The master’s programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design focuses on the interrelationship between the built environment and social, economic and institutional forces. The programme provides professionals with a profound and broad understanding of the multiple factors in sustainable urban development. Students are trained to alter planning and design practices to respond to the environmental conditions and societal needs of the future.
Sustainable Urban Planning and Design at KTH
The programme brings together students of architecture, planning, civil engineering and natural and social sciences. Students will be equipped with theoretical knowledge and professional tools that position them to act as critical links, joining multiple perspectives together in sustainable planning and design processes relevant in Sweden and worldwide. Coursework includes substantial time spent in studios and on projects that train students in practical skills as well as giving them a deep understanding of planning and design practice.
The programme offers three specialisations pursued through recommended course combinations, which represent different professional competences involved in sustainable urban planning and design. Students can also broaden their knowledge by making their own combinations of courses. During the programme, students interact across the specialisations in courses and projects that foster a mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas.
Urban Planning and Design
Urban and Regional Planning
Environment and Planning
All students take part in the introduction course that presents the subject and deepens understanding of how practices of planning and design can enhance sustainable urban development. After this course, students choose one of the specialisations with recommended courses addressing different methodological, theoretical and practical aspects of urban design and planning. The spring term includes a mandatory course which aims to develop students’ research skills within the scope of the programme.
The third term deepens the students’ specialisation by integrating accumulated knowledge into applied project work. Projects are supported by a number of core courses highlighting conceptual and analytical approaches. The programme concludes with a degree project, which is carried out in the fourth term. The degree project provides students with an opportunity to investigate a problem in-depth, under the supervision of experienced practitioners and researchers.
Throughout the programme, invited lecturers from local/regional authorities, consultancies and other private actors will cater students with insights in the contemporary practice of planning and design in Sweden and abroad. In studios and on project assignments, students will be working with ongoing city development projects in the Stockholm region, which allow them to apply their knowledge in sustainable planning and design in a practical setting.
This is a two-year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Campus in Stockholm by the School of Architecture and Built Environment (at KTH).
Urban planning, social sustainability, regional development, public space, urban form, green cities, community participation, sustainable transport, urbanism, resilience.
The programme prepares students as professionals in a growing and meaningful field, building a thorough understanding of planning and design process as well as aesthetic, social, environmental, economic and institutional factors that contribute to sustainable urban development. Graduates from this programme work with urban and regional planning, environmental planning and urban design in public organisations, private companies, research institutes and NGOs. Examples of public organisations are municipalities who are responsible for urban planning and development, regional development authorities, environmental protection authorities and national transport administrations which together employ close to half of the graduates. The private sector, which includes both architectural, planning and policy consultancy firms as well as project developers, also employ close to half of the graduates. The remaining 5–10 per cent go on to doctoral studies at KTH and abroad or work in NGOs.
City architect, urban planner, project leader, sustainability consultant, architect, traffic planner, urban designer, environmental planner.
"The master's programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design at KTH seemed like the perfect opportunity to challenge myself and learn more about urbanism with a significant focus on sustainability practice."
Erasmus from South Africa
Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design are:
10 Reduced Inequalities
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
15 Life on Land
Equity and equality are core qualities of sustainable societies, involving, for example, equal access to housing, public services and transport systems. The causes and consequences of inequality are analysed in courses such as Introduction to Urban Economics and Planning Theory and Urban Governance, and students will learn to address equality issues in urban planning and design in project courses.
Cities and communities are the objects of study in the programme, with sustainability as the goal. Throughout the programme, students will be introduced to different tools, methods and concepts that will enable them to address sustainability issues in local contexts and to develop strategies and solutions that contribute to sustainable cities and communities.
To minimise the environmental impact of urban development, innovative solutions are required. Through exercises and lectures, students will be encouraged to incorporate new technologies, sustainable materials and green solutions, as well strategies that reduce the need for urban expansion in their proposals to enhance ecosystem services and sustainable management of natural resources.
Faculty and research
The programme spans disciplines within an increasingly important field within the KTH School of Architecture and the Built Environment. The school provides multi-disciplinary research and teaching environment which in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject is ranked 20 within the Architecture and Built Environment. The programme benefits from interdepartmental expertise in engineering, architecture, natural and social science at the Department for Environment and Planning, the school of Architecture, and the Department for Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Technology.
To be eligible for the programme, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English, and meet the programme-specific requirements.
A bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognised university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programmes, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Students in their final year of undergraduate studies may apply and, if qualified, will receive a conditional acceptance. These applicants must include a written statement according to the instructions given by University Admissions. Students in the final year of undergraduate studies at a Swedish university do not have to provide a written statement in order, if qualified, to receive a conditional acceptance. They must, however, have completed 150 ECTS credits in the bachelor’s programme by 1 February.
English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6 is required. The requirement can be satisfied through a result equal to, or higher than, those stated in the following internationally recognized English tests:
TOEFL Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, a total score of 575.
TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
TOEFL iBT internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, a total score of 90
IELTS Academic/IELTS UKVI: A minimum overall mark of 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5
Cambridge ESOL: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): Minimum score of 90
The University of Michigan, ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English)
Pearson PTE Academic: Score of 62 (writing 61)
The language requirement can also be fulfilled through previous university and upper secondary school studies. More information on recognized English tests, previous studies, and required documents is provided by University Admissions.
Specific requirements for the master's programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
A bachelor’s degree, corresponding to at least 180 ECTS credits, in architecture or landscape architecture, physical planning, civil engineering in the built environment, energy and environment or equivalent, urban and regional planning, social or natural sciences relevant to the scope of the programme. Previous studies should include at least 30 ECTS credits in the field of urban design, urban transport or regional planning, national/ regional economy or environmental sciences.
Admission to the programme does not guarantee that each student is eligible to register for all courses within the programme. Some of the courses have specific prerequisites which either relate to other courses within the master's programme or to the student's previous studies. However, all students are offered combinations of courses which correspond to full-time studies each semester.
Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentation. The following general and programme-specific documents must therefore be included in the application in the specified order:
Certificates and diplomas from previous university studies
Transcript of completed courses and grades included in your degree
Proof of English proficiency
A copy of your passport including personal data and photograph, or other identification documents
Specific documents for the master's programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
Portfolio (for students with a degree in architecture, landscape architecture and physical planning). The portfolio should contain three to five projects showing design processes from research/ fieldwork/ analysis to a conclusion; an interest in sustainability questions; an engagement with architecture + urbanism; personality, curiosity, motivation; design- and representation skills. The students should certify that the portfolio only contains their own work or contributions to group work.