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Master of Human Settlements

University of Leuven
Department of Architecture
Architecture & Design

Space is an increasingly limited resource. The Master of Human Settlements provides insights into the challenges and opportunities of worldwide settlements in an era of rapid change. The intensive program seeks to expose the multi-faceted challenge of contemporary human settlements, from multi-disciplinary and multi-scalar perspectives. It develops a critical and interpretative approach towards developing their own position within the field.


The Master of Human Settlements addresses rapid urbanisation in the developing world and contemporary urban transformations. Architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture and spatial planning are the core disciplines underpinning the program. Contributions from economics, geography and anthropology, among others, complement the core, to better understand the interplay of human and natural ecosystems. The program thrives from its truly international body of students and the faculty’s long-standing research expertise in worldwide contexts.


The discipline of human settlements encompasses aspects of architecture, urban design and spatial planning and deals with the problems of the built environment in the context of dynamic change. It approaches the built environment from a perspective of sustainable development and emphasizes in that respect the resourcefulness of space. Historically, the discipline of human settlements mainly focuses on developing countries.



The entire curriculum can be found on the website:



The MaHS programme is supported by a number of partners across the globe.

Every year, partner co-production reinforces the unique and distinctive trait of the programmes, namely that of an integrated approach to urban development that finds its best expression in the design studio where real-world problems are tackled. These intensive and shared design experiences are jointly organized on site as a way to balance fundamental and applied knowledge and scientific distance and engagement within a research-oriented approach. In addition, the programmes have developed a number of synergies with the associated research groups of the program (OSA, P&D and L/A/P) and their post-doc and PhD students.

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Admission Requirements

Applications must be submitted via the online application tool:


The programme is addressed to international graduates, young professionals, designers, and researchers who wish to link research and design expertise in the context of the extended urbanisation of territories.


Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file:
– Master of Architecture (obtained outside the Flemish Community)
– Master of Engineering: Architecture
– Bachelor of Architecture (after 5 years of study)


Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file and additional intake:
– Master in Landscape Architecture
– Master in Spatial Planning
– Master in Urban Planning / Design
– Master in another relevant discipline provided the candidate has additional proven professional experience in human settlements (with a minimum of 4 years, normally 5 years of study)

– A letter of motivation and, if possible, a portfolio clearly demonstrating the applicant’s sound professional intentions and relevant experience
– TOEFL (Computer-based test 213 pt., Internet-based test 79 – 80 pt., Paper-based test 550 pt.) or IELTS (6.5 – 7 pt.)


Admission is given by the programme director.


Deadline for non-EEA students is 1st of March. Deadline for EEA students is 1st of June.


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General information
12 months
Prof. Dr. Kelly Shannon
6600 EUR
Kasteelpark Arenberg 1 - 3001 Heverlee
Type of Master
Master of Sciences (MS / MSc) or equivalent
Campus Location
The information of this Master's Degree was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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