Master's Programme in Managing Spatial Change


Master of Science (Technology).
More information.


120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Technology and Engineering


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.

Tuition fee:


Language of Instruction:

More information.

Organising school/s:

School of Engineering

Organising department/s:

Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Our millennium is known as the ‘Urban Millennium’, as over half of the world population now live in cities. Urbanization is accelerating with a continuously increasing speed. In the developing countries there is a huge need of skilled planners capable of facing the challenges of metropolitan development, such as congestion, pollution, segregation, gentrification, urban poverty, infrastructure overload and public safety. In the developed countries, too, the problems of urban development concern more and more the level of urban system interaction, while the role of urban regions as hubs of economic growth and livelihood is emphasized.

The challenges of urban complexity can no longer be met by trying solve the problems of land use, transportation, service delivery and urban market development separately, but by developing planning instruments and strategies for managing them in coordination. This is the focus of the multidisciplinary Master’s programme of Managing Spatial Change.

Students acquire expertise in integrating the fields of land economy and urban engineering with a strategic spatial planning perspective. The core learning element in the programme is the Shared project, a form of problem-based learning that tackles complex real life urban planning issues. Other courses focus on theory, practical tools and techniques and the strategic skills needed to respond to contemporary spatial challenges.

The programme has two alternative majors:

•    Managing Spatial Change, Land Economy concentrates on the role and use of land, real estate and environment within an economy. In particular, it applies the disciplines of Real Estate Economics, Land Law, GIS and Planning for analysing the management of land use, urban areas and interactions with other environmental resources.

•    Managing Spatial Change, Urban Engineering concentrates on urban infrastructure and its role within planning and development. It applies disciplines relating to Civil and Environmental Engineering for the analysis and planning of urban areas. In particular, these include Transportation System Planning, Environmental Engineering and Policy.

Please, see the programme courses in student portal Into.

Evaluation criteria

In the academic evaluation candidates' academic qualifications are assessed. Admission to the programme is granted on a competitive basis. The candidates are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Previous degree
  • Applicability of prior studies (coursework related to the programme)
  • Prior academic study performance
  • Commitment and motivation to the programme

The suitability of previous academic studies with relation to the programme applied is evaluated. The aim is to select students whose academic background is suitable for starting the Master's programme in Managing Spatial Change with minimum amount of supplementary studies.

The main prerequisite for the Land Economy study track is a Bachelor's degree with emphasis on Real Estate studies, such as Land Management, Real Estate Development and Planning or Land Law, for example a Bachelor's degree in Land Administration, Land Use Planning, Landscape Architecture, Real Estate Economics, Surveying or Geography or other relevant field.

The main prerequisite for the Urban Engineering study track is a Bachelor's degree with emphasis on Transportation Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or other relevant field.

The academic study performance is evaluated based on the candidates' cumulative GPA in the degree based on which the candidate is applying. Additionally study success in the key subjects and/or BSc thesis related to the programme is taken into account.

The candidates will be ranked based on the academic evaluation criteria and listed in order for selection.

Complementary studies

The university may require an admitted student to pursue supplementary studies (max. 60 credits) to gain the knowledge and skills required for the master’s programme studies. The supplementary studies provide the student with the prerequisite knowledge for the master’s programme and are not counted towards the degree of Master of Science (Technology). The contents of the supplementary studies are defined for each student no later than at the start of his/her studies.

Required application documents

The applicants for master's programmes should fill in an application form on the Aalto University online application system ( The application form is available only during the application period. Before filling in the online application form or submitting any documents, please read the admission requirements and instructions carefully.

Applicants use the online application system to follow the status of their application and see the arrival of their documents. The online system is used throughout the whole application process. Also the final admission results will be published via the online application system. Aalto University does not charge application fees.

Please, see information about the application documents and the delivery at:

Contact information

Academic contacts:

Head of the Programme:
Prof. Raine Mäntysalo (Urban and Regional Planning)
raine.mantysalo [at] aalto [dot] fi

Urban Engineering
Prof. Tapio Luttinen
tapio.luttinen [at] aalto [dot] fi

Land Economy
Prof. Kauko Viitanen
kauko.viitanen [at] aalto [dot] fi

Administrative contact:

Ms Saara Sokolnicki
saara.sokolnicki [at] aalto [dot] fi

General questions about applying: admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi

Page content by: verkkotoimitus [at] aalto [dot] fi | Last updated: 28.09.2014.