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The Master in Urbanism

A Word from the Director

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Mini PU 2011. Débat avec le jury

Becoming an urbanist at Sciences Po implies having a keen interest in the City and wanting to participate in both its physical transformation and its management, either in a private company or in the public sector, in France or abroad.

Becoming a graduate of the Sciences Po School of Urbanism means learning to play a role in spatial planning : in public space, the built environment and housing in particular, as well as in transport and all the other facets of the human environment. Students of the School of Urbanism, studying in a university which specialises in social sciences, acquire specific technical skills through stakeholder analysis in the field of urban development, the use and production of urban cartography, the development of an urban and architectural project, field trips and study trips. A Sciences Po urbanist addresses the fundamental social and political questions and participates in societal debates, with one objective in mind : having an influence on the urban environment, from the metropolis to the small town.

Becoming an urbanist at Sciences Po means choosing to do a Master in Urbanism in an original framework created within Sciences Po in 1969 : the Urbanism Cycle. Operating like a school, the Cycle is a Centre of applied research where students gain the necessary skills and specialist knowledge to become experts and professionals in their chosen fields.

As cities are constantly evolving, the Science Po urbanist is alert to changing situations and knows how to develop and defend imaginative solutions. Students are not only trained to analyse and to understand, but also to propose and to be creative in a wide range of fields : the organisation and the use of space, the programming and the economics of urban planning projects, living environment design and project negotiation. Their perspective is very different from that of the architect, centred on the creation of a specific building, and from that of the geographer, the sociologist or the political scientist who focus on the study of physical and social realities.

Master in Urbanism students learn how to direct or to participate in the conception of a project (urbanism studies), as well as in its development and its management (development programme). Particular emphasis is placed on the question of real estate (operational planning and appraisal). Well versed in public policy, the Master in Urbanism graduate knows how to play a role within the stakeholder dynamic.

The Master in Urbanism provides training in three fields :

  • urbanism, a complex methodological and design development approach, whose aim is to organise space and re-order the human environment, and which involves constant negotiation between stakeholders. Students learn to promote a project on the basis of cartography, diagrams and drawings.
  • planning, a management process involving the development and transformation of the urban fabric, from the purchase of the land to the delivery of the buildings. Students learn to become strategists in negotiating their projects ; they have good knowledge of planning legislation, and master the necessary economic reasoning.
  • real estate, which includes a range of activities in the fields of design, project development, construction and management of habitat and mixed-use buildings.

The Master in Urbanism is an intensive 10-month long post-graduate programme open to M1 students. The group is comprised of approximately forty students coming from a wide range of disciplines, who work side by side. As they prepare for their careers, they are all guaranteed to receive a thorough training, recognised by the profession, and in the end, to benefit from the double advantage of the Sciences Po degree itself as well as the support of a network of highly acclaimed alumni and lecturers.

Semester 1
Core professional courses
Political issues Economics
Semester 2
Specialisation 1
Habitat and urban renovation
Real estate and Appraisal
Specialisation 2
Urban project or Urban renewal / mobility
Study trip and field trips Study trip overseas
Semester 3
Preparation of dissertation paper Professional activity or internship
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