Master's Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering


Master of Science (Technology).
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120 ECTS

Field of Study:

Technology and Engineering


2 years, full-time


An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.

Tuition fees & scholarships:

Yes, for non-EU citizens.
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Language of Instruction:

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Organising school/s:

School of Engineering

Organising department/s:

Department of Built Environment

Application period:

2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24

Further information:

Programme flyer (pdf)


Cities are becoming increasingly dynamic, complex and fragmented, while demands increase for their liveability, sustainability, competitiveness and attractiveness.

New demands for cities require new skills in systemic understanding, problem-solving and integrative planning and policy-making beyond sectorial boundaries.

The Master’s Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering focuses on the future challenges of sustainable built environments and tackles topical global megatrends, such as urbanisation and the need for greener cities. The defining characteristic of the programme is its emphasis on a wide range of perspectives, from people’s daily lives and mobility to the kind of large-scale strategic and systemic thinking that is necessary for shaping the built environment.

Study programme

As a student, you will gain the skills you need to work for smarter and more liveable cities and to respond to emerging challenges brought on by constantly changing built environments and technologies. In addition to a strong theoretical basis, you will acquire insight into current research themes and the capabilities to apply a variety of planning and analysis tools to current issues related to land use and transportation.

Through interactive learning methods, you will gain hands-on experience in a range of urban themes and methodologies. Engaged in studio courses, you will learn systemic thinking, creative problem-solving, ethical reflectivity, as well as tools for participatory processes and communication skills in various forums and through various media. Moreover, you will be challenged to critically interpret and process knowledge from multiple sources and implement this knowledge into a variety of complex urban processes.

Degree structure




Common studies (40 credits) consist of seven compulsory courses that form the foundation of your spatial planning and transportation engineering studies. From there, you build your individual profile of expertise through advanced and elective studies. Advanced studies (20 credits) include seven courses. The contents of your elective studies (30 credits) are up to you, though guidance and support are available.

Master’s thesis

The master’s thesis (30 credits) is a piece of applied research conducted independently by the student. Its key goal is to solve a problem relevant to the field of study, based on existing scientific knowledge and in compliance with the principles of responsible conduct of research. Master’s theses are written on topics related to the advanced studies of the programme, agreed upon between the student and the supervising professor. A master’s thesis may be, for example, a research and development project carried out for an industrial partner outside the university, or it can be connected with an ongoing research project of the department. Completing a master’s thesis usually takes six months of full-time work. 

Career prospects

As a graduate of this programme, you will become an enabler of a sustainable future for cities. In addition, you will be able to improve the quality of life for people in a variety of scales, now and in the long term. Our graduates can specialise in different professional roles of their choosing, including urban, regional and/or transportation planner, developer, analyst, policy-maker, traffic engineer, transportation modeller, intelligent transport systems engineer, manager and researcher.

Postgraduate study opportunities

You can continue your studies within the Doctoral Programme in Engineering to further specialise in the fields covered in our programme. Doctoral students work in the research teams of our professors and engage in international PhD workshops and conferences, thus benefiting from the broad support of their peers and supervisors.

Student selection

Aalto University's student selection process is competitive and paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check (administrative evaluation) conducted by Aalto University Admissions Services proceed to the school's programme-specific academic evaluation. The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation:

  • University or Higher Education Institution
  • Degree and relevance of studies
  • Academic study performance
  • Motivation and commitment to the programme (Motivation letter)

Your study background can be in urban and land use planning or transportation engineering, but also a variety of studies in other fields related to planning and transportation engineering could prepare you for the programme. These studies can include, for example, architecture, geoinformatics, environmental studies, social studies, economics and geography.

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process: admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi

For enquiries regarding the content of the programme and studies: masters-eng [at] aalto [dot] fi

Programme director: Professor Marketta Kyttä

Page content by: | Last updated: 20.12.2017.