The principal aim with the proposed Master’s Programme in Urban Studies at Aarhus University is to develop new modes of analysis that can effectively address critical challenges arising from contemporary forms of urbanization, including such issues as surveillance strategies, urban citizenship, changing patterns of spatial practices, poverty alleviation, urban planning, and environmental policies. Through an interdisciplinary case-based approach focussing on varied forms of appropriation and use of urban spaces, the Master’s Programme in ‘Urban Studies’ at Aarhus Univeristy will provide students with a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of contemporary and historical processes of urbanization throughout the world. While taking seriously the importance of multi-faceted governance and development strategies for improving human and physical conditions in cities today, we wish to emphasize the need to devise new approaches to engaging with urban realities that take as their point of departure how urban life is, in praxis, negotiated, transformed and contested in specific social and physical settings.
In order for the students to explore the multi-layered complexity of urban life today, the two-year Master’s Programme in Urban Studies is organized as an interdisciplinary course that brings together leading researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines, such as information science, geography, architecture, anthropology, and archaeology. In so doing, the programme aims to enhance students’ critical sensibility to urban theories, research methodologies and everyday realities in order to devise new conceptual categories and modes of analysis that can effectively address the challenges and opportunities that arise from both historical and contemporary forms of urbanization. The Master’s Programme in ‘Urban Studies’ at Aarhus University will have international relevance to researchers, development practitioners, urban authorities and policy-makers.