The Department of Architecture of KULeuven has a long tradition in urban design on the international scene that comes together in a double educational program addressing world urbanisms:
The internationally-oriented Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning (MaUSP) is a 4-semester academic degree that aims to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary conditions of cities and urban regions. Its objective is to develop innovative concepts and strategies for qualitative interventions in urban areas through design, planning and policies.
The MaUSP programme is part of the European Masters of Urbanism (EMU) and students have the option to attend one or two semesters abroad at one of the partner universities - UPC Barcelona, TU Delft or IUAV Venezia - in order to obtain the additional European Postgraduate Certificate of Urbanism
The Master of Human Settlements (MaHS) is a 2-semester degree (a revised version of the long standing ICP programme) that is completed in one year. It addresses issues related to rapid urbanisation in the developing world and contemporary urban transformation within the scope of sustainable development. In addition to the compulsory courses, the programme is completed by specialisation in one of the three majors offered: Architecture and Urban Studies, Rational Design and Construction, and Urbanism and Strategic Planning.
In both programmes the main core consists of a design studio, supported by compulsory courses, optional courses and study-trips. Two full days are spent in the studio every week, working on a particular project during a full semester. The first two semesters run in parallel for both programmes, addressing the theme of Urban Tissue in the first semester and the subject of Urban Region in the second. This implies that two different studios are organised; one on a European site, the other in a non-European context, and students can choose between either of them. MaHS students can also opt for a research thesis in the second semester.
The MaUSP programme finishes with a Final project. Students who have successfully completed the Master of Human Settlements can enroll directly in the third semester of the MaUSP programme, on condition that the student has shown a strong orientation towards design and planning issues during his or her first year.