Master of Human Settlements
Master of Science
EducationThe Master of Science in Human Settlements (MaHS) addresses rapid urbanisation in the developing world and contemporary urban transformations within the scope of sustainable development.
This intensive, one-year programme focuses on issues of housing, building and urban development in a context of development with scarce resources and pressing social and environmental constraints. Architecture, urbanism and spatial planning are the core disciplines of the programme. Contributions from economics, geography and anthropology, among others, complement this core. The Master of Science in Human Settlements is recognised by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) as an International Course Programme (ICP). It is partly funded by the Directorate General of International Cooperation (DGIC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Master of Science in Human Settlements is an advanced Master's programme. You can follow this programme on a full-time or part-time basis.
ProfileApplicants with some years of relevant professional experience will be preferred.
For specific admission requirements, click on the desired programme in the 'Choose your courses of study' section.
ObjectivesThe programme aims to provide insight into the problems of human settlements as related to rapid change and to the interaction between modernity and tradition, and to strengthen capacities to tackle the growth of spontaneous settlement, the design of large scale housing projects, the development of appropriate building materials and techniques, the systematic approach to complex programmes (e.g. hospitals, schools) and the planning of neighbourhoods, villages, towns with up-to-date techniques.
At the end of the programme students will have acquired :
- a thorough understanding of the dynamic and multifunctional aspects of the built environment through critical analysis of approaches in architecture, construction, urban design and planning;
- the skills for interventions which reflect context-responsive concepts of sustainable development and deal with the different levels of the built environment (from individual buildings to entire cities);
- the skills to stimulate exchange and feedback between academic theory and day-to-day practice;
- the skills of computer-aided design and cost control on all scale levels;
- sufficient knowledge and skills to participate in research on these topics.
After graduationPotential areas of employment for graduates of the MaHS programme are numerous and widespread. Many alumni work as civil servants in urban development agencies in cities or national governments. Others are independent professionals in the field of urban design, planning, and community development. They display highly recognised professional expertise in private architecture offices as well as in leadership and policymaking positions in regional, national, and international human settlements institutions, such as UNCHS or UEPP.
Several graduates have started an academic career by obtaining a PhD, and some have become professors. The MaHS programme produces interdisciplinary graduates capable of understanding and managing the complexity of urban development as well as promoting sustainable territorial transformations.
Information sessionsKU Leuven organises a Verderstudeerbeurs each spring. In addition, faculties also organise information sessions for many of their bridging and graduate programmes.
All information sessions for (future) Master's students
(Inter)nationalStudy trips to various destinations are organised throughout the academic year as a compulsory part of the MaHS programme. You will be able to observe and experience the area being studied and will have a unique opportunity to link your theoretical knowledge to daily practice and fieldwork. The trips include visits to sites, lectures by local experts, as well as a range of assignments. Recent study trips in Europe have been made to Paris-Lyon (France), Amsterdam-Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Zurich-Frankfurt (Switzerland/ Germany) and London (UK). In addition, one-day visits within Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp, Gent) are organised to support courses and provide an understanding of current trends in Belgian urban transformation. Moreover, as a key feature of the Master of Human Settlements, a study trip and studio-related fieldwork sessions are offered in a non-Western context. You will be given the opportunity to travel to the non-European studio context for field work and visits to best practices sites and other relevant sites for about two weeks.
SpotlightAs one of the seven departments undertaking research and teaching within the Faculty of Engineering, the structure of the Department of Architecture, Urbanism, and Planning (Dutch-language abbreviation: ASRO) allows parallel streams of research in the related fields of architecture, urbanism and urban design, conservation, and urban and regional planning to support its undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate teaching programmes.
The Postgraduate Centre for Human Settlements, renamed the MaHS MaUSP Centre in 2005, is known by specialists worldwide and has a remarkable history spanning over thirty-five years. Its activities have been broadened to coordinate both the Master of Science in Human Settlements and the Master of Science in Urbanism and Strategic Planning. Other activities include a doctoral programme, capacity-building projects, and consultancy on human settlement policies and projects.
ContactFaculty of Engineering Science
Prof dr. Ir. B. De Meulder
tel. + 32 16 32 13 91
fax + 32 16 32 19 81
Kasteelpark Arenberg 1 bus 2200
tel. + 32 16 32 13 50
fax + 32 16 32 19 82
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us please complete the contact form on our website.