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Internationally, cities and business pose a significant challenge to sustainable development, both environmentally, socially and economically. In the future, up to 70-80% of the world population will live in cities, and thus it is important to handle the challenges they pose. It is significant that planning is done across sectors and professions likeenergy, water, waste, urban planning, etc. Thus, it is necessary to be able to think across sectors, analyse consequences in multiple areas and include stakeholder such as citizens, companies and environmental organisations.
The Master Programme In Sustainable Cities at Aalborg University Copenhagen will cover issues of engineering such as waste, energy, water resources and transport, as well as political science, green growth and different forms of impact assessment. The graduates from this Master of Science will be educated in being capable of creating the framework for the Sustainable Cities of the future, where economic, social and environmental purposes are integrated in new ways.
The degree offered is Master of Science in Engineering (Sustainable Cities). The courses and the project work are carried out in English. Therefore, the programme is open to Danish as well as international students with a relevant Bachelor of Science degree in engineering or equivalent.
It is a priority for us that you have the opportunity to work with external partners, for instance in your semester projects, which can be carried out in cooperation with authorities, companies, NGOs, etc. This way you get to work on real life problems, preparing you for your professional carreer.
Theme: The role of organisations and business in sustainable cities
Each project group chooses a topic for its semester report within the theme of the semester. The topic can be primarily theoretical or empirical and usually takes its point of departure in a specific policy, organisation, or an environmental problem.
Courses at the 1st semester
* Tools and approaches to sustainable cities (5 ECTS) The course is focussed on providing you with specific tools to further sustainable development in the cities and the ability to critically reflect on these. Topics may include: Lifecycle assessment, carbon and environmental footprinting, corporate social responsibility and input-output analysis.
* Challenges and planning for sustainable cities (5 ECTS) The course aims to provide a basic shared understanding of the challenges that face cities today in terms of sustainability. The topics may include: resources, climate change, growth, demography, biodiversity, environmental problems and health.
* Theories of Science and Research Designs (5 ECTS) The course gives you an understanding of the different theories of science, and how they are connected to choice of research design. It will make you capable of assessing and communicating choice of and background for research design.
Theme: Sustainable cities in an institutional and societal perspective
Each project group chooses a topic for its semester report within the theme of the semester. The topic can be primarily theoretical or empirical and usually takes its point of departure in a specific policy, institution, or an environmental problem.
Courses at 2nd semester
* Politics, planning and governance (5 ECTS) The course is focused on power, politics and policy as well as stakeholders, institutions and discourses in relation to decision-making processes. The lectures will be based on current research and aim for critical reflections on planning and decision-making processes.
* Structures and systems of the city (5 ECTS) The course aims at looking closer at some of the systems that make up a city and how we can work with these in a sustainable way. The topics may include: Transport, waste, water and energy.
* Economic, social and environmental assessment (5 ECTS) The course is focussed on assessing the sustainability of different solutions for handling the challenges in cities. The topics may include: Feasibility studies, risk assessment, future studies, EIA and SIA.
Internship, study abroad or prolonged project period
This semester will provide the student with the option of applying the theoretical and methodological knowledge gained during the 1st and 2nd semesters into practice in real life situations in Denmark or abroad. This could take form as an internship within for example a private consultancy firm, a public authority or a private NGO. The choice of internship is made on the basis of your interests. During the internship, you participate in the activities of an organisation and collect information for the project report. The project report is expected to have both a theoretical and empirical part relating to the actual experience of the internship.
An alternative option is to enrol at another (Danish or foreign) university in order to undertake a semester's study there.
Finally there is an option for adding the 3rd and the 4th semester into a 'prolonged project', if for instance the research question demands more time and energy for collecting data or conducting field studies.
Masters Thesis preparation
In the final semester the main focus is on the writing of the Master's Thesis. Students work individually or in small groups, under the guidance of supervisory staff. The Master's thesis, being the highest level of work undertaken, should aim at synthesising theories and methods in order to perform a potential solution for real life environmental planning and management problems.