Calling future urban thinkers who are curious and interested in how we can revitalise post-industrial cities to join a European Master in Science developed by 8 world-class universities within the scope of UNIC. A comprehensive 2-year study programme with 120 ECTS, fully delivered in English and with tailored mandatory mobility between the participating university campuses.
About the RePIC Master’s
This exciting and unique new Master's programme within the scope of the UNIC alliance, wants to create an educational experience which recognizes and responds critically to issues of cities in different forms and stages of post-industrial transition and educate the next generation of specialists with the 21st century skills and knowledge needed to address the challenges and opportunities of cities in transition and superdiverse societies.
This is an inter-university, multidisciplinary joint postgraduate programme, that uses the ECTS credit system to facilitate the recognition of qualifications and actively defines mobility periods for students between each of the University partners:
8 world-class universities that offer complementary teaching and research expertise in urban planning.
It is the ideal programme for professionals involved in the design, planning, management or evaluation of the city who want to join a vibrant knowledge and innovation community committed to the rethinking of more sustainable urban futures.
RePIC’s vision is to develop a new network of urban thinkers with the capacity to contribute to future-oriented, avant-garde thinking on the revitalisation of the post-industrial city.
RePIC graduates possess advanced research, professional, digital design, and spatial analysis skills, can mediate between the spheres of experts and laypersons, academia, and citizens, equipped with broad knowledge in the various sub-disciplines of the field.
The RePIC programme provides high quality academic education and professional competencies for excellent students, who are eager to specialise in subdisciplines of Urban Studies in a wider sense and who intend to build bridges into neighbouring disciplines, e.g., Law, Civil Engineering, Business, Sociology, Data Science, or Psychology.
After graduation you will have broad knowledge of:
• urban transformations and urban design in a global perspective; and are able to apply this knowledge in practice, and across different jurisdictions,
• the interdependent human and environmental urban systems,
• sociological and cultural approaches towards urban dynamics and actors, understanding major local and global historical developments influencing urban settings,
• dynamics and processes involved in the revitalisation of post industrial cities from the social science, sustainability, and circular economy perspectives.
Importantly, through the programme courses and hands-on learning activities, you will be able to:
• critically analyse and evaluate data found in the digital space and have insights into the foundation needed to apply data analytics to real-world post industrial urban transformation,
• critically analyse factors influencing different spaces within urban settings but also an ability to compare between different cities,
• deal with modern geospatial data resources (acquisition, maintenance, analysis, and cartographic visualisation of spatio-temporal transformation processes in urban areas),
• communicate and translate between different professional orientations and cultures, learned to build up empathy, work with different social groups, to bring together different perspectives and to work in transnational teams,
• serve as curator of interdisciplinary transformation processes
• think beyond boundaries and to explore and generate new ideas that can be applied to current and emergent needs.
The RePIC Joint Master Programme comprises four (4) semesters and is delivered over a period of 2 years (24 months). During these two years, you will encounter different cultures, languages, and distinct learning environments, and profit from cutting-edge expertise from each of the eight universities.
The program is offered annually and starts in the Fall semester (mid-September) and the language of instruction is English.
The focus of the research-led curriculum is the contemporary challenges posed in industrial heritage settings. Viewing the city as an experimental living laboratory, RePIC understands the post-industrial city as a complex system that is characterised by physical, political, and historical development paths, limits, and dynamic social, economic, ecological, and cultural vectors. The program is interested in finding new learning and action practices in reconceptualising the civic, cultural, and socio-urban fabric of the post-industrial city.
It adopts participatory approaches and methods - such as CityLabs, Urban Field-Classes and Engaged Research Practices - and fosters public-private-academic-societal partnerships in innovative learning activities that include structured project collaboration, social design studios, digital storytelling, and immersive design fictions.
The course is divided into four semesters within which you are offered several mobility options; however, you must complete a full semester in at least two of the eight partner universities. Download our Module Handbook for details.
First semester (30 credits) - September to February
During the first semester, all students complete a core curriculum of courses/modules at Ruhr
University Bochum (RUB), Germany, in a face-to-face format. These courses will equip you with
the basic tools required to understand the study of the post-industrial city. Modules will
provide a substantial foundation of content knowledge that is facts and ideas as well as the
theories that connect them, in the context of a conceptual framework of the post-industrial
The semester kicks off with a welcome week, followed by the RePIC Core Theory and
RePIC Research Forum modules that are delivered face-to-face. Another key component of
this semester is the Research Methods I module. It will enable you to assess research work and
to be able to make decisions about research design. It is designed as an asynchronous online
classroom to give you more flexibility in your learning progress. The first semester concludes
with a field trip to Cork, Ireland, where UCC conducts a City Lab in mid-January. Here, you will
explore the potential for the post-industrial city to act as a milieu for continuous civic
immersion asking how it can be cultivated to inform cultural and social dissonance. You will
actively assess challenges around the uses of public space such that it informs current
understandings of social and public discourse through experimental ethnographic and servicelearning approaches and in collaboration with community groups, specialist researchers and
other actors in a team-based approach. Apart from skills and insight, this didactic concept
serves to form a joint cohort and to connect RePIC staff and students.
Courses in the first semester include:
• CityLab & Design Research Studio: Urban Analysis, Digital Design Strategies & Design Visualisations
• Research Methods I -Quantitative, Qualitative and Geospatial Methods & Data Literacy
• RePIC Core Theory: The Post-Industrial City - Society, Space and Environment
• RePIC Urban Sustainability Transformations Research Forum
In the second Semester, you will decide on one of four thematic specialisation tracks - where each track is jointly delivered by two partners. Depending on the track chosen, you may move to another university.
The four hosting universities are supported in content delivery by the four other RePIC partners through online lectures or faculty visiting the host university.
Access to each track is limited; we will seek to distribute students as equally as possible over the four tracks and you will be asked to state your preferred track in your application.
Track options, locations and courses offered:
The specialisation tracks in the second semester are:
• Track 1: Urban Transformations and Resilience
• Track 2: Diversity and Social Justice
• Track 3: Urban Analysis: Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities
Courses offered in the different specialisation tracks include:
• Research Design Studio: Salvaging & Transformations of the Post-Industrial City
• Digital Storytelling & Immersive Fictions
• Conceptualising Society, Space, & the City
• Conceptual and Methodological Tools for Researching Post-Industrial Cities
• The City in Visual Culture
• The Production of Social (In)Justice in the (Post-Industrial) City
• Social Design Studio: Justice and Diversity
• Design for Health and Wellbeing
• Integrative Urban Development in Post-Industrial Cities
• Environmental Urban Planning
• Urban Remote Sensing and Smart Data: Modelling the Post-Industrial City
• Methods of Urban Climatology
• Design Thinking in Urban Context
• GIS Basics and Cartography
• Data and Decision Making
• Sustainable Urban Development Governance
• Governance of Post-Industrial Cities
• Methodological Approaches and Tools for Understanding the Governance of Post-Industrial Cities
Third semester (30 credits) - September to February
In the third semester you can decide between in-depth studies and practical training in a profession or in research at either University College Cork (Ireland) or at University of Liège (Belgium).
• Focus at UCC (50 % of the cohort): structured learning activities and engaged research placements
• Focus at ULiège (50% of the cohort): in-depth studies in three domains related to the transformation of the post-industrial city and supervised by Prof. Dr. Jean-Marie Halleux, Prof. Dr. Jacques Teller, and Prof. Dr. Martina Barcelloni Corte
○ urban mobility
○ urban ecology
○ urban economics
Third semester modules/courses for the entire cohort:
• Urban Field Salon - City Lab II: early October, 10 credits, face-to-face at University Cork College in Ireland
• Research Methods III: International Seminar to further develop your understanding of research methods, introducing more complex forms of quantitative, qualitative, geospatial, design and mixed methods approaches, 5 credits, EUR, online.
In the fourth and final semester, and considering the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, you can choose among three forms of master dissertation/thesis:
• traditional dissertation (jointly supervised by two of the Partner Universities)
• research manuscript aiming at publication
• practical project accompanied by documentation
You can choose to conduct your dissertation/thesis work at one of the following seven RePIC universities:
• Ruhr- Universität Bochum (Germany)
• University College Cork (Ireland)
• Universidad de Deusto (Spain)
• Koç University (Turkey)
• Université de Liège (Belgium)
• University of Oulu (Finland)
• University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Erasmus University Rotterdam will be able to host students from the 2024 cohort and onwards.
Suggestions for thesis topics will be made available to the RePIC students at an early stage of the programme.
You will spend your time conducting research and writing your thesis under the supervision of one faculty member of your semester host university and one faculty member from a different RePIC university.
Each semester and each mandatory mobility period must result in the completion of 30 ECTS credit points at one of the partner institutions. Virtual teaching activities are part of the learning experience, but physical mobility of students cannot be replaced by virtual mobility unless force majeure (e.g., a pandemic) necessitates different temporary solutions.
Throughout the programme, there will be several collaborations involving community groups, academia, and specialist researchers. This will involve team-based practices and co-design approaches – and align the curriculum with specific CityLab challenge areas in different European cities.
UNIC runs CityLabs across all its European campuses. UNIC CityLabs facilitate the collaboration of students, researchers, city stakeholders, organisations, and citizens to identify local societal challenges, co-create solutions to these problems, and ultimately implement the created solutions locally to drive societal change in post-industrial cities.
CityLabs address this urban agenda in many forms including workshops, hackathons, sprints, panel discussions, interviews, courses etc. Explore the Open Case Repository to learn more.
After successfully completing the RePIC programme, you will be well-positioned to start or continue attractive careers in various areas of the public and private sector as well as in university and non-university research.
Creating opportunities to meet with potential employers starts long before graduation and is strongly supported by the manifold opportunities for you to interact with possible employers during each semester.
In addition to the curriculum, you will be regularly invited to research and practically oriented lectures organized at the programme universities and their partners. This establishes an early link with potential employers or placement companies. Examples in Germany are lecture series offered by the University Alliance Ruhr in the field of Metropolitan Studies “Ruhr Lecture”, and GIS related lectures organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre of Geo-Information (IZG) at RUB, in cooperation with the German Cartographic Society (DGfK e.V.)
You will also profit from qualified Career Guidance at each location by the RePIC partners’ career services departments. They provide information about the local and regional job market, offer career guidance and assistance in finding appropriate positions after graduation, and organize job fairs.
More detailed information about career support services can be found in the Student Handbook, which will be made available soon.
As a RePIC graduate you can find employment in the public sector in areas such as:
• Public Urban Planning / Quarter Management;
• Community Development;
• City administrations;
• Geospatial Data Analysis and Visualization
There are also opportunities for you as a RePIC graduate at:
• Governmental organizations at local, national, European, and international level;
• Social work organizations;
• Third sector, NGO's engaged in Neighbourhood Development;
• Foundations and organizations dealing with urban development and transformation;
• Companies and organisations focused on metropolitan transitions, e.g., in sectors such as energy, data management, mobility, health, housing and education;
• Consultancies with a focus on Innovation and Change Management;
• Design agencies/businesses, development agencies, architecture / construction firms;
• Property developers, consultancies in Architecture and Urban or Regional Planning
Why do employers need graduates of this Master’s now and in the future?
The urban history of our post-industrial cities emanates largely from the processing and manufacturing and in some cases exploitation and exhaustion of resources (natural resources such as soil, water, fossil fuels and minerals as well as human resources) of the industrial sector. This model is now comparatively less important than more dominant economic sectors (especially the service sector), while the industrial sector still accounts for 10-20% of a city’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Re-designing such cities requires an updated look at declining development paths, the set of social, economic, cultural, environmental, and political challenges post-industrial cities are facing at a turning point of their very existence, and potential escape routes from the path of decline.
Post-industrial cities are undergoing tremendous changes of interdependent human and environmental systems: migration, climate change, economic crises, widening gaps between the rich and the poor, pandemics, but also technical breakthrough developments (like artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, "green" energy supply and digitisation in general all challenge the ways cities are organised and people live and work in them.
City governments and private employers need to respond to these challenges with city managers, urban planners, and community designers that integrate different disciplinary perspectives on all governance levels, physical and human capital, economics, health, traffic, climate, migration, and others.
Graduates of the RePIC program obtain with this unique degree an edge over candidates from traditional or mainstream urban studies or urban planning degree programmes because they have developed a deep and transdisciplinary, thinking outside the box, understanding of topics such as
• superdiversity in urban contexts;
• innovation and digitalisation of public administration;
• open space governance and management;
• resilient cities;
• healthy urban planning in European cities;
• cultural economy, heritage economy and tourism;
• trends reshaping climate and energy and the European Green Deal;
• transnational migration, urban social movements and ‘the right to the city’
REQUIREMENTS AND SELECTION
Applicants from diverse backgrounds who meet the necessary entry requirements and admission criteria listed below may apply for this programme.
Each year, RePIC may accept a study cohort with a total capacity of around 60 students. Admission may be granted to applicants who are not in conflict with national legal requirements for admission and meet the eligibility criteria.
Candidates from diverse backgrounds, who have completed a Bachelor’s degree (university first cycle, Bachelor, EQF level 6) preferably with a dissertation, or an equivalent degree, in a discipline of relevance to RePIC, that gives them access to a Master degree programme and demonstrable experience in themes related to redesigning of post-industrial cities and design-related backgrounds, including but not limited to the following fields:
Applications must include the following documents:
• a copy of passport,
• a certified copy of the Diploma (if this document is not in English, an official translation should be attached) and, if available, of the Diploma Supplement. In case that a bachelor’s degree has not yet been handed out to an applicant, a declaration from the relevant authorities that the requirements of a Bachelor degree have been satisfied, must be submitted instead.
• certified copies of academic transcripts (if this document is not in English, an official translation should be attached),
• a Curriculum Vitae in English,
• official proof of language abilities, where applicable.
• a structured motivation letter describing their specific interest in the RePIC programme and their envisaged contributions to the programme.
English Language Requirements
Applicants who are either nationals of countries deemed by RePIC Partner Institutions to be English-speaking, or hold a Bachelor degree / equivalent qualification which was taught entirely in English will normally be assumed to have met RePIC language requirements.
All other students must provide evidence of sufficient knowledge in the teaching languages at least on level B2 as defined in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
Travel Visas and Residency Permits
It is the responsibility of the students to check that authorisations required for visa and residence permits are in order before the Partner Institution permits the student’s activities in the RePIC degree programme to take place for students. The Partner Institutions will make every effort to aid students in obtaining any necessary visa and residence permits before their studies commence.
Motivation Letter Structure
The motivation letter should address the following structure:
• Why do you want to join the RePIC study program and which specialisation track do you prefer (200 words, single spaced)?
• What is your disciplinary background/expertise and how does it match the disciplinary requirements of RePIC (200 words, single spaced)?
• What are the major challenges of post-industrial cities you like to focus on in RePIC (250 words, single spaced)?
• What do you expect from the RePIC study programme (100 words, single spaced)?
• What kind of profession/career path are you aiming for after RePIC (150 words, single spaced)?
The selection is based on grades, documented prior knowledge and experience in the field, persuasiveness of the motivation letter and language skills. The RePIC Admission Committee may use additional selection tools such as interviews with shortlisted candidates.
RePIC considers itself to be an inclusive programme and recruits students worldwide to increase its accessibility and the diversity of its student population.
An Equality and Diversity Awareness Programme will be developed and as part of the application process, nationality, gender and disability data is collected. Due consideration is taken to national requirements for admission of students in the countries where the RePIC Partner Universities are located. No Partner Institution is obliged to admit a student in conflict with national legal requirements for admission. Students who do not fulfill national requirements of a partner cannot be accepted.
STUDY PERIOD Start Winter Semester 2023
September 2023 - June 2025
15th March 2023 for all applicants
31 May 2023 23:50 CEST for Non-EU / non-EFTA students
31 July 2023 23:50 CEST for EU / EFTA students
An additional application period may be opened if there are available places in the program.
To be informed about updates, email repic[AT]unic.eu
Step 2: Prepare your documents and submit your application
Read about the required application documents (refer to the section above on this webpage)
Get all your documents ready:
• official transcripts and university diploma or proof of expected graduation
• passport (all applicants)
• proof of English proficiency (all relevant applicants)
Prepare specific documents:
• CV in English
• Motivation letter: a structured motivation letter describing your specific interest in the RePIC programme and its topics and their envisaged contributions to the programme
• Upload all required documents to your online application before the application deadline
Step 3: Wait for your admission decision
Selected applicants will receive an admission notification with the relevant dates for the enrolment in RePIC and the terms of payment and time limits for the payment of the participation fees. We will also have a waiting list, so that students on this list can follow, once eligible students declined their offer.
Citizens from EU, Iceland, North Macedonia, Norway, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Turkey
Per semester: EUR 2,250
Full programme/course tuition fee: EUR 9,000
Per semester: EUR 4,500
Full programme/course tuition fee: EUR 18,000
The RePIC program consortium has applied for funding from the European Commission to provide Erasmus Mundus Joint Master (EMJM) scholarships to as many RePIC students as possible. If the funding is secured by summer 2023, EMJM scholarships will be awarded to the best applicants worldwide, chosen by means of a RePIC evaluation grid and respecting the required maximum numbers per nationality (not more than 10% of EMJM scholarships per country), and in agreement with the eligibility and selection criteria and procedures established by the Consortium, as well as the specific criteria and procedures stipulated by the European Commission.
More information about scholarships will be published here in summer 2023.
Country-specific scholarships and funding options
Apart from using your savings or a sponsor’s support (employer, sponsorship organizations, GoFundMe campaigns), there are other ways to finance your studies in the RePIC programme.
Applying for a scholarship, grant or educational loan that you are eligible for in your own country of citizenship or residence are possible ways too. Below is a list of possible scholarship or educational loan information resources:
• Students from Europe can use the European Funding Guide to search for financial support for studies in one of the EU-member states
• Canadian loan schemes: we may accept students with Canadian loan schemes. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
• US student finance: we may accept students with US federal loan programmes. For more information please contact email@example.com
Costs Linked to the Participation in the RePIC Programme
In addition to the annual tuition fees, other administrative and social fees (such as stamp and certification fees, library and laboratory costs, social contribution fees, examination fees) and any other mandatory costs charged by the Partner institutions are to be paid by the students.
Students also must cover sustenance, accommodation, travel to and from partner universities, visa costs, etc. Any costs arising from unjustified prolongation of studies beyond the standard duration of the programme (four semesters) shall be charged at the publicly published standard rates of the partner institution involved.
Europe, in which the RePIC partner universities are located, is among the most urbanized regions. Its urban system is characterized by a wide variety of small and medium-sized cities, large cities and metropolitan regions, and these urban areas are complex dynamic systems forming part of networks of cities.
The eight participating universities have well-documented expertise in the fields of urban planning and are a leading institution in their respective countries.
You can explore what is offered by each of the eight partner universities in terms of the campus location, the city, services for students and more in the Student Handbook, which will be made available soon.
2. Becoming a generalist-expert
City development and urban transformation urgently needs skilled graduates who are generalists and specialists in certain domains at the same time, and who can explain modern concepts and complex processes in a comprehensible and convincing way to citizens and interact with other professionals, experts, and researchers they are working with. In addition to the professional knowledge that will be imparted in RePIC, training will therefore focus on communicative skills and on the permanent practice of the acquired professional and methodological skills, starting from day 1 of the study programme.
3. Interacting with future employers
The programme’s multidisciplinary approach is premised on the understanding that real-world problems cross traditional academic boundaries. Professors from other disciplines, related to Urban Studies, offer their expertise to you as a student. Leading scholars and guest lecturers are invited to teach and to deliver talks, lectures, seminars, and organise round table discussions. Representatives from the city administrations, their subsidiaries, companies, NGOs and regional organisations, are also invited to present challenges they are facing and discuss options to solve them, which leads to the emergence of new projects, suggestions for your Master thesis and new topics for City Labs.
4. A joint degree diploma
You will receive a joint degree from eight internationally renowned universities which is highly acknowledged by employers worldwide.
You are also a member of a high-performance network: If you decide to pursue a career in academia after graduation, RePIC offers first-rate doctoral programmes, career support and development options for obtaining executive positions in the world of academia and research.
5. Dedicated student support and ease of mobility throughout the programme
During each of the four semesters, the student service units at the partner institutions provide support with respect to all social, cultural and university matters, as well as administrative and legal questions. By offering numerous events and advisory services, you will be assisted not only throughout your social integration in campus life but also when facing academic challenges.
You will be the recipient of a UNIC European student card. UNIC student cards allow for easy access to seamless European mobility, both virtual and physical; you are not limited to one campus or one city – you gain easy access to eight campuses located in Europe’s up-and-coming post-industrial cities.
Email us at repic[AT]unic.eu or schedule a call using the link below: