Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 16 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jan 1, 2025
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:1174 Duration:2 years

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Cities are becoming increasingly dynamic, complex and fragmented while demands for their liveability, sustainability, competitiveness, and attractiveness increase.

This requires new skills in systemic understanding, problem-solving, and integrative planning and policy-making beyond sectorial boundaries.

This programme focuses on future challenges of sustainable built environment, tackling topical global megatrends, such as urbanisation and the need for greener cities. The defining characteristic of the programme is its focus on a wide range of approaches from people’s daily life and mobility to large-scale strategic and systemic thinking necessary for shaping the built environment.

What will you learn?
As a student, you will gain excellent competencies to work for smarter and more liveable cities and to respond to emerging issues of constantly changing built environments and technologies. In addition to a strong theoretical basis, you will acquire insights into current research themes, and capabilities in applying a variety of planning and analysis tools in contemporary tasks of land use and transportation.

Through interactive learning methods, you will gain hands-on experiences on a range of urban themes and methodologies. Engaged in studio courses, you will learn systemic thinking, creative problem-solving, ethical reflectivity, as well as tools for participatory processes and communication skills in various forums and through various media. Moreover, you will be able to critically interpret and process knowledge from multiple sources and implement this knowledge in a variety of complex urban processes.

Common studies (40 cr) include seven courses, which are all compulsory. These studies form the foundation of spatial planning and transportation engineering studies upon which different profiles of expertise can be built through selected advanced and elective studies. The advanced studies (25 cr) include seven courses. The elective studies (25 cr) can be chosen freely, although students are offered guidance. Please, see more about the programme and courses in the student portal Into.

Master’s thesis
The master’s thesis (30 cr) is a piece of applied research that includes not only the written thesis but also the maturity essay and seminar presentation or a corresponding presentation. The key goal of the master’s thesis is solving a problem relevant to the field of study based on existing scientific knowledge in compliance with the principles of responsible conduct of research. The goal is to produce a scientific thesis. The master's thesis shall be written on a topic related to the advanced studies of the degree programme, agreed upon between the student and the supervising professor. A suitable topic can, for instance, be a research and development project carried out for a partner outside the university, or it can be connected to an ongoing research project of the Department. The master’s thesis takes 6 months (fulltime) and it is an individual project.

Student selection

The selection process is paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check of Aalto University Admissions Services (administrative evaluation) proceed to the School's programme specific academic evaluation.

The following academic evaluation criteria applies:

  • Degree and institution of higher education
  • Relevancy of studies
  • Academic performance
  • Motivation Motivation_letter_2017-pdf

Academic evaluation is split into two phases:

  • In the first phase, the applicant’s degree that is used as grounds for the application and the related institution of higher education are evaluated. The applicant’s academic performance is evaluated, while any of the applicant’s other education that is attached to the application may also be evaluated. Criteria used to evaluate academic performance may include the time taken to complete the degree as well as the date of the degree’s completion.
  • In the second phase, the acceptable applicants are ranked. A number of eligible applicants no greater than the allotted quota are admitted based on the academic evaluation. The most important criteria are the applicability of previous studies and academic performance in studies relevant to the study option. The aim is to admit only those applicants who have the required competence to begin studies without any supplementary studies.

Your study background can be in urban and land use planning or transportation engineering, but also a variety of studies in other fields related to planning and transportation engineering could prepare you for the programme. These studies can include, for example, architecture, geoinformatics, environmental studies, social studies, economics and geography.

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