Study Abroad
Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses

International Cooperation and Urban Development
University of Darmstadt


Address El-Lissitzky Strasse 1
D-64287 Darmstadt
Tel. No. +49 (0) 6151 163637 (mornings)
Fax No. +49 (0) 6151 163937
E-mail address
Course titles International Cooperation and Urban Development
Type of course Full-time:
Advanced Master course (MSc)
Doctorate (Dr.-Ing.)
Postgraduate Diploma
Length of course MSc: 2 years (one year presence required in Germany)
PhD: min. 1 additional year (no permanent presence required)
Diploma: 9 months intensive
Date of commencement 20. October 2006 / Applications by 1st of September 2006
Class size 15 - 25
Cost/Fees 5000 Euros for 1 year (diploma)
900 Euros in addition for 2nd year (supervision of MSc Thesis)
Accommodation Limited no. of accommodation available in student hostels
Student grants / financial assistance No grants provided (but possibilities with external agencies)
Top recruiters of our graduates International and Bilateral Aid Agencies,
Universities with own Master programs,
Consultancy companies
Admissions requirements 1. Successfully concluded university study with minimum 5 years duration (exceptions possible)
2. Professional experience
3. Proficiency in English language (TOEFL or UNIcert® III – not required for native English speakers or previous diploma in an English taught university course)
Contact for application PAR Fachbereich Architektur
Course director Prof. Dr. Kosta Mathéy
Student profile 1.Countries of origin:
Emerging economies (60%) Industrialized economies (40%)
2. Ratio Men/ Women: 50/50
3. Age Range: 25-45
4. Average Age: 33
5. Average Work Experience: 2+ years


About the Programme

1. Objective

Universal population growth, economic polarization and globalization lead most nations to a rapid urbanizing world. The velocity of this process has never been experienced in history before. Conventional wisdom of urban planning was based on other pre-conditions; this is why the professions concerned with urban development planning are faced with a constant redefinition of tasks and paradigms. Day-to-day experience of city formation outpaces the traditional formulation of reliable rules and theories. Also the retrospective appraisal of so called ‘best practices’ provide little more than a shaky patchwork of progressive urban planning wisdom to orientate urban experts and academics today. For professionals the challenge lies in accumulating both a profound understanding of global urban development processes and adequate practical skills to make cities work on the basis of a forward looking vision for future human conviviality.

Urban planning as it tends to be taught by the established University curricula does not provide realistic answers to the problems resulting from current globalization and contemporary urban dynamics. The new and specializing postgraduate courses at Darmstadt University have been designed for preparing the participants to meet the challenges resulting from proceeding globalization and to comply with the need for participatory governance, poverty reduction and interdisciplinary networking. Its particular – but not exclusive – specialisation on International Cooperation is a novelty that distinguishes it from other courses in urban planning and management. It is of interest for all professions with a stake in urban development planning – particularly in countries of the South - and represents an innovative approach by being organized in a series of intensive course over the first year. The second year is composed by an international exchange semester or internship to complement the student’s previous professional experience, a field study and the preparation of the master’s thesis; tuition language is English. The course is flexible enough to incorporate newly arising demands and up-to-date professional debates through its modular structure and an internationally composed faculty relying on the best experts and academics in the field coming from the most renowned institutions worldwide.

Applicants for this mid-career course will typically hold a first university degree urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography or similar subjects and have previously worked in the context of urban development and/or internationally funded projects. The successful participants of this course will be awarded an internationally acknowledged MSc diploma, be familiar with newest theory and practice in the design and management of complex urban development tasks, ready to take over leadership positions in concerned agencies or to teach at Master level university courses themselves. The composition of staff and students of the course - coming from a variety of different countries - and the exchange term in a third country helps the participants to build up a wide expert network which is indispensable particularly in international-cooperation projects and other planning tasks under the conditions of Globalization today. The Master diploma will not only provide the formal qualification for further PhD studies in Germany and the rest of Europe, but the curriculum also includes central elements to accelerate a subsequent PhD study if so intended.

2. Curriculum

The curriculum was developed in close consultation with urban managers, development consultants, project and policy staff from international cooperation agencies including GTZ, KfW and others. The course has been accredited by ACQUIN on behalf of the German government and is being recommended by the Habitat International Coalition (HIC) – the global representation of non-governmental organizations for housing provision. Main topics of tuition include:

  • Urban Development Strategies (strategic & micro planning, responding to globalization pressures, urban governance, regional planning)
  • Urban management (decentralization, participatory budgeting, land management, programme and project funding)
  • Physical planning (urban design, participatory practice, cultural heritage development)
  • Urban technologies (sanitation, mobility, healthy cities, disaster mitigation)
  • Social development planning (millennium goals and poverty reduction, conflict management & violence prevention, gender issues, migration and urban social segregation)
  • Urban ecology (urban footprints, energy conservation, micro climatic regulation, urban farming, environmental impact assessment)
  • Housing policies (tenure and afford ability, neighborhood upgrading, large housing estates)
  • International cooperation skills (project planning, costing and evaluation methods, donor institutions, promotion training, project tenders)
  • Urban projects funding and finance (cost calculation, financing models, micro credits, funding agencies)
  • Academic skills (research methods, surveying, tuition & marketing didactics)
  • Free elective choices from within all university faculties.


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