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What will I learn?

Urbanization in Asia is proceeding at a pace and scale that is unprecedented in history. Climate change, the pervasiveness of info-communications technology, geopolitical instability and increasing socio-economic inequality impinge on the ways cities are planned, built and lived. In the wake of these challenges, the profession of urban planning is constantly reinventing itself by critically examining existing methodologies and incorporating new ones. The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) programme taps into the experience of Singapore and cities in Asia as laboratories of planning ideas and methods, experimenting with high density living, ecological sensitivity, data science and social policies to ensure equity through development. It equips graduates with all the necessary skills and knowledge to act as urban planning professionals and policy-makers in a rapidly urbanizing world.

The programme is a two-year, full-time, multidisciplinary programme. It is a joint initiative of the Department of Architecture and the Department of Real Estate, with additional contributions from the Departments of Geography and Sociology, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The curriculum is anchored by a set of core electives and planning studios. Students are also able to choose from a broad selection of electives from other departments in NUS, and participate in overseas fieldtrips, internship attachments and exchange programmes.


For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population live in cities. Especially in Asia, the scale and speed of urban growth has affected many more lives than anywhere else in the world. With this comes immense wealth and opportunity, but also problems such as environmental degradation, congestion, crime and poverty. The stakes of urban planning as a way to improve the lives of citizens are nowhere higher than in Asia. No cities are alike, but the patterns of urbanization in Asia demand our attention to some emerging trends and persistent forces. These are also the key areas around which the Master of Urban Planning programme is organised:

Densification: Asian cities are some of the densest human settlements on this planet. Planning for density requires a keen awareness of the physical structure of cities, the social conditions of living in compact environments, and the economics of urban development and land use.

Technology: Planning in the new millennium will have to engage with the opportunities opened up by data science and analytics. Understanding how to use data judiciously and creatively can help planners grasp complex problems and make effective decisions.

Sustainability: Sustainability is a multi-sectoral project that combines development with responsible use of resources across all facets of society. Planners are important agents as they shape urban development in ways that reduce waste and promote ecologically sensitive practices.

Social engagement: Planners have to learn to be sensitive to the needs and desires of those whom they claim to plan for. Engaging with communities requires planners to take on different roles as intermediaries, activists and organisers.

Which department am I in?

School of Design and Environment

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
SG$40,800.00 (23,03,783) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

1 August 2022, 9 January 2023


School of Design and Environment

National University of Singapore,

4 Architecture Drive,

117566, Singapore

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants require a Bachelor’s degree with honours or equivalent, in a relevant discipline; or a Bachelor’s degree with a relevant Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate with a minimum CAP of 3.00. English Language Requirements: TOEFL score is required: 85 for the internet-based test (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section); or 580 for the paper-based test; or 237 for the computer-based test; an IELTS score of 6.0.

For international students

Candidates are selected on the basis of their academic qualifications and relevant experience. Candidates must submit the following:

  • Evidence of a bachelor’s degree in a spatial design discipline (architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning) or a related field of study (environmental studies, geography, real estate, civil engineering, land management). We are also open to other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences that actively engage urban issues.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae and/or project portfolio.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 92 (internet-based testing) or equivalent for applicants whose first degree is not taught in English.

About National University of Singapore (NUS)

Along with the highest education standards, students at NUS benefit from an excellent overall experience with excellent research facilities.

  • Ranked 11th in the world (QS World rankings 2022)
  • Excellent graduation rate of over 97 percent
  • Leading research teams using cutting-edge facilities
  • Outstanding selection of courses across 17 faculties

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