Why this Study programme

Urban Economic Development: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This master track offers participants state-of-the-art theories and applied research skills concerning sustainable economic development. First, cities and regions compete with each other on skills, investments, amenities, tourists, trade, and knowledge. These are crucial elements for entrepreneurial activity and fostering innovation – regardless of the level of development of given a city/region.  Therefore, the departure point to determine urban/regional development hinges upon the process whereby knowledge is acquired, created, diffused, and translated into economic activity – a process that, in turn, is largely geographically determined and nonetheless dynamic.

Second, economic resilience has become more prominent on research and policy agendas for the last decade. The Covid-19 pandemic, the latest global economic crisis, climate change, severe negative external effects related to globalization and urban economic growth, have led to intensified shocks to which local economies react differently across countries and continents.

The Covid-19 economic recovery, Brexit, higher trade protectionism, the Paris Agreement, and the SDGs, are among the many challenges that lie ahead. In this context, innovation becomes central in finding effective solutions and new pathways towards economic sustainability and resilience. Likewise, entrepreneurial activity plays a key role in materializing the economic, environmental, and/or social benefits of new knowledge and technologies. Therefore, the role of innovation and entrepreneurship stands at the centre of urban and regional development.

Rotterdam is an inspiration, a living laboratory where students can experience research and action united for a successful city.

What are some of the special features of this track?

Next to earning your MSc diploma from Erasmus University Rotterdam, an institution that is consistently ranked among the top 3% of the world’s best universities, studying the ‘Urban Economic Development: Innovation & Entrepreneurship’ track also means that you will get to:

Learn advanced urban data analytics

Deepen your quantitative skills; learn how to develop a basic and yet sound quantitative research framework; translate findings derived from quantitative studies into evidence-based policy analysis and policy-making.


Gain universally applicable knowledge

Learn how to analyse a wide range of urban related issues from an economic and innovation perspective with an enhanced consideration for social and environmental sustainability.


Obtain technical skills

Learn to use data analysis software (STATA) and work with databases to understand and interpret data and translate urban economic data into actionable insights - skills that are highly sought after in the labour market.

Enjoy a study in Rotterdam

Apply the theories you learned in the classroom to real-life cases, in a visit to one of the several innovation hubs in Rotterdam.


Blend theory with technical skills

Combine strong theoretic knowledge with the skills required from an urban manager, while learning how to translate research questions into applied economic analysis.

Why study at IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam?

Earn your MSc degree from a top 100 university

Known for its academic rigors and high quality of education, Erasmus University Rotterdam is consistently ranked in the top 3% of the world’s best universities.

Our teaching methods are unique

Alongside IHS teaching and research activities, our faculty members work in the field on real-life cases around the world. Challenges, learnings, and questions from these different contexts are brought back to the classroom and woven into our curriculum. 

You apply everything you learn - no dry theory

Students learn through a blend of lectures, real-life case studies, discussions, debates, simulation environments, written assignments, and group work. Field visits and projects in Rotterdam and other Dutch cities provide first-hand exposure to local urban problems. Students have the option to complete their thesis fieldwork abroad and immerse themselves in a relevant urban context to collect data.

We offer a truly international and diverse environment

The IHS classroom is comprised of mid-level professionals and fresh graduates with rich and varied experiences from more than 45 countries. Typical backgrounds include architecture, engineering, planning, economics, social science, environmental science, and housing. 

Study in Rotterdam - a hub of sustainable urban innovation

Iconic architecture, pioneering urban planning, and a celebrated multicultural population have thrust Rotterdam to the forefront of innovation and cultivation within the urban world. 

Enjoy guest lecturers from UN-Habitat and other key stakeholders in the urban field 

IHS works with global leaders in the field of urban development, including UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance and ICLEI as well as with leading universities in the Netherlands and around the world to ensure additional academic resources for our students.

#5 for Public Administration

worldwide for Public Administration Shanghai Ranking

#5 for Planning & Development

for Planning & Development Center University Rankings (1000)

#72 Worldwide

worldwide Times Higher Education (500)

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Apply for the Urban Economic Development: Innovation & Entrepreneurship track

First round of applications: 6 September 2021 – 30 November 2021

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