Master of Science in Urbanism and Spatial Planning

The programme teaches the analysis of socio-economic, cultural, physical-morphological or traffic engineering data as a necessary foundation for any spatial strategy. However, the emphasis is mainly on developing a synthetic capacity through spatial concept formation. You are part of a multidisciplinary team and work independently on  sustainable development of spatial planning.

Master's Programme
2 year 120 credits
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
After graduation


The Master of Science in Urbanism and Planning aims to train and familiarize students with academically and internationally recognized professionals in the broad field of urbanism and spatial planning. The specific aim of the study programme in Ghent is delivering well-educated  academic masters with a broad (inter)national orientation and ample exchange opportunities. The programme's core emphases are on detecting and explaining (social) processes that underlie spatial structure, a broad orientation on spatial governance with a strong actor-oriented input, and the use of different (research, planning and design) methods to answer these challenges with robust and resilient solutions. The analysis of socio-economic, cultural, physical-morphological and traffic engineering data is practiced as a necessary foundation for such a spatial strategy. The study programme primarily aims at developing students’ skills of synthesis through spatial concept formation and proposals with broad societal support. Special attention is paid to the uniqueness of Flemish space as a part of the ‘horizontal metropole’ within the Eurodelta of the Schelde, Rijn and Maas rivers, in which urban and more rural elements are at once closely linked and starkly in contrast with each other. The programme puts this typically Flemish characteristic into international perspective by referring to Eurodelta (cities in the Dutch Randstad - Flemish Diamond – German Ruhr Area), as well as to current global economic and ecological challenges.

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


The programme has a dual structure with a clear division between the first and second master years. All courses in the first year guarantee the professional, more or less local foundation for working as an urban and spatial planner in Flanders. The second year consists of a further deepening to (inter)nationally recognized Masters of Science in Urbanism and Planning. This second year is also dedicated to academic and international training. It is explicitly open to incoming foreign students through international Erasmus exchange with selected universities outside Belgium. Ghent University students can study abroad for a semester in the second year. 

The study programme consists of subjects that: 

  • Teach the technical competencies of urbanism and spatial planning;

  • Teach the substantive core of the discipline around knowledge of space, urban development and planning theory, design on different scales, dealing with planning processes, instruments and policy instruments;

  • Enable the student to specialize further, for example on actor-oriented governance, logistics and transport policy, urban project, landscape and water management, etc.

There is a strong relationship between these programme components.

In addition, the master programme offers: 

  • two large studios, in which case and practice-oriented (design) research is conducted into creative new solutions and concrete practical implementation around current spatial challenges.

  • the master’s dissertation in the second year as the final test of an academically trained urban and spatial planner.

Labour Market

The ever-growing scarcity of space increases the importance of urban planners and spatial planners. Climate adaptation, energy transition, mobility shift, sustainable agriculture, circular economy and the maintanance of open space  are other important factors. The programme’s core objectives with regard to governance, creativity, actor-oriented thinking, open-mindedness for alternative proposals and an integrated approach to issues, offer an answer to a growing demand in our complex world. Thanks to the study programme’s width and integrated approach, our graduates end up with a wide range of employers. This wide range includes various public services (at European, national, regional, provincial and municipal level), as well as the private sector (at various planning or urban engineering consultancies), the business world,  the (academic) research world or even in civic or specific interest groups.Since programme’s second year guarantees a broad international orientation, our graduates’ career search need not limit itself to Flanders or Belgium. They are equally qualified to find jobs abroad, either within or without of Europe.