MSc in Strategic Urban and Regional Planning


Programme Description

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  • Start: August 2021
  • Place of study: Linköping
  • Level: Second-cycle
  • Application code: LIU-91002

Our cities and regions are currently facing fundamental challenges related to climate change, globalization, urbanization, digitalization, and social inequality. Strategic urban and regional planning is one of the most powerful local instruments to (re)shape long-term urban and regional development and create sustainable cities and regions of tomorrow.

The program provides you with the opportunity to advance your knowledge about societal change and enhance your abilities to engage in complex planning processes and agendas, in collaboration with citizens and other stakeholders. The program has a special focus on regional development challenges in European countries.

New IT infrastructures in smart energy and transport systems, problems with segregation, and the urban-rural relationship are just a few challenges that urban and regional planning must respond to and manage in a long-term sustainable perspective. The program offers training in urban and regional planning, with a focus on strategic planning. Core elements are identifying and managing planning issues within complex social, environmental and economic realities. This helps you develop skills in conducting studies, formulating strategies and coordinating overall planning at various levels of society. In line with LiU tradition, there is a close collaboration with public and private employers offering real-world learning opportunities. As a student, you are able to specialize in your area of interest.

122711_photo-1474027867902-ad216abcc1c6.jpg Phil Hauser / Unsplash

Syllabus and course details

Course details

The program runs over two years and encompasses 120 credits, including a thesis.

Semester 1

  • Strategic urban and regional planning

Three main tracks are introduced; how strategic urban and regional planning relates to challenges such as climate change, digitization, urbanization and globalization; how urban and country planning is affected by geological conditions and how it contributes to spatial patterns and changes at a local, regional, national and global level; introduces basic planning tools such as GIS.

  • Planning and Public administration

Introduces urban and regional planning management and political organisation from a European perspective. Furthermore, knowledge about how political control of urban and regional planning can be achieved through public administration. It also highlights how laws, regulations and administrative practice can both enable and limit urban and regional planning.

  • Strategic planning of urban climate transitions

Three parts of strategic planning and management are discussed: needs analysis, objectives, and principles for overall governance, as well as measures and solutions. Methods and strategic planning are applied to different types of cities such as mega-cities, rural municipalities or medium-sized municipal/regional centers.

Semester 2

  • Changed prerequisites for strategic urban and regional planning – urbanization and globalization

Addresses the large-scale trends of urbanization and globalization from a sustainable urban and regional planning perspective. Will also study how globalization and urbanization are changing the economic and social conditions for different actors in cities, regions, rural areas, companies, and organizations.

  • Planning for a sustainable information society

How digitalization and information and communication technology (ICT) affect opportunities for urban and regional development and create new conditions for strategic urban and regional planning. Digital infrastructures, access to and analysis of big data, digital service platforms and new opportunities for communication and visualization have the potential to radically change planning relevant sectors such as transport, energy, industrial production, and service development.

  • Strategic planning – regions, and EU

Deals with regional development planning, focusing on EU member states. How the EU's regional development policy and programs are implemented through the regions' strategic planning. Particular attention is paid to how regional development planning deals with challenges regarding climate change, urbanization, digitalization, and social equality.

  • Research methods in strategic urban and regional planning

Introduces research methods and design of research projects relevant to strategic urban and regional planning. The course discusses central qualitative and quantitative methods used in the field and how these methods are designed, developed, presented and implemented in both research and practice.

Semester 3

  • Specialization courses (covering 30 credits) or Studies Abroad

Semester 4

  • Master’s Thesis

Future opportunities

The program prepares you for a professional career as a planning and environmental strategist, plan manager, overview planner, district developer, urban planner or external analyst. You will be qualified for positions in regional associations, county councils, various government agencies, private enterprises, and non-profit organizations. You will also qualify for doctoral studies.

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree in urban and regional planning or another relevant subject area equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen.

English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6/B). Exemption from Swedish 3.

Special selection

Selection will be based on:

  • Academic merits and Letter of Intent

Each applicant should, therefore, enclose a Letter of Intent written in English, explaining why they want to study this program and a summary of their bachelor’s essay or project. If applicants hold a degree that does not include a bachelor’s essay or project, their Letter of Intent should describe previous studies and any academic activities that are related to the master’s program or the programs applied for.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

In close collaboration with the business world and society, Linköping University (LiU) conducts world-leading, boundary-crossing research in fields including materials science, IT and hearing. In the ... Read More

In close collaboration with the business world and society, Linköping University (LiU) conducts world-leading, boundary-crossing research in fields including materials science, IT and hearing. In the same spirit, the university offers many innovative educational programs, many of them with a clear vocational focus, leading to qualification as, for example, doctors, teachers, economists, and engineers. Read Less
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