Urban Studies & Planning

Basic information of the minor

Code: ARTS3087

Extent: 25 ECTS

Language: English

Department in charge: Department of Architecture in cooperation with University of Helsinki. At Aalto, other departments and schools including the School of ARTS Department of Design and the School of Engineering Department of Built Environment are in charge of specific courses found in course listing.

Professor in charge: Adjunct professor Anssi Joutsiniemi

Target group: only masters level students

Urban Studies & Planning as a specific minor will be opened for applications for the academic year 2017-2018. The minor will be organized in cooperation with the Urban Studies & Planning Programme of the University of Helsinki. Students selected to the minor will study together with the students in the programme during the autumn semester, reaching 25 credits.

The minor studies in Urban Studies & Planning prepare students to understand and address complex urban development challenges. The program balances theoretical and conceptual knowledge with the acquisition of methods, skills and experiences. Thus, students gain a general understanding of urban phenomena as well as practical experiences in collaborative and concrete situations. This is the basis both of the structure of the programme and of elements in the curriculum.

Application procedure: Based on motivation letter that meets the demands of Urban Studies & Planning programme admission guidelines. Application may be supported by portfolio. https://www.helsinki.fi/en/studying/masters-programme-in-urban-studies-and-planning-application-form-questions

Include in your application:

  1. certificate of bachelor's degree
  2. motivation letter containing at least following information
    1. What are your motives to apply for these Minor studies? (1000 characters)
    2. How do your previous studies enable you to succeed in the studies? (500)
    3. How do the studies complement and broaden your previous knowledge? (500)
    4. How studying this minor relates to your career objectives and what you wish to achieve? (500)
    5. Outline your academic interests in the chosen field (1000)
    6. Other relevant issues (1000)
  3. portfolio (optional)

Selection criteria: The acceptance for minor studies is based on the academic assessment. The evaluation process is competitive and the number of available study places is limited. The used criteria is as follows:

  1. The applicability of the previous degree, i.e. bachelor’s degree
  2. The amount of relevant studies
  3. The academic performance of the applicant
  4. The quality of the application as a whole, including the portfolio
  5. The motivation and commitment of the applicant on the basis of a motivation letter.

The evaluation and selection is done by Urban Studies & Planning programme board.

Quotas and restrictions: max 20 available places.

Prerequisites: Please see application procedure and quotas and restrictions.

Content and structure of the minor

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the minor in Urban Studies & Planning, the students will be able to:

  • Understand theories and identify concepts and empirical research methods relevant to urban studies and planning from the related fields of social sciences, humanities, ecology, engineering, architecture, design and art
  • Gather, process and develop relevant conclusions based on information from multiple sources
  • Produce, collect and analyse cases and data relevant to urban phenomena
  • Use basic digital and visual tools to collect, analyse and share data
  • Develop creative responses to urban problems using relevant tools and techniques for representing, modelling, prototyping, testing and evaluating solutions
  • Communicate their understanding of and responses to urban phenomena visually, graphically, orally and in writing
  • Apply and develop skills for co-production of knowledge and co-design
  • Work productively and cooperatively in multidisciplinary, multiprofessional and international environments

Structure of the minor

Code Name Credits
The minor studies consist of the courses organized during the autumn semester by the programme of Urban Studies & Planning. These include:
 ARK-E5100 Introduction to urban Studies and planning 10
 ARK-E5101 Urban Challenge Studio I 10
and either of the following courses
ARK-E5103 Urban GIS and visual tools 5
ARK-E5104 Research Methods 5

Additionally, students can choose the following courses as part of their electives, Personal Study Plan (HOPS) requirements or their major studies (if applicable):

ARK-E5102 Urban Challenge Studio II 10
USP-E0321 Urban sociology 5
USP-E0322 Urban and planning history 5
MUO-E0008 Designing for urban governance and services 5
USP-E0316 Transnational spaces of planning and politics 5
ARK-L5000 Planning Theory and Urban Studies 5 + 5
REC-E1040 Urban economics for real estate 5
MUO-E0009 Urban transitions and futures 5
USP-E0903 Urban ecosystems ecology 5
USP-E0361 Complex adaptive systems 5
USP-E0362 Green urban systems 5
USP-E0363 Digital urban 5

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