Nordic Urban Planning - master

Duration: 2 Years

Photo: Edvard
Photo: Edvard

Nordic Urban Planning - master

Duration: 2 Years

Tromsø, Roskilde, Other, Malmø
Application deadline
March 1.
How to apply?

What is a city and who are the key actors in urban development? How do cultural, political and economic conditions define urban life? How can we develop innovative, collaborative and sustainable approaches to urban challenges and possibilities?

Please note that all applications must be sent to Roskilde University only, due to the fact that this is a joint programme. For more information regarding application, click "apply" in the right margin.

Questions about the study

Rune Karlsen
Karlsen, Rune


ISS, Torill Nyseth
Torill Nyseth


Arild Buanes

associate professor

Nordic urban planning has recently become the focus of intensified interest from urbanists worldwide who are seeking to learn from innovative approaches to sustainability, liveability, mobility, ‘smart’ cities, empowerment, welfare and more.

This programme provides a unique opportunity to study such approaches to planning cities and urban life in a global context with leading researchers from the universities of Roskilde (Denmark), Malmö (Sweden) and Tromsø (The Arctic University of Norway).

By moving between three universities and countries, you will develop international and interdisciplinary perspectives on urban planning and development. You will also become skilled at working collaboratively and imaginatively with diverse communities, organisations, companies and municipalities.

Through conducting your own research in groups and individually, you will become experienced in qualitative and creative methods as well as techniques of spatial visualisation and geographical information systems. You will further gain first-hand insights into planning problems and potential solutions.

The Master’s programme in Nordic Urban Planning Studies provides the student with the following learning outcomes:


The students will have:

  • research-based knowledge and critical insight into how economic, political and cultural processes create in practice the conditions and the framework conditions for planning and urban development, including knowledge of the economics and profitability of specific urban development projects.
  • knowledge and understanding of business models, profitability, investment basis and the preparation of tender documents.
  • knowledge of strategic planning and urban planning strategies in a local, national and global field of tension.
  • knowledge and understanding of intercultural planning, everyday life and cultural diversity as the basic conditions of globalised cities and planning challenges.
  • knowledge of the practical application of geographic information systems (GIS), mapping and visualisation, as well as knowledge of the use of various quantitative and qualitative methodological tools for analysis.
  • knowledge of citizen involvement, network management and participatory planning processes.
  • knowledge and understanding of project management, innovation and negotiation in complex urban management networks.
  • knowledge of Nordic planning traditions and of the challenges, opportunities and constraints of welfare planning.


The students will have capacity to:

  • apply for relevant theories and methods from a critical perspective, and the ability to translate knowledge into action, advice and innovation in relation to challenges in planning and urban development in an international perspective.
  • critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of relevant theories and methods, as well as the ability to apply them in practice in analyses of specific urban problems in a local and global perspective.
  • analyse urban issues from the point of view of multiple players and intercultural perspectives, and to propose comprehensive solutions and business models in urban development and planning.
  • carry out economic, political, social and inter-cultural analyses of urban issues and synthesise these into an overall analysis, including financial cost-effectiveness analyses of specific planning and urban development projects.
  • clearly communicate analyses and conclusions to different target groups, and a learned ability to engage in dialogue with relevant stakeholders within the area of urban planning and development.
  • independently and creatively identify, formulate and analyse the city as a spatial field, and on this basis propose strategies for action.
  • collaborate in, leade and manage delimited projects dealing with urban issues and urban renewal.


The students will be able to:

  • collaborate to produce new value-adding ideas and solutions to complex urban problems.
  • enter into negotiations-oriented urban development networks and processes, and to coordinate and implement urban development and planning strategies on the basis of a holistic understanding of the city’s challenges.
  • manage and implement development projects and conclude agreements with key players.
  • enter into interdisciplinary project cooperation and build bridges between many different disciplines within urban planning and development, including the ability to create interplay between design-related, technical, economic and broader social science knowledge.
  • turn business-related, technical and methodological skills into innovative and alternative approaches to urban development and planning issues.
  • have intercultural understanding and the competencies to navigate in global urban development networks.
  • identify, understand and engage relevant players in international urban development projects.

Nordic Urban Planning qualifies you for a wide range of job opportunities. Graduates will be attractive for businesses, public authorities and organisations working nationally and internationally with cities, regions and urban life, including as:

• Project leaders and entrepreneurs in urban consultancies

• Managers, facilitators and coordinators of city development in international planning, design and consultancy companies

• Urban planners and social innovators for international organizations and NGOs

• Urban planners for local, regional and national public authorities and municipalities

• Advisory positions in public and private sector working to build urban futures

• Research positions, including within universities (providing a strong basis for PhD studies).

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
Semester 1 (Roskilde)
Critical Urban Studies (5 ECTS)
Planning, Welfare and business models in the Entrepreneurial City (5 ECTS)
Approaches to Urban Planning (5 ECTS)
Project Work within urban planning in a welfare context (15 ECTS)
Semester 2 (Malmø)
Catching Urbanity (15 ECTS)
Making Urban Studies (Project) (15 ECTS)
Semester 2 (Roskilde)
Geographical Information Systems (5 ECTS)
Methods in Community Planning (5 ECTS)
Cities, Culture and Politics (Cosmopolitan Urbanism) (5 ECTS)
Project Work on Mobilities and Globalizing Cities (15 ECTS) or Project oriented Internship (15 ECTS)
Semester 3 (Tromsø)
Arctic Cities Field Course (20 ECTS)
Culture, Politics and Planning (10 ECTS)
Semester 3 (Roskilde)
Project: Planning in Practice (30 ECTS) or Project-oriented internship (30 ECTS)
Master Thesis in Nordic Urban Planning Studies (Roskilde, Malmø or Tromsø) (30 ECTS)

Since this is a joint master's programme, your bachelor's degree needs to be approved by all participating universities according to the admission requirements in each country. Note that the application to the programme is submitted to Roskilde University only.
Academic requirements:
Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of both UiT and Roskilde University.

Students must document at least a bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS), or an equivalent qualification. For students with a Danish bachelor's degree, the curriculum contains a list of the qualifying bachelor programmes.

Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand: An average grade C as a minimum requirement.

Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in countries other than the above mentioned region/countries: An average grade B as a minimum requirement.

Teaching may take the form of lectures, classes, case work, workshops, etc. The students are expected to spend 40 hours per week on their studies, including preparation for lectures and seminars, work on papers and other assignments.

More information about the teaching and examination can be found in the description of each individual course.