Master's Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering
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Find out more about the field of study, the programme and what comes after from our students and alumni.
The Master's Programme in Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering focuses on the future challenges for sustainable built environments, underpinned with such megatrends as urbanisation and climate change.
The programme combines both technical and human-centered approach in land use planning and transportation engineering. We study the field from a wide range of perspectives, from questions of everyday mobility to large-scale strategic and systemic planning.
As a student of this programme, you will gain the skills you need to work for smarter and more liveable cities. You will be ready to face dynamic challenges, an essential ability due to the constantly changing nature of built environments and the emergence of new technologies. In addition to a strong theoretical basis, you will learn a variety of planning and analysis methods, along with corresponding planning and management strategies for shaping land use and transportation systems.
Our interactive teaching methods give you hands-on experience in a range of urban themes and methodologies. The curriculum centered on studio courses allows you to exercise systemic thinking, creative problem-solving, ethical reflectivity, as well as tools for participatory planning and communication skills in various forums and through various media.
Please note, study option’s language of instruction is English!
As a student of the programme, you will gain a broad overview from the fields of land use planning and transportation engineering. In your own personalised study path you can specialise in either field, or obtain a broader expertise integrating both fields.
The programme gives you several competencies in e.g.:
- use integrated land use planning and transport engineering tools for the planning, analysis and evaluation of urban land use and transport, and in a broader strategic spatial planning frame
- understanding ecological, economic, social and technical complexities of urban and regional built environment
- understanding the contested nature of urban politics and urban change
- smart city and intelligent transport system development, including a range of technological aspects
- applying a variety of methods and practices in participatory planning
- mastering theoretical methods and approaches used in spatial and land use planning and transport engineering.
The programme follows a transdisciplinary approach, emphasising team work, communication and negotiation skills, and engagement with the practice world, as well as advanced project management skills.
Structure of studies
The Master's Programme consists of 120 credits (ECTS). 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) may be chosen among seven courses. You are free to choose your elective studies (30 credits), to support you profile, while we can provide you guidance and support. Master's thesis (30 credits) is a piece of applied research you conduct independently.
The structure of our programme is designed so that you are able to study your major studies i.e. common and advanced courses during the firs year. This leaves the second year for elective courses and Master's thesis work. This programme structure also makes it easy for you to take a semester of student exchange during the second year. Alternatively, you can deepen your expertise by taking more of our selection of advanced courses as elective courses or broaden your expertise by choosing courses from Aalto University's other Master's Programmes or from different universities.
The choice of elective studies is entirely yours: the most important thing is that your elective studies complement your major studies and provide you with the expertise that you personally feel important and inspiring for your career.
Read more on the programme pages.
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 programme is planned for full-time studies and preference is give to applicants who are committed to this.
The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation:
- university/higher education institution; recognized for high quality of education and research
- degree and relevance of studies; suit very well or excellent to the study option
- academic performance; need to be mainly very good or excellent
- motivation and commitment to the programme; should be clearly in connection with the study option.
Please note, a motivation letter is a mandatory requirement for this programme!
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.