Programme structure

This program comprises a core curriculum of 57 credits and an elective of 3 credits
The program is structured around four kinds of activities:
Interdisciplinary theoretical courses (24 credits)
7 compulsory courses of 2 to 4 credits + 1 elective of 3 credits to be chosen from the UCL second cycle program.
Workshops (16 credits)
The idea of “workshop” goes back to the idea of learning seen from an interdisciplinary, integrated perspective. A large part of the workshop is devoted to group work.
Every workshop will run for 15 weeks on one day per week. The Advanced Master’s program has two workshops:

  • Strategic planning (8 credits in the first semester)
  • Operational urban planning (8 credits in the second semester)

The workshops will be prepared and led by a pedagogical team of four or five teachers. A coordinator will be charged with stimulating interaction between the teachers during the preparation to ensure the coherence of the sessions, to organise the participation of the external contributors, and to coordinate the evaluation which will be made of the basis of individual and group work.
A detailed workshop program will be announced at the beginning of the year or semester under the auspices of the degree committee and respecting the course descriptions listed below.
Interdisciplinary seminar on urban and regional planning (5 credits)
The interdisciplinary seminar on urban and regional planning will comprise three types of activities:
- A cycle of lectures and debates organised in partnership with ISURU (Institut supérieur d'Urbanisme et de Rénovation Urbaine) and the AULNE association (association des urbanistes de Louvain-la-Neuve), under the auspices of l'APERAU (Association pour la Promotion de l’Enseignement et de la Recherche en Aménagement et Urbanisme).
- One or two study trips, which normally form part of a partnership or exchange with students of similar European programs (Amsterdam 2003, Strasbourg 2004, Lausanne 2005, Naples 2006, Barcelona 2007)  
- An assignment synthesising and critically analysing lecture notes or the students’ personal notes of their study trips.
As for the workshops, a detailed workshop program will be announced at the beginning of the year or semester under the auspices of the degree committee and respecting the course descriptions listed below.  

Placement and thesis (15 credits)
The program includes the writing and defence of a thesis demonstrating the students’ capacity to master, by means of a piece of autonomous scientific work, an analysis and proposal which contribute to the resolution of a concrete problem of regional development.
The thesis will be based on a professional placement of at least 300 hours in public administration, an urban planning agency, an NGO or a private association, developing a project in the field of regional planning. This placement may be done in Belgium or abroad and students are free to propose their own plans. The placement is generally done in the second semester, but it is also possible to do it afterwards. Students working professionally in this field can, in parallel with the Advanced Master’s, have their work recognised as their placement, with the approval of the degree committee. The placement will be under the direction of one of the teachers of the program and chosen by the student to be his/her thesis supervisor. This is governed by an agreement between the student, his/her supervisor and a placement superevisor in the host institution.  The process of group assessment of the placement and thesis will involve three weeks during the year, which will correspond to the availabilities of the students :

  • Seminar 1 Novemeber. Selection of the various placement projects and thesis topics. Drawing up of a placement agreement.
  • Seminar 2 December. Exchange with the representatives of the organisations associated with the placement program. Drawing up of a plan defining the objective, method and structure of the placement report and the thesis.
  • Seminar 3 April. Exchange of experiences of the placements, relating them to the thesis

The individual course of the  placement and the thesis is monitored by the assignments supervisor, in concert with the student and the placement supervisor. The placement will conclude with a placement report which may form an integral part of the thesis or be added as an appendix. When students consider they have completed the assignment, they will first report to the supervisor who will decide if the combined “Placement and thesis” is acceptable as regards content and form. If the supervisor’s advice is positive, the work will be given to two external readers, one of whom will be the person who supervised the placement in the host institution or a representative.There will be an oral public defence of the thesis before a board chaired by the president or secretary of the degree committee and consisting of the supervisor and the two readers. The thesis will be accompanied by an abstract which will be published in the bulletin of the program. The oral defences traditionally take place on the last Monday and Tuesday of the examination sessions.