Urban Studies

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

24 months
4200 EUR/year
1500 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


In this Urban Studies programme at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) you will learn to see the city, to hear it, to understand it, to engage it, and to choose your role in shaping it.


As the world continues to urbanise and globalise, cities are becoming the predominant form of human settlement and the scale at which many of the most pressing societal issues are engaged. 

The Urban Studies programme at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) brings a distinctly European viewpoint to issues concerning urbanity and urbanisation that are simultaneously locally unique and globally networked.

The Standard Track of the Master in Urban Studies is jointly organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université Libre de Bruxelles. 

The 120 ECTS curriculum combines the attractiveness of a flexible, modular and interdisciplinary programme that allows you to focus on your own interests, with a common core of compulsory courses to ensure that you develop the necessary urban skills and competences.


  • Globalisation - the processes of globalisation and localisation - as a general context leading to a renewed importance of the city and urbanity in the 21st century. The city is considered a nodal point in post-national developments.
  • Europe as the unit of analysis: Europe and the European unification process is seen as part of and a reaction to this globalisation processes. Our scope is Europe seen through its cities and urban networks.
  • Interdisciplinarity and internationality as a surplus value. The Master in Urban Studies is a thematic masters programme focused on transdisciplinary approaches and transdisciplinary practices (not the least bridging urban planning and urban sociology, geography, etc) with a focus on the socio-spatial analysis of cities.
  • An education build on strong cases: Brussels (capital of EU, small global city) – Copenhagen (the Scandinavian mode of regulation), Vienna (metropolis at the centre of Europe: gateway to the East), Madrid (the Mediterranean cities) and a number of surrounding cities.
  • The importance of fieldwork: research experience in each city and comparative or transnational research as the basis for a final masters thesis.
  • A number of excursions and visits: a central attractor will be that we incorporate well prepared excursions in each block. Each excursion will incorporate a socio-spatial introduction to the city (a city walk) and an institutional visit with a focus on certain aspects of policy or management. Moreover a number of projects and institutions will be visited.

Programme Structure

Courses included:
  • Geographies of a Globalizing Europe
  • Excursion 
  • Master thesis
  • Research Design and Methodology in Urban Studies
  • Urban Social Geography
  • Urban Economic Geography
  • Urban Sociology
  • Urban Sustainability and Circular Economy
  • Global city region Brussels
  • Urban Analysis 
  • Excursion 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




120 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

We are not aware of any English requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Applicants are eligible for the Master in Urban Studies if they have completed a 180ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, planning, architecture, history, criminology, political science, sociology, demography, media and communication studies, cultural studies, or a similar discipline. 
  • Prospective applicants with a degree from a field not mentioned above should contact the programme. Please explain us how your degree has helped prepare you for the Master in Urban Studies and provide more information on the specific coursework you have undertaken  (including transcripts of your course units).

Tuition Fee

  • International

    4200 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4200 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    1500 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 1500 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Urban Studies
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)