback, but you will also be encouraged to share your ideas and questions.