Master’s Degree Programmes ‘Urban Systems’

Master's Degree Programmes ‘Urban Systems’ – Introduction to the winter term 2011/12

The complexity of urban systems can only be adequately grasped by employing interdisciplinary approaches, and key urban problems can no longer be developed in discreet academic disciplines alone. This interdisciplinarity is currently mirrored in ‘real-world’ praxis, which demands the cooperation of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. Up to now, institutions of higher education have been very hesitant to react to such praxis-oriented developments: before the establishment of our programs there were no substantially diverse academic programs in Urban Studies in Germany that allowed students to combine courses from the areas of technology and the natural sciences with courses in the humanities and social sciences.  Further, there had also been no opportunities for students to practically apply art and design studies in advanced scientific contexts.

Bearing in mind this need for interdisciplinary courses in urban systems, we developed the two closely-linked Masters Programs (“Sustainable Urban Technologies” and “Urban Culture, Society, and Space”) as part of the Main Research Area “Urban Systems”. Students in these programs will acquire competencies from diverse academic disciplines central to understanding and sustainably designing urban systems. Above all, students will acquire knowledge of discreet disciplinary codes; this is of key importance to interdisciplinary collaborations in research and professional contexts.

Key Characteristics of both Programmes at a glance

  • Eight participating faculties and departments ensure a broad choice of electives
  • The interlinking of course content is guaranteed by close connections between both programmes through the integrative modules, which students of both programmes take together
  • MSc in “Sustainable Urban Technologies”
  • MA in “Urban Culture, Society, and Space”
  • Length of Programme: four semesters
  • Nine modules in total (including the Masters thesis), of which two are integrative modules (15 + 10 + 5 = 30 Credit Points) and two complementary modules (5 + 5 = 10 Credit Points)
  • Focus on practical experience is ensured by an internship of at least three months (for regional, nationwide, and international businesses, organizations, public authorities, and associations) (20 Credit Points)
  • Final Exam: consists of the Masters thesis and oral exam
  • Closely connected to the ‘ARUS’ (Advanced Research in Urban Systems) Doctoral Programme