What is a city and who are the key actors in urban development? How do cultural, political and economic conditions define urban life? How can we develop innovative, collaborative and sustainable approaches to urban challenges and possibilities? This programme studies Nordic urban planning in a global context and its distinctive perspectives to urban sustainability, liveability, mobility, ‘smart’ cities, welfare, citizen empowerment and more. The programme is offered by Roskilde University in collaboration with Malmö University and Tromsø University.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor's degree, consisting of 180 credits. The equivalent of English 6 in Swedish secondary school.

Please note that you apply directly to Roskilde University. Deadline for applications March 1.


Taught by leading researchers from the universities of Roskilde (Denmark), Malmö (Sweden) and Tromsø (Norway), you will develop international and interdisciplinary perspectives on urban planning and development.

You will also gain expertise in a range of research and communicative skills suitable for employment in private or public organisations working with cities and their futures.

Distinctive features of the programme include:

  • drawing on the distinctive research and teaching strengths of the three universities, while allowing immersion in a wide range of cities and planning cases;
  • developing skills in working collaboratively and imaginatively with other students as well as with diverse communities, organisations, companies and municipalities;
  • offering flexibility by combining core training with opportunities to specialise, including in terms of where to research your thesis;
  • providing training in appropriate theories and qualitative methods as well as techniques of spatial visualisation and geographical information systems, including through a field course on Arctic cities and their planning; and
  • emphasising creative and experimental methods as well as problem-oriented project work for addressing planning issues.

Study structure

Nordic Urban Planning is a flexible, two-year programme that combines core training across the three universities with opportunities to specialise at each. Recognising that sustainable solutions for major future challenges cannot be solved with one professionalism alone, the programme takes an interdisciplinary approach that equips you to solve real-life complex problems through group and individual research projects.

The first semester at Roskilde University provides grounding in urban theory and approaches to planning. Following the distinctive RUC way of teaching, the study structure is based on 50% courses and 50% group project work. During the project work, you learn how to identify and frame a problem of your own choice and, guided by one of our talented researchers, work with a group of students who are passionate about the same issues and findings as you.

In the second semester, you choose one track from those offered at RUC, Malmö University or Tromsø University.

The third semester provides further core training. At Tromsø University this involves working with fieldwork methodologies and methods to explore urban development and planning in an Arctic context in practice. You will be part of an extended field course in northern Norway that allows you to study urban challenges, opportunities, development trends and planning practices of Arctic cities.

At Malmö University you will work with process management and sustainable urban development. You will conduct a pre-study for an urban development project and develop methodological skills and theoretical understandings of urban issues, including skills in identifying and communicating urban contexts in dialogue with varied urban actors.

In the final semester, you will conduct a master’s thesis at the University of your choice.

What career will you be prepared for?

Nordic Urban Planning qualifies you for a wide range of job opportunities. Graduates will be attractive for businesses, public authorities and organisations working nationally and internationally with cities, regions and urban life. Potential job opportunities include:

  • project leaders and entrepreneurs in urban consultancies;
  • managers, facilitators and coordinators of city development in international planning, design and consultancy companies;
  • urban planners and social innovators for international organizations and NGOs;
  • urban planners for local, regional and national public authorities and municipalities;
  • advisory positions in public and private sectors working to build urban futures;
  • research positions, including within universities (providing a strong basis for PhD studies).
Program taught in:
Malmö University

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Last updated April 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 1, 2020
2 years
17 EUR
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