Urban Management and Development

Master programme

About the programme

The MSc in Urban Management and Development is a 12-month English-taught programme offered in six specialisation tracks. This structure allows IHS students to specialise within their chosen field whilst benefiting from a broader understanding of sustainable urban management offered at IHS.

Cities are in a constant state of unprecedented change. Between now and 2030, urban areas are expected to triple in surface and by 2050, 68% of the population will reside in cities. Population movements of this scale create physical, economic, environmental and social challenges. To remain sustainable, liveable and competitive cities need urban managers who are well-trained in policy development and good governance. The MSc programme focuses on socio-spatial dynamics in planning, climate resilience, local economic innovation and entrepreneurship, housing from a human rights and gender perspective, sustainability, smart and green cities (infrastructure, energy and water), land law and finance, real estate and regenerative natural resource management.

The MSc is designed to equip students with the skills to solve contemporary urban issues in their countries through progressive policymaking. A key feature of the programme is the use of comparative methodologies to discuss urban issues, policies and trends from around the world. Next to high-quality academic content, the programme includes an intensive skills stream designed to equip the students with job-market demanded skills such as knowledge of popular data analysis software (e.g. R, GIS) and negotiation skills.

Master tracks


How is your year organised?

In the first block, the programme shares courses on urban sustainability, governance, finance and data analytics with the other master tracks. However, your assignments with the modules are always track-specific. In the second and third blocks, your courses will only be track-specific, but all students also follow a course on GIS and the action planning workshops. In addition, the programme will strengthen your research skills through research design courses and workshops. It will further guide you in writing your thesis proposal on a topic relevant to your master track. The forth block will be entirely dedicated to you writing your thesis.

Why study the MSc in Urban Management & Development?

The programme is a great opportunity to learn from urban policy advisors and real-life case studies while studying at a top-100 university.  

#3 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)

What is it like to be a part of the classroom?

The content is delivered through a blend of lectures with case studies, discussions, working groups, group assignments, and fieldwork. Below, you can see a few examples of activities that take place during the courses.

GLUT - Gaining from Land Use Transactions

Field trips: Jane's walk in Rotterdam North

Students taking part of a Jane’s walk in Rotterdam Noord

Virtual experience: Campus

Rabia's experience

Meet the IHS lecturers

Our lecturers spend a substantial amount of time working on real-life projects across the globe. See what they are up to now! 

Dr Alexander Jachnow

Dr. Jachnow is an urban development specialist with 19 years of experience in research & consultancy

Dr Maartje van Eerd

Dr. van Eerd is a human geographer, specialised in housing and social development [...]

Dr Jan Fransen

Local economic development specialist with over 20 years of experience in research [...]

Student news

  • Alumni Spotlight: Oleksandra Tkachenko

    Oleksandra comes from Ukraine, and joined the Urban Management and Development Master programme in 2015, choosing the Urban Strategies and Planning…
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    June is Architecture month in Rotterdam. Here are the top-five events you must see!
  • Alumni spotlight: Rozita Singh

    Rozita Singh is from New Delhi and came to the Netherlands to join IHS as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. She graduated from the Urban Management and…
  • 10 reasons to study in the Netherlands

    Thinking of studying in the Netherlands? Find out why many international students decide to study here.

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