Why get a PhD in Urban Development and Governance?

PhD programme

As part of the high-ranking Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Institute for Housing and Urban Management and Development Studies (IHS) offers considerable resources and well-established international research infrastructure. Together with IHS' partner universities and its over 9000 alumni from more than 140 nations, the institute has built a strong international network of urban professionals. 

In addition, IHS has strategic alliances, partnerships and framework agreements with international organisations such as the World Bank, United Nations, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank and the European Union. PhD candidates greatly benefit from these international collaborative efforts. In a small class environment, they are supported by a supervisory team of high profile international supervisors with many years of experience in the urban development and governance industry.

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What are some special features of this PhD programme? 

Next to earning your degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam, an institution that is consistently ranked among the top 3% of the world’s best universities, studying the PhD Urban Development and Governance also means that you can take advantage of: 


A tailored PhD programme

IHS takes into consideration the needs and requirements of candidates in the design of the programme. It takes on average four years to complete the PhD programme. However, candidates are only required to stay in the Netherlands for three months per year. In this way, participants can enjoy a tailored and flexible trajectory. 


Variety of research possibilities

The programme is divided into six fields of research, which offers a variety of research possibilities: environment, economics, infrastructure, housing, land and planning.


Training and Supervision Plan (TSP)

At the beginning of your PhD, you will develop a Training and Supervision Plan together with your supervisor. The goal of this plan is to help monitor your progress and provide you with regular feedback during your evaluation meetings.


PhD round tables 

PhD candidates at IHS form a strong cooperative community. Regularly, candidates organise lectures where they present and discuss their research. These events from excellent opportunities to learn from different academic perspectives and backgrounds.

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Work-life balance coaches

Doing a PhD as well as finding the right balance between studying and personal life can often be challenging. Erasmus University Rotterdam has work-life balance coaches, who can help you with this, by offering you professional support and advice.


Extra-curricular activities

Apart from your regular PhD curriculum, you will also have the opportunity to attend activities of the IHS MSc in Urban Management and Development. These activities involve guest lectures, academic mentorship and Master thesis supervision.


"IHS provides us with free room to research our own topics of interest, giving us the opportunity to open our vision and mind. Thanks to this stimulating environment, we can work on the belief of better cities." 

Cai Min, China
PhD Candidate

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