Urban Design — Revitalisation of Historic City Districts

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Jun 1, 2024
StudyQA ranking:5761 Duration:2 years

Photos of university / #btucs

The Master's in Urban Design - Revitalisation of Historic City Districts is a postgraduate programme for graduates from architecture, urban design, urban planning, regional planning, and landscape planning who are interested in responding to the urgent needs in urban design for the revitalisation of historic city districts.
The curriculum is project-based and has three main scientific components:
1. Urban Design and Rehabilitation
2. Urban Development
3. Architecture in Historic Context
All components focus on historic city districts. The Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) Cottbus-Senftenberg will offer the Urban Design and Rehabilitation component regularly during the autumn/winter semester. The Cairo University (UC) will offer the Urban Development component regularly during the spring/summer semester. The Alexandria University (UA) will offer the Architecture in Historic Context component regularly during the autumn/winter semester.

Urban Design and Rehabilitation (BTU) - first semester; the main content is:
  • relationship of mass and space
  • elements of the city; building typologies (all day typologies and specific buildings; identity-creating structures)
  • reflection of history
  • different approaches to historic references in urban design
  • design of public space
  • relationship of rules and options/settings and options
  • atmosphere and character
  • accessibility, traffic integration
  • barrier-free standards
  • functional urban requirements (in relation to the whole town)
  • social needs
  • visual and perceptual aspects
  • urban rehabilitation strategies
  • processes of urban rehabilitation
  • introduction to scientific methods and standards of scientific research

Urban Development (UC) - second semester; the main content is urban development as an interdisciplinary process, including:
  • history of urban development, morphological structures
  • strategies/urban management
  • assessment tools for urban structures
  • participation tools
  • integration of traffic and mobility planning
  • sustainability
  • environmental aspects
  • social-economic aspects

Architecture in Historic Context (UA) - third semester; the main content is:
  • design and composition of new architecture in historic context
  • research on historic buildings, including construction methods, original functions, conditions and circumstances of original design and construction
  • assessment tools for historic buildings
  • reuse of historic building materials
  • integration of new functions in historic buildings
  • design of additions and new implementations to / in historic buildings
  • energy efficiency for historic buildings
  • restoration aspects

Master's thesis (BTU/UC/UA) - fourth semester
The task will be elaborated by the students and approved by the supervising professors. The Master's thesis must include a scientific approach, a concept, and a strategy to solve the identified problems. It will be supervised by two professors from two of the partner universities.

For further information, please visit: http://www.b-tu.de/urbandesign-ms.

Educational organisation

First semester (autumn/winter) BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg
Study focus:
Urban Design and Rehabilitation
Project module:
Urban Design and Rehabilitation Project, 12 CP (ECTS credit points), mandatory
Theory, research and reflection modules:
Town and House, 6 CP, mandatory
Landscape Planning and Public Space Design, 6 CP, elective
Experimental Urban Design, 6 CP, elective
Conservation/Building in Existing Fabric, 6 CP, elective
Rehabilitation - Urban Planning (Live, Work and Recreate), 6 CP, elective
Two of the four elective modules must be chosen.

Second semester (spring/summer) Cairo University
Study focus:
Urban Development
Project module:
Urban Development Project, 12 CP, mandatory
Theory, research and reflection modules:
Urban Regeneration, 6 CP, elective
Urban Heritage Management, 6 CP, elective
History of Urban Morphology, 6 CP, elective
Participation in Urban Development, 6 CP, elective
Mobility Planning and Management for Historic Cities, 6 CP, elective
Three of the five elective modules must be chosen.

Third semester (autumn/winter) Alexandria University
Study focus:
Architecture in Historic Context
Project module:
Architecture in Historic Context Project, 12 CP, mandatory
Theory, research and reflection modules:
New Architecture in Historic Context, 6 CP, elective
Adaptive Re-Use of Old Buildings, 6 CP, elective
History and Theories of Historic Building Conservation, 6 CP, elective
New Technologies for Sustainable Building Rehabilitation, 6 CP, elective
Evaluation, Interpretation and Documentation of Historic Buildings, 6 CP, elective
Three of the five elective modules must be chosen.

Fourth semester (spring/summer)
Cairo University/Alexandria University/BTU Cottbus
Master's thesis, 30 CP, mandatory

Each semester comprises 30 CP, and the whole study programme comprises 120 CP.

Study abroad unit(s)

First semester: BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany
Second semester: Cairo University, Egypt
Third semester: Alexandria University, Egypt
Fourth semester (Master's thesis): Cairo University/Alexandria University/BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg


An internship of a minimum of six weeks is mandatory during the study period, but is not accredited in the course of the curriculum. Programme advisers will assist students in finding an appropriate internship.

Forms of assessment

Presentations, oral and written examinations

Course objectives

Graduates of the programme are qualified for professional careers in all institutions involved in design and management processes for historic cities. These include private architecture and urban planning offices, administrations, international agencies, and institutions that conduct relevant programmes.

Language requirements

Good knowledge of the English language: TOEFL (iBT at least 79 points), IELTS (at least 6.0 points), Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) (both minimum grade of B)

Academic requirements

1 - a first qualifying academic degree (at least a Bachelor's degree) in architecture, urban design, urban planning, regional planning, landscape planning, or landscape architecture, and a curriculum vitae
2 - good knowledge of the English language: TOEFL (iBT at least 79 points), IELTS (at least 6.0 points), Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) (both minimum grade of B)
3 - experience in the recognition of relevant urban development problems, defining tasks, methods and strategies for solving these problems, as well as the ability to develop qualified concepts and their logical presentation, which will be reviewed on the basis of submitted project portfolios

Enrolment fees

Students are required to pay an enrolment fee of approx. 259 EUR per semester. This fee includes some services offered by the student services (Studentenwerk Frankfurt/Oder) and the BTU student council. The fee also pays for a semester ticket, which permits free travel on all public transport with VBB in the state of Brandenburg and in Berlin as well as free use of the regional train (RE 18 and 15) to Dresden.

Costs of living

The cost of studying abroad can differ significantly from studying in your home country. We recommend that students budget between 550 to 700 EUR per month for accommodation, health insurance, living expenses, books, etc. Of course, this amount depends entirely on the individual lifestyle.
Monthly costs:
  • rent (incl. utilities): 170-280 EUR
  • groceries: 150 EUR
  • health insurance, medical fees, medication: 80 EUR
  • miscellaneous (clothing, study materials, other activities): 100-200 EUR
Total: 550-750 EUR
You will not need to pay for public transport in Berlin and Brandenburg. The semester ticket for buses and trains operated by VBB is already included in the semester fee.

Job opportunities

There are job opportunities both in town and on campus. Nevertheless, please do not come to Germany expecting to be able to finance your entire studies by working. The study load is high, and it is not always easy to find a part-time job. Non-EU citizens are allowed by law to work for a maximum of 120 days per year. Students who are employed by the university in one of the institutes or departments ("Studentische Hilfskräfte") are exempt from this regulation, but other restrictions apply.

Funding opportunities within the university

There are several scholarships available. For up-to-date information, conditions, and deadlines please check our homepage.

Arrival support

The university's International Relations Office assists foreign students with registration and enrolment procedures at the university upon arrival. It also holds an information session at the beginning of each semester covering administrative procedures and cultural events that are offered throughout each semester. The BTU holds an orientation week each October prior to the beginning of classes. During this week, each faculty offers orientation sessions. New students are provided with detailed programme information as well as academic advice and have the opportunity to meet professors and other students at these orientation sessions. The student organisation, OTIWO, offers cultural events throughout this week. Attendance is highly recommended! The university's tutor group "BTU Buddies" and the student council are there to assist English-speaking students in the international programmes. For example, they will accompany the students when registering for health insurance and with municipal authorities.

Services and support for international students

To ensure that international students feel comfortable on the BTU campuses and around the cities of Cottbus and Senftenberg, the Student Activities Office, run by the International Relations Office, offers services such as cultural events, excursions, job and career advice, home stays with German families, and much more.
For more information, please consult this website. See: https://www.b-tu.de/en/international/incoming-students/during-studies
Furthermore, intensive guidance is provided by professors, lecturers, and programme officers within the study programmes.


Most students live in on-campus student residences. Rooms are mostly either single with a shared kitchen and bathroom or one-room apartments. Prices range from 190 to 270 EUR. More information on accommodation is available at http://www.studentenwerk-frankfurt.de.
Private off-campus accommodation is also available. You can rent your own apartment or share with other students. Private accommodation can be found on the Internet at: https://www.b-tu.de/en/international/incoming-students/arrival.
Similar programs:
Study mode:On campus Languages: German
Local:$ 193 / Year(s) Foreign:$ 193 / Year(s)
StudyQA ranking: 3470