Master of Advanced Studies in Urban Design (MAS ETH UD)

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH of Zurich. Zurich, Switzerland






1 year

12 months


15.000 CHF

13.560 EUR


The MAS Programmes aim to give greater depth or interdisciplinary breadth to an original academic qualification or may lead to a change of profession. They correspond to at least 60 ECTS credits, require a Master’s thesis or project work and generally last between one year full-time and two years part-time.



The MAS ETH in Urban Design (MAS ETH UD) is structured around an investigation of transforming urban conditions as they pertain to global phenomena, and the development of practical tools for operating within such domains.

Worldwide tendencies toward processes of urbanisation demand research methods which promote both critically comparative analysis and the capacity to develop constructive approaches to such areas. Case studies addressing such conditions will be taken from both developing and developed countries, with the aim of understanding how to intervene upon and capitalise on processes and patterns of transformation common to both. Emphasis will be placed on the role of urban design as a key discipline in the formation of sustainability built environments.

Each year, the MAS ETH UD will focus on specific topics and sites of urban research on which to intervene in the form of a design research studio.


The topics address the challenges that contemporary urban design has to face, such as informal urban growth, poverty or aging. The sites are preferably territories under development pressure with existing groups of urban actors to engage with.



The programme aims to develop a culture of urban research and design that enables the participant to actively envision future urban scenarios. Secondly, a strong emphasis is put on methodology, process design and communication in order to prepare for the interdisciplinary negotiating agenda of urban designers with an emphasis on academic research.



The MAS ETH UD includes urban research studios, a theory seminar, a seminar on methodology and a documentation phase.


Attendance time in class is 600 contact hours equalling 40% plus 900 hours of individual work equalling 60% for a total of 65 ECTS credits.



University graduates from both Switzerland and abroad or interested individuals with equivalent educational status and experience who have studied and worked in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design or related fields. A strong interest in academic research is advised.

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