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Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning (Leuven)

KU Leuven
Program overview
2 years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Start dates
September 2019  (English)
September 2020  (English)
September 2021  (English)

Program description

Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning

Cities and settlements are under extreme pressure. Social and environmental inequity is sharply on the rise. Urbanism, spatial  planning and intervention in landscape systems are in urgent need of renewed approaches. New strategies must be developed to not only tackle social exclusion, unequal distribution of resources and spatial contradictions, but also be inspired by the multiple and (trans)cultural expressions of worldwide urbanisms. The Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning focuses on multi-faceted and -scalar issues of contemporary urban development. 

The programme develops a critical understanding of the contemporary conditions of settlements, cities and urban regions. It introduces students to innovative concepts and strategies for qualitative interventions in urban territories through projects, plans and policies across different scales.

The programme is part of the European Postgraduate Masters in Urbanism (EMU). MaUSP students can apply to spend the third semester abroad at one of our partner universities—UPC Barcelona, TU Delft or IUAV Venezia—to obtain the EMU certificate.

Programme outline

The programme is organised according to the following format:

  • Compulsory and optional courses
  • Urbanism studios (year 1)
  • Thesis studios (year 2)

Design and thesis studios form the heart of the programme. They are organised as two full days of work on Mondays and Tuesdays to provide an intensive and immersive working environment such as occurs in most professional practices. These courses build a balance between teamwork and individual contribution, since students are subdivided into small but varied groups from the outset.

Depending on the track students choose (urbanism, planning or landscape), certain optional courses become compulsory. 


  • The programme benefits from the department’s worldwide contacts in the fields of urbanism, planning and landscape. Professionals involved in teaching, design, and consultancy from different corners of the world enhance and reflect the international character of the MaUSP curriculum. A strong network of alumni and a sound reputation fosters an active system of collaborations supporting urbanism and thematic thesis studios.
  • Fieldwork is an essential component of the program. In urbanisms studios, fieldwork is an essential foundation for design interventions. In the first semester, work occurs in the Belgian context. In the second semester, the sites are non-Belgian (one European and one non-European). Fieldwork is also a fundamental part of these projects, which are developed in various sites under umbrella themes proposed by faculty members. 

Tuition fees

The current tuition fee is €6,000 for EEA and non-EEA students. Please consult the website for the most recent information: In some cases you are entitled for a partial tuition waiver.

Master Mind 

Excellent students who are eligible for a Master Mind Scholarship are invited to submit their application before 1 February.


Leuven offers a wide range of housing opportunities at reasonable prices. Most students choose to rent a room (‘kot’ in Dutch) in a privately-owned student house with shared common spaces and facilities. If you need any help with this, the KU Leuven Housing Service can offer some assistance. The university owns and manages a number of student residences and a limited number of rooms in these residences is reserved for international students with specific scholarships.

About school

KU Leuven

KU Leuven

KU Leuven is Europe’s most innovative university. Located in Belgium, it is dedicated to research, education, and service to society. KU Leuven is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and has a strong European and...

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Contact info

KU Leuven

Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven


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