The MSc Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design (IUSD) trains and prepares a new generation of urban practitioners to face the tremendous environmental, cultural, socio-economic, and governance challenges resulting from the dynamic urban transformation around the globe.
It is open to graduates and young professionals from the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and regional planning as well as graduates with other Bachelor's degrees and with relevant professional experience.
Our philosophy is based on a transnational learning exchange between students with different regional backgrounds applied to a specific urban reality.
Students work in interdisciplinary teams on site-specific projects in cooperation with local communities and with different stakeholders, organisations, and institutions locally and internationally.
IUSD students acquire reflective and practical skills to develop integrated and transdisciplinary solutions for planning, managing, and designing landscapes, cities, and buildings.
The MSc IUSD double degree programme is hosted and organised by the two partner universities University of Stuttgart and Ain Shams University, Cairo. For more information, please check the IUSD website.
Educational organisationOur teaching philosophy
The teaching philosophy of the course is to provide students with support and guidance in expanding their individual expertise in the field of "Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design" while at the same time, they learn to work on complex, practice-based case-studies in interdisciplinary teams. The students come from a range of professional backgrounds and are expected to already have a degree and work experience. The programme does not seek to award a professional degree in architecture/urban planning or engineering. It aims to equip the students with the necessary practical and conceptual skills to develop holistic, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and innovative approaches to sustainable urbanism and design - and to apply this knowledge to practical tasks in order to solve complex problems in a collaborative way. To promote critical thinking and the ability to bring together various people with their different ideas and suggestions, students are trained to become "generalists with a speciality", with the ability to link engineering considerations with architectural, environmental, and socio-economic approaches to sustainable shaping and management of man-made environments, navigating the complexities of the field and exploring their interrelationships and mutual dependencies. As the programme progresses, the teaching methods shift from a more theoretical approach and the study of concepts and tools to practical application of the acquired knowledge and tools to the design tasks. The teaching methodology combines the following:
1) Knowledge-based learning
Students will acquire a broad understanding of the various facets of "eco-urbanism", learning to relate environmental knowledge, technical expertise, and socio-cultural awareness (compulsory core modules) and expanding their individual expertise by specialising in aspects of "eco-urbanism" selected according to their varying pre-qualifications and personal learning goals (elective specialisation modules). Once they satisfy the core requirements, students must use their electives to pursue a specific track (specialisation modules). Students are encouraged and given guidance to develop a programme that will strengthen their analytic skills, broaden their intellectual outlook, and test their acquired insight in real-world applications. The programme also strives to nurture intellectual independence, self-reliance, and personal growth.
2) Application-based learning
Students will learn to apply their knowledge to practical tasks of varying complexity in an interdisciplinary hands-on learning environment based on the design approach (integrated research and design studios). In the second semester, they will refine the acquired skills working on small design projects of different scales in small student groups. During the first and second semesters in Germany, the students will reinforce their skills by working in small groups on design projects of different scales and complexities. In the third semester, the whole group is required to work together on a large case-study project based in the MENA region. This project will synthesise what they have learned in their first year and bring together the different specialisations within the group. The application-based learning approach is closely linked to the course's partner institutions and enables the students to develop close relationships with them. Thus, students are encouraged to be an active part of project development and decision-making processes.
3) Learning outcome and prospects/career options
Programme graduates will be equipped to work in international organisations, in national and local governments and urban agencies, non-profit agencies, non-governmental organisations, and planning/design companies. They will also be prepared for academic careers and be well positioned for PhDs and international research projects.
Study abroad unit(s)The MSc IUSD double degree programme is hosted and organised by the two partner universities, University Stuttgart and Ain Shams University, Cairo. The first and second semesters are taught in Stuttgart; Ain Shams University organises the third and fourth semesters in Cairo or in another country in the MENA region. Egypt is the main focus and base in the second year.
Should security concerns pose an obstacle for travelling to Cairo in the third and fourth semesters, students will be offered an alternative study programme for the second year, with equally challenging applied training provided by Ain Shams University and prominent external partners in the development sector. Ain Shams University is thus currently organising for the study programme for the entire second year to be held in Tunis, Tunisia. In any event, the programme focuses on current topics of integrated urbanism and sustainable design within the MENA region, and we can confirm that we are not putting any of our students at risk.
Forms of assessmentEssays, papers, written and oral exams, group work, presentations, integrated research projects, Master's thesis
Course objectivesThe programme does not seek to award a professional degree in architecture/urban planning or engineering. It aims to equip students with the necessary practical and conceptual skills to develop holistic, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and innovative approaches to sustainable urbanism and design - and to apply this knowledge to practical tasks in order to solve complex problems in a collaborative way. To promote critical thinking and the ability to bring together various people with their different ideas and suggestions, students are trained to become generalists with a speciality, with the ability to link engineering considerations with architectural, environmental and socio-economic approaches to sustainable shaping and management of man-made environments, navigating the complexities of the field and exploring their interrelationships and mutual dependencies.
German and Arab specialists will be equipped with conceptual and practical tools to develop holistic (rather than purely technology-oriented) approaches towards sustainable urban planning - combining environmental and social approaches to urban transformation. The programme will provide access to a wide range of advanced expertise in the fields of participatory planning and building, energy-efficient construction, integrated aspects of landscape and infrastructure planning, urban management, and governance. It will thus enable students to combine principles of ecology-oriented science and engineering with a social approach to the design of urban landscapes and buildings as well as to urban and regional planning.
Language requirementsEnglish proficiency: IELTS (general or academic, min. band 6) or TOEFL (min. score 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, 79 Internet-based) obligatory
Academic requirementsApplicants from all over the world with an internationally recognised Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, regional planning, or civil engineering
Professionals with Bachelor's degrees in geography, sociology, environmental management, political science, economics, cultural studies, or Arabic, African, or Islamic studies with relevant professional experience will also be considered, but they should also provide proof of relevant professional experience in fields related to architecture, urban and development planning, or infrastructure design. The Master's programme strongly encourages applications from young professionals working in public institutions, private sector, civil society initiatives, or NGOs all over the world who are interested in IUSD-related topics and who have a high level of interest in knowledge transfer and achieving a social benefit.
Please note: the double degree is only applicable for EPOS scholarship holders (restrictions apply; please check our website).
Enrolment feesApprox. 170 EUR per semester
Costs of livingTo cover living expenses, you will need about 750 EUR per month. This is for rent (approx. 300-350 EUR), health insurance for non-EU residents (approx. 80 EUR), the semester ticket for public transport (190 EUR/six months), food (approx. 200 EUR), other incidental expenses and working materials (approx. 100 EUR).
Job opportunitiesOwing to its location in the heart of one of Europe's largest high-tech regions, there are many opportunities to find employment. Nevertheless, please do not come to Germany expecting to be able to finance your entire studies by working. The study load is very high and it is not always easy to find a part-time job. Non-EU citizens are allowed by law to work for a maximum of 120 full days (240 half days) per year. Students who are employed by the university in one of the institutes or departments ("Studentische Hilfskräfte") are exempt from this regulation, but other restrictions apply. You are not allowed to work during the first year while attending a German language class in preparation for the test of German as a foreign language (TestDaF).
A pick-up service is part of our welcome package. If you wish, you will be contacted before your departure, and if you arrive between 8am and 8pm, you will be met at Stuttgart airport or railway station and taken to your accommodation. Your host partner will also help you to deal with all formalities. This service is free of charge.
Services and support for international students
Cross-Cultural Mentoring Programme
The Office of International Affairs invites international degree students to sign up for the "Cross-Cultural Mentoring Programme". The programme is intended to ease initial challenges at the university as well as to offer study information, counselling services, subject-specific tutorials, courses, and activities during the whole study programme.
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Welcoming Service
The Office of International Affairs offers a buddy programme in order to support you with all formalities at the beginning of your studies. For further information, please visit our website: http://www.ia.uni-stuttgart.de/internat/studierende/services/buddyprogramm/index.en.html
Both campuses in Stuttgart-Vaihingen and in Stuttgart city centre have on-site halls of residence. Dorm rooms (ranging from 240-350 EUR per month) are furnished, some are equipped with a sink, and all have access to kitchen and sanitary facilities, telephone, and Internet. From the campus in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, the city of Stuttgart can be reached by suburban railway within 10 minutes. If you are under 30 years old and want to apply for a room in one of the student dormitories, please contact the student service:
Phone: +49 (0)7 11-9 57 44 70
Fax: +49 (0)7 11-9 57 44 50