Master in Urban Management and Development

at IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Are you the urban manager future cities need?

IHS is the home of all things urban. We love cities and work passionately for their development. Moreover, we are happy to welcome talented and driven individuals, who want to extend their expertise in the sphere of urban management and development.

Are you always coming up with solutions and innovations for the cities of the world? Do you think globally and act locally? Have you got what it takes to be a city changer?

Our lecturers, students and alumni are excellent professionals, developing and managing urban projects and initiatives all over the world.​ If you want to learn the ins and outs of urban management from our international expert lecturers and guest lecturers, this master in urban development might be your spot!

Your master in Urban Management and Development

at IHS, Erasmus University


IHS, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies is proud to be a part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, widely recognized as an excellent institution for education and research. Two faculties of the EUR participate in the MSc programme: the School of Economics (ESE) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS).

We believe that a strong understanding of concepts and theoretical framework goes hand in hand with a rich practical experience. At IHS you will find the space and support to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice. Moreover, you can team up with fellow scholars, who are outstanding young professionals in urban management and development, from over 45 countries, with experience in the urban field. Together, you will learn from highly skilled lecturers and guest lecturers from all over the world, through a unique methodology of real case study analyses, games, class debates and not only. Your focus will be rather practical throughout this master study programme, thus helping you assimilate a problem-solving approach.

But the best has to be the vicinity of such a masterfully planned city like Rotterdam, that will inspire you to take your daring ideas one step further. The countless bold initiatives and urban experiments, a large community of experts and a wide array of niche events are within your close reach.

Programme structure of the Master in Urban Management and Development

Core period

(October - January)



This period will start building a common understanding on urban management and development, by laying down a foundation based on its main disciplines, like urban theory, urban planning and governance, economics and urban sociology. Usually, core period is divided in two blocks, with three main courses and two workshops.

block 1 

Urban Theory and "Gaining from Land Use Transactions - GLUT" interactive workshop - 6 ECTS

Urban Governance, Policy and Planning and Public-Private Partnerships - 5.5 ECTS

Specialisation period

(January - April)



In this master programme, you can choose between 6 different specialisations that provide ample choices for you to go in-depth in your field of study.


  • theory and conceptualization: collaborative planning, strategic planning etc.

  • place-making and visioning

  • from vision and quality to objective and intervention

  • implementation plan


  • environmental and climate multi-governance

  • urban environment & climate change policy analysis &instruments

  • assessment methodologies & decision support tools

  • framework for cost and benefits


  • management & governance of the infrastructure sector 

  • links with other urban fields

  • key issues of infrastructure finance

  • green issues: infrastructure resilience, greening, energy efficiency, renewable energy


  • land markets, policies and instruments

  • land and property; land rights, taxation

  • land use zoning at structure level

  • land assembling and land readjustment

  • public land leasing

  • tenure options

  • land registration & administration


  • theoretical background (relevant theories on UCR and the annual theme)

  • developing technical skills for answering research questions through data analysis

  • applied research


  • housing theory

  • functioning of the housing sector

  • livelihood theory

  • from welfare state to a participatory society

  • trends and paradigms in housing and social policies

  • creating liveable neighbourhoods

  • Rotterdam field work

During the specialisation period of the Urban Management and Development master, participants are confronted with a multidisciplinary approach to their area of specialisation, by combining lectures and participatory learning methodologies, such as workshops, simulation games, seminars and group work. In this period, participants are able to interact much more with each other and with lecturers. The group size of each specialisation course is limited, to enable interactive learning.

Research & Thesis




A unique thing about this master programme is the fact that you are encouraged to perform action-oriented research in your home country or a country other than your own, during the fieldwork period. As a way to support your work, as well as the quality of your output, during this period, you will be guided through the process of designing your own research, considering strategy, methodologies, instruments and fieldwork plan. The thesis period of the Urban Management and Development master programme starts with six research workshops, directly linked to each specialisation course. They provide the ideal environment to work on the thesis topic under the guidance and supervision of academic staff. 

blocks 3 & 4 - Research Methods and Techniques | Research Workshops

Research Methods and Techniques 

  • Problem statement

  • Introduction into academic research (research design, criteria for research questions etc.)

  • Operationalization of conceptual framework, data collection methods and research instruments workshop

  • Data analysis workshop - SPSS/Atlas.ti (3 workshops)

Self-Organizing Cities

Urban Sustainability and Climate Change

Sustainable Urban Infrastructure

Land Value


Urban Competitiveness and Resilience

Dynamic Urban Neighbourhoods

Erasmus University Rotterdam in the rankings

The Netherlands has one of the oldest and prestigious systems of higher education, ranking #7 globally. Erasmus University Rotterdam is ranked #1 in the world on the topic of Public Administration, according to Shanghai Ranking and #5 for Planning and Development in CWUR ranking. Furthermore, in the QS World University Rankings, EUR ranks #30 worldwide for Development Studies. In the The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, EUR occupies position #6 in the Netherlands, #22 in Europe and #72 global. To read more on the different EUR rankings,  click here!

Career prospects as an Urban Management and Development graduate

A career in urban development offers quite a wide range of job choices. You can work in different areas, sectors and specialise in something you're passionate about. With the increasingly fast expansion rate of cities, urban professionals are more and more in demand. Curious about what your options are? We listed a few positions, if you want to get a better idea of what's in store for you. If you want to see how IHS graduates are doing, have a look on our alumni page!

Wondering what's your city-changer dream job? You could be a...
  • city/town planner

  • local government officer

  • housing officer

  • transport planner

  • accessibility specialist

  • infrastructure planner/manager

  • facilities manager

  • heritage preservation specialist

  • civil service administrator

  • community development worker

  • ​urban economy and finance specialist

  • ​environmental manager

  • urban environment officer

  • urban risk reduction expert

  • city resilience specialist

  • climate change expert

  • urban reconstruction specialist

  • social & resettlement specialist

  • spatial planner

  • real estate developer

  • consultant/advisor in development projects

  • research coordinator

Duration: 1 year

Start of studies: October 2018

Tuition fee: € 13,900

Language: English

Application deadline:

EU/EEA, U.S. & Canada: 1 Sep 2018

Non-EU/EEA (excl. U.S. & Canada): 20 July 2018


E-mail us for more information!

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IHS, institute for housing and urban development studies

of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Visitors' address

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Mandeville (T) Building, 14th floor
3062 PA Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Mailing address

P.O. Box 1935
3000 BX Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Phone: + 31 10 408 9825

© 2019 by IHS, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

of Erasmus University Rotterdam