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Become an Urbanist at Sciences Po

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Sciences Po offers a wide range of courses on the City covering a broad variety of disciplines.

The Urbanism Cycle programme is at the crossroads of urban planning, urban studies and urban design, and combines the fundamentals of sociology and public policy. A strong emphasis is placed on the study assignment and on the specialised technical dimensions of housing, transport and urban renewal.

Urbanism studies at Sciences Po. Urbanism is a comprehensive field, which in both its theoretical and practical aspects constitutes a coherent discipline requiring specialised knowledge and techniques. It stems from a variety of disciplines concerned with human settlements, addressing their spatial transformation and contributing to their social, economic and political adaptation. The study of human settlements, considered on different territorial scales and at different levels of development and occupation, is a field which urbanism shares with other disciplines. Urbanism in France often leads to urban design proposals which can often be seen as political issues.

Planner / Urbanist : If the planner in the English-speaking world is above all an agent of social transformation, who studies both the situation on the ground and the projects emerging from civil society, and who is involved in the political arena defending local communities, he very often acts as an intermediary in a situation where spatial considerations constitute only one of the issues under consideration. On the contrary, in France, the urbanist is at the heart of the spatial question, and works in collaboration with elected representatives. An urbanist’s scope for action is not unlimited, being defined by his mandate, in which technical considerations sometimes play an important role. Instead of being in a face-to-face encounter with elected representatives, the urbanist works alongside them, providing them with informed advice about solutions which are very often spatial in nature. The French urbanist has received training in a wide variety of fields, including architecture, engineering, geography, law, political science and economics.

Sciences Po Master in Urbanism graduates are qualified for a wide variety of professions. Their multidisciplinary, practice-based degree course is considered to be midway between a Master in Urban Planning and a Master in Urban Design in the English-speaking world.

Courses at the Sciences Po School of Urbanism, the Cycle d’Urbanisme, are conducted exclusively in French.

The programme

The Master in Urbanism is an intensive 10-month long post-graduate programme open to M1 students. The group is comprised of approximately forty students coming from a wide range of disciplines, who work side by side. As they prepare for their careers, they are all guaranteed to receive a thorough training, recognised by the profession, and in the end, to benefit from the double advantage of the Sciences Po degree itself as well as the support of a network of highly acclaimed alumni and lecturers.