Urban Studies

header urban studies

As events and transformations of the recent decades have forcefully shown, the urban question permeates all major social, economic, and political developments of today. The Estonian Academy of Arts’ interdisciplinary Master’s programme in Urban Studies critically engages with the wide-ranging manifestation of contemporary urbanity, integrating knowledge from urban studies, urbanism and urban planning, architecture theory, sociology, urban ethnography and geography.

The two-year Master’s programme in Urban Studies combines rigorous academic research with intensive fieldwork. The programme is situated at the trans-disciplinary crossroad of urban studies, urbanism and urban planning, architecture theory, sociology and urban ethnography. Our students have previous academic background in architecture and/or humanities. Integrating critical interrogation and experimental practice, the programme has a triple focus on social uses, spatial programmes and urban forms.

The form of assignments includes term-long research studios, intensive workshops, lectures, seminars, and field trips. The distinctive mark of the Master in Urban Studies is its reliance on theoretically informed action in the field. We take students’ effort seriously: the programme engages ‘real’ actors and create opportunities for public presentation, discussion and publishing of best works.

The Master’s programme is fully in English and has a strong international orientation. We cooperate with a network of partner institutions in Europe and we are connected to regional partners in Finland, Baltic countries and Russia. The curriculum includes a number of workshops and lecture courses by international scholars and practitioners. Students also participate in hosting an annual international conference in Tallinn called Urban and Landscape Days.

The education prepares students to engage with urban issues at the intersection between design practice, political practice and theoretical knowledge (urban design, urban and spatial planning, state and municipal policy making, public expertise, community advocacy, social activism, academic and practice-based research). Our graduates work in public administrations, urbanism-focused NGOs, architecture design offices, private consultancies and advocacy organisations. The programme also prepares graduates for further study at the PhD level.

Tuition: Free

Download the Full Programme Booklet

Download the Full Programme Booklet

Download the Urban Studies Leaflet

Download the Urban Studies Leaflet


  • Application (submitted through Dream Apply by May 1st)
  • 50€ application fee (paid via bank transfer)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Official transcript of records (translated into Estonian, English or Russian and notarised)
  • Proof of English proficiency: FCE or CAE, IELTS 5.5+ or TOEFL 70+
  • Copy of the data page of your passport or ID card
  • CV
  • Writing or design portfolio
  • Motivational letter
  • Interview

Click here to view the full programme website.