Master in Urban Planning and Development

•    Programme duration: 2 years
•    Delivery language: English
•    Degree awarded: Master in Urban Planning and Development
•    Accreditation: The curriculum follows the European ECTS system and the degree is awarded by Sorbonne University. This programme is accredited by the UAE Commission for Academic Accreditation.
•    Admission deadline
(next intake is September 2023)
28 August 2023 – A placement test is required for this Master programme. For more information, please contact Dr Stephane Desruelles at
•    Interview dates: 17 April 2023 | 26 June 2023 | 31 August 2023

The Master in Urban Planning and Development was developed by the Urban and Regional Planning Institute in Paris more than 25 years ago and is offered with the goal of educating the next generation of urban planners on how to address Abu Dhabi’s rapid urban growth and the need for effective planning.

The objective of this programme is to educate students about the role of planners and their ecological and socio-economic impact. Students will study the comprehensive policies and planning tools that affect the way urban planners strategically link the complex mapping requirements of cities and regions, including budget, legalities, availability of infrastructure and land, as well as aesthetic and visual choices.

Throughout their education, students will study comprehensive policies, planning tools, and technological advances including Geographic Information Systems, ways in which to maximise space and how to merge form with function. Students will also learn to organise metropolitan areas based on thematic and specialised specifications.

A number of key modules are taught throughout the programme, including UAE urban planning law, public space planning, real estate, tourism planning, transport, architecture, heritage and landscaping, amongst others.

There are abundant rewarding career opportunities on a regional and global scale for graduates of the Urban and Regional Planning programme. Graduates enter promising careers with engineering and design consultancy firms, urban or rural developers, real estate agencies, government enterprises involved with urban affairs, environmental management, community development and research agencies amongst others.

Typical delivery format of the courses*
M1 and M2

Day Morning Evening
Monday 4:30pm – 8:30pm
Tuesday 4:30pm – 8:30pm
Sunday 9:30am – 6:30pm

*This is the usual pattern of the courses, changes may sometimes occur.

Year 1

Semester 1

Modules Courses
Fundamentals of Urban Planning
  • History of Urban Architecture
  • History of Urban Planning
  • Urbanization in Gulf Countries
  • Urban Sociology
Methodology and Tools
  • Geographic Information System
  • Metropolitan Planning. International perspectives
Legal Framework
  • Urban Planning Law in UAE
  • Urban Planning Law in France and in Europe
Urban Planning Practices
  • Urban Engineering 1
  • Urban Engineering 2

Semester 2

Modules Courses
  • Workshop 1
  • Workshop 2
  • Workshop 3
Methodology and Tools
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Planning Guideline
Fundamentals of Urban Planning
  • Housing
  • Real Estate
  • Urban Land Economics
  • Landscaping
  • Sustainable Development

Year 2

Semester 1

Modules Courses
Fundamentals of Urban Planning
  • Political and Urban Planning
  • Retail and Commercial Activities
  • Transport and Urban Planning
  • Risks Management and Urbanization
Methodology and Tools
  • Heritage in the UAE
  • Tourism Development in the Emirates
  • Planning for Real
  • Strategic Foresight for Cities
Urban Planning Practices
  • Financial Programming
  • Final Workshop

Semester 2

Modules Courses
Final workshop presentation
  • Final workshop presentation
Master thesis
  • Master thesis
  • Bachelor in a relevant field with a CGPA of 3 out of 4 or equivalent. Candidates with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 can be granted a conditional acceptance subject to a probation period of one semester
  • IELTS certificate with minimum overall band of 6.0 with a validity of 2 years or TOEFL certificate with minimum score of 79 (or equivalent) with a validity of 2 years or Minimum EmSAT English score of 1400 with a validity of 18 months or, Native English speaker who completed 3 full years in an English-medium institution within a maximum period of 3 years
  • 3 years of professional experience are required
  • • An entry test is required: candidates will be asked to analyze a short press article in English on an urban planning topic. This test does not require prior knowledge in the field. It aims to ensure the candidate’s writing skills and interest in urban planning issues

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview to assess the candidate’s motivation, career expectations and relevant professional experience in the degree area.

Applicants who earned their undergraduate degrees from universities outside the UAE must present a Certificate of Equivalency for their graduation certificates from the UAE Ministry of Education. Applicants, who are holders of undergraduate degrees issued by a licensed higher education institution in the UAE, are required to submit a copy of their degrees attested by the UAE Ministry of Education. For details on requirements, kindly visit the website: Ministry of Education

•    Programme tuition fees (over 2 years):
AED 166,400 (approximately US$ 45,344)
•    Payment of Fees:
Click here


25% academic excellence scholarship

New joiners are eligible to 25% scholarship on tuition starting from the 1st semester. To be eligible, applicants are required to meet one of the below criteria:

  • Bachelor CGPA average of 3.6/4.0 and above, or equivalent
  • Bachelor with Final Average of 15/20 above
  • Bachelor with first class honors
  • Candidates graduating as the top of class, despite the average

A minimum average of 14/20 is required to maintain the scholarship for the following semesters.

For programmes taught in English: an English Proficiency level with a minimum of 7.0 for IELTS or 94 for TOELF IB

Preferential rates

20% Alumni preferential rate

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi alumni are eligible to a 20% waiver on tuition fee.

25% preferential rate upon enrolment on a second master’s degree

Applicants holding a master degree from SUAD and enrolling for a second master degree at SUAD are entitled to a 25% waiver on tuition.

5%-15% corporate rate

Companies and organizations benefit from a special discount, based on the number of employees enrolling in programmes. For more details, please contact +971(0) 2-6569311

10% Family discount

Students who have a first-degree relative currently enrolled in an undergraduate or a postgraduate programmes are eligible for a 10% discount.

*Conditions apply