Sunday, February 21, 2010

Master on Urban Development Planning

Dear Madam/Sir, Dear project partners, Dear interested parties, Dear students, Dear friends,

As Academic Coordinator of the Master of Science Programme “Urban Development Planning” at the Vietnamese-German University in Ho Chi Minh City, I would kindly like to inform you of the APPLICATION procedures of our new study course:


Vietnamese-German University (VGU) in Ho Chi Minh City offers the full time two years (four semester) Master of Science Programme - URBAN DEVELOPMENT PLANNING - in cooperation with the University of Technology Darmstadt and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus.

In the following, you will find more detailed information related to the application procedure.


The application is still possible until end of February 2010.
The application form is attached.
The application can be made by e-mail:


(1) Bachelors Degree in architecture, building engineering, geography, environmental sciences (planning and management), social sciences and other subjects related to urban development.

(2) English level has to be TOEFL 550 (PBT), 79 (IBT) or IELTS 6.0.: Applicants that cannot supply appropriate certificates have to participate in the VGU English entrance exam. Dependent on the test results, applicants might be required to participate in an intensive language course organized and offered by VGU.

For further information I refer you to the attached flyer.
Regarding further details and individual applications, please feel free to contact me.

In addition, we would be grateful if you could assist us in the promotion of our Master Programme URBAN DEVELOPMENT PLANNING by forwarding this information further to additional interested candidates and parties.

Yours Sincerely

Harry Storch

Dr. Harry Storch
Vietnamese-German University
Academic Coordinator
Master of Science Programme
Mobile: 01267123783

Urban Development Planning - UDP

'Urban Development Planning' is a full time two years (4 Semester) Master Program offered at VGU by the University of Technology Darmstadt and the University of Technology Cottbus. The language of instruction is English.
The postgraduate Masters course 'Urban Development Planning' addresses problems of rapid urbanization in newly industrializing nations and adequate responses to the issue arising from an interdisciplinary understanding. It is taught by a team of internationally renowned professors. Students with a first degree in Architecture, building engineering, geography, social sciences and other subjects to urban development will mostly come from Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, but possibilities exist for exchanges with, or subsequent PhD studies at Universities in Germany. The course opens creative employment perspectives at municipal, national and international level in a sector marked by the challenge to improve living conditions for more than half of the globe's population.

Competencies and Learning Goals:

Students are expected to acquire a comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of interrelated processes determining modern urbanization processes and on this basis to develop adequate development strategies with reference to international experience. After completion of the course they will be familiar with the highly complex process of urban development in a quickly urbanizing country, be able to analyse typical urban problem in a new and specific context, know up-to-date principles of both tested and emerging intervention techniques and preventive strategies. This will enable them to respond to the previously identified problems and to develop new and innovative approaches if indicated. Most of this capacity will be built up from the following study contents.
- Foundations:  comprehensive understanding of urban issues and bridging the gap between the following sector oriented modules.
- Urban development theory: Issues of growth and governance of huge and medium sized cities in the South are analysed in the national, regional and global perspective. Different possible policy responses are being discussed.
- Urban management, governance & housing policies: Intra-urban and municipal administrative, management and affordability issues are being addressed.
- Physical planning: introduction to rational and responsible urban design respecting ecological principles and contributing to a city’s international reputation. Basic design principles will be taught with special attention to course participants without a professional urban planning background.
- Sustainable urban infrastructure & technology: familiarization with urban technologies appropriate for countries in the South, including a large variety of alternative technical solutions for sanitation, mobility, energy, communication and building construction demands – including many solutions not normally considered in conventional university curricula. Although these technologies will not be covered in full detail, the basic principles, advantages and limitations are being highlighted.
- Urban environmental planning, management, law and administration: ecological degradation and global climatic change have set a new and mandatory focus to urban development, which is being dealt with in all its multiple aspects.
- Conviviality and culture: A basic knowledge of urban sociology issues and a good consideration of cultural or religious context are being introduced as key factors for the success of urban intervention projects to be implemented in a particular region.
- International  co-operation skills: donor imposed mmethodologies for project identification, appraisal, funding, supervision, evaluation of projects are not only an indispensable tool for acquisition and management of foreign funded  projects but also a useful skill for dealing with institutional or commercial investors in urban development. Students of the course will obtain understanding and training in these methodologies.
- Academic skills: The necessary knowledge of methodological and formal requirements for successfully completing the master thesis – and possibly a subsequent PhD thesis - is being explained to those students not yet familiar with established research methodologies. 

Job Perspectives:

Graduates from this course will be prepared to critically analyze and assess the growing problems in urban areas internationally and to develop appropriate solutions in terms of architecturally, socially, economically and ecologically sustainable urban development. They will have acquired necessary skills direct and coordinate multidisciplinary teams and to understand potentials, scope and limitations of individual project or program elements without necessarily knowing all the technical details of the many tasks to be executed by specialists belonging to a single discipline. The multi-national and multidisciplinary background of both participants and academic staff helps the students to build up a world-wide network of professional contacts - an indispensable asset in an increasingly globalizing working environment. Graduates of this course are expected to be employed at decision maker's level in public administration, international institutions, and private consultancy or foreign aid agencies. They will be awarded a German diploma which will qualify them to apply for PhD studies within the European Union and enter an academic career.

Who can apply?

The interdisciplinary postgraduate Master programme (M.Sc.) “Urban Development Planning” at Vietnamese-German University (VGU) has been designed for students and professionals from multiple professional backgrounds intending to work in the context of sustainable urban development planning for Vietnam and South-East Asia. It aims at qualifying students to conceiving and directing forward-looking urban management approaches that comprehensively incorporate physical, managerial, ecological, economic and social elements. By definition of its complexity, the urban development process needs to be multi-sector oriented; it requires the skills of coordinating interlocking interventions and of detecting and mediating possible conflicts. These qualifications are equally needed for professionals who intend working at the leading and/or decision making level in public, private or civil organizations.
Students who plan to apply for the Master of Science Programme 'Urban Development Planning' have to fulfil the following requirements:
- a Bachelor degree in Architecture, Urban Planning, Civil Engineering, Sociology, Geography or a related field with an above average result
- write a motivation letter.
- English skills in upper-intermediate level to be proved through a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) at the start of the program.
The next start of the programme is in March 2010, the application deadline is 26.02.2010.  Please read here for further information about the application procedure, the tuition fee and VGU's generous scholarship system

If you are interested please contact for further information the following adresses:
- about 'Urban Development Planning': - about the application procedure:  


Prof. Dr. Kosta Mathey
TU Darmstadt
KMathey@aol.comDr. Harry Storch
TU Cottbus


Factsheet: 'Urban Development Planning'
UDP Schedule:
Semester 1: download
Semester 2: download
UDP Module Description:
UDP List of Lecturers:
UDP Public Lecture Series: