Urban Studies and Planning in Real Estate Economics, Master of Science (Technology)
Language of instruction:
Field of study:
Urbanization is a global force that will determine the future of societies, as most of society's key challenges are met in cities. Cities provide enormous economic, technical and cultural opportunities, but are also stages for social conflict and segregation, as well as environmental and health problems. No discipline or profession can tackle challenges of this magnitude alone - urban development requires collaboration.
To this end, two prominent Finnish universities, Aalto University and University of Helsinki, have joined forces in this unique and interdisciplinary master’s programme. Aalto University admits students to the programme through two channels: for degrees of Master of Science (Architecture) and Master of Science (Technology) for the real estate specialisation. The real estate specialisation is oriented towards applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in e.g. urban geography, planning, urban economics, real estate or economics.
Language of instruction
All teaching is given in English. Exams can also be taken in Finnish or Swedish, and the Master’s thesis can be written in English, Finnish or Swedish.
More information and Aalto University guidelines on the languages of degree and instruction available here.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.
More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.
Structure of studies
The Master of Science (Technology) degree is 120 ECTS credits.
The programme includes
- 64 credits of major studies
- 26 credits of elective studies
- 30 credits of master’s thesis
Half of the major's studies are joint courses of the USP program and half of the major's studies are real estate studies.
More information about the studies can be found on Aalto University's student portal Into.
Studies in the real estate specialisation provide students with skills for analyzing the real estate markets and understanding the dynamic processes that determine supply, demand and prices. Student learn the basic methods used in the valuation of real estate and gain understanding in the business logics of various actors. This specialisation provides professional capabilities relevant to real estate position in both the private and the public sector.
The Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning provides international scope in many ways, taking advantage both of the unique Helsinki context and diverse urban contexts around the world. Each year, new students in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning include both Finnish and international applicants. We look for students whose varied backgrounds, experiences, and education reflect the richness of contemporary society. The teachers of the programme have an international background or experience, and the program builds on their strong international connections in their respective fields. Researchers and invited lecturers from abroad take part in the teaching of the programme. All students have opportunity to study in an international environment and acquaint themselves with different cultures.
Further study opportunities
After completing a degree in the Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning, you can apply for doctoral programmes in Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, and other top international universities.
The programme prepares you to be a professional in a field that is meaningful, growing and in demand. You will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience needed to fill both traditional and emerging roles in real estate markets (such as real estate development, real estate investment, strategic planning, policy and service design). To these established or emerging roles, you will bring an integrated understanding of, and training in applying, more interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to urban development. As a graduate you will be prepared to compete for local and international positions within public, private and non-profit organisations, policy advisory firms, research institutes and NGOs.
Real estate economics analyses the dynamics of real estate markets from the perspectives of e.g. business, planning, technology, value formation and law. The Real Estate Research Group at Aalto University is the only university-level research unit in Finland focusing on the broad area of real estate. You can read more about our research in our website.
Co-operation with other parties
The programme combines the most important fields of urban studies from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University into a progressive and interdisciplinary curriculum. Courses include extensive co-teaching to ensure multiple perspectives on core topics. There are continual exchanges among disciplines and between theory and practice, for example through dynamic ‘learning-by-doing’ pedagogical approaches within urban challenge studios.
Admission requirements 2023
Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria decided in advance for each study option.
The applications to Master’s Programme Urban Studies and Planning in Real Estate Economics (USP in REE) are evaluated based on the following criteria:
What is evaluated: Grades of the previous degree/CGPA
Admission requirements: Grades need to mainly very good or excellent
Evaluated documents: Transcript of records
Relevance of previous studies
What is evaluated: Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements
What we look for in an applicant: Content suit very well or excellent to the study option
Evaluated documents: Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)
Recognition and quality of institution
What is evaluated: Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution
Admission requirements: Recognized for high quality of education and research
Method of demonstrating competence: International and national rankings of higher education institutions
What is evaluated: Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies
What we look for in an applicant: The applicant should be motivated to study and commit to full-time studies with a plan to complete a master’s degree in two years. Motivation should be clearly related to the programme.
In the motivation letter applicant should clearly state the reasons for applying and why she/he would be a good candidate for this programme.
Motivation letter in mandatory. Please see further instructions for the motivation letter below.
Evaluated documents: Motivation letter (mandatory)
To ensure that the students have sufficient skills and knowledge for the Master’s studies, a miminum requirement in student selection is that earlier studies (either bachelor's degree or other studies) include at least basics of economics. Priority will be given to students whose prior studies include courses in real estate, urban studies or urban geography. If completed individual courses or studies on these topics that are not included in the degree that is used as grounds for the application, the certificates should be attached on these studies in the application.
The applied pedagogic approach relies heavily on multi-disciplinary group work, dialogue and co-creation. Thus, students are expected to participate in the teaching sessions and studios, and participation is in many cases obligatory. This characteristic assumes that students in the program commit to full-time studying and active participation. Applicants are encouraged to discuss this also in their motivation letter, and students who present a credible plan for full-time studies are given priority.
Max 1 page
Should be written in English
Examples of questions to consider when writing the motivation letter:
- Why are you applying for this master’s programme?
- What do you expect to gain from studies in this master’s programme?
- How will your previous education, work experience, knowledge and skills support your success in your master’s degree studies?
- Describe your professional goals. How do you think the master’s programme you are applying for would support the development of your professional profile?
- What kind of career are you planning?
- Why do you want to study at Aalto University and in Finland?
If you have already completed another master’s degree in a closely related field or have the right to study for another master’s or doctoral program, explain why you are applying for this master’s degree.
Admission Services of Aalto University
For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services.