24 months
3610 EUR/year
980 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


In this interdisciplinary Urban Studies programme at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) – jointly offered by VUB and ULB is jointly organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Université Libre de Bruxelles.


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.

Following the successful completion of the Master in Urban Studies, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories in urban studies and related fields of research in the social sciences, humanities, architecture, planning and design.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of urban studies as a field of research, education, policy, and practice, along with specialized knowledge of at least two of the subdomains of urban studies.
  • Critically reflect on their own positionality as researchers and practitioners within the field of urban studies and to develop original and creative insights on this basis.
  • Demonstrate an empirically grounded understanding of the similarities and differences, and connections and relations between cities and processes of urbanisation across Europe and throughout the world.
  • Evaluate the role of governments, businesses, and civic actors on different scales (local, regional, national, supranational) in urban development projects and strategies.
  • Apply critical and original analysis to primary sources such as policy reports and regulations, architectural designs, interviews, fieldwork observations, maps, corporate accounts, archival documents, photography, and film.
  • Apply qualitative or quantitative methods and techniques commonly used in urban studies and related disciplines in order to answer complex urban questions.
  • Execute a basic or applied research project by developing a research question and plan, conducting a literature review, collecting and interpreting data, and presenting research results in written, visual, and oral formats.
  • Operate professionally, cooperatively, and with a strong sense of social and ethical responsibility in interdisciplinary, international, and diverse settings.
  • Communicate research results and an advanced understanding of urban issues to a wider professional as well as popular audience, using a variety of presentation techniques and media.


All degree programmes offered by VUB are accredited by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO), ensuring that they meet the highest predefined quality standards. Alongside this official quality control system, VUB has an internal Quality Control Commission in charge of permanently monitoring the quality of education.

Programme Structure

  • Common core: The common core contains a course on Brussels, one on the European dimension of cities and urbanisation, and a number of theoretical courses. By using Brussels as a unique case study in the programme and by organising various site visits in and around Brussels and excursions to cities in Europe, we benefit from our location in the centre of Europe. The common core also contains two courses
  • Elective modules and courses: Before starting with the Master in Urban Studies, you are expected to choose two elective modules. The elective modules have a disciplinary and/or thematic orientation: this will allow you to specialise within subdomains of urban studies, while at the same time ensuring interdisciplinary training on the level of the overall programme.

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.

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).
  • The motivation letter is perhaps the most critical part of your application

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    3610 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 3610 EUR per year during 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    980 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 980 EUR per year during 24 months.

Living costs for Brussels

885 - 1305 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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.

Our partners

Urban Studies
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)


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