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Bachelor's Degree in Urban Sciences : Introduction


Social Sciences
Bachelor's Degree in Urban Sciences
3 years
180 ECTS
100 % of subjects taught in English
Subjects assessed at the end of each term
40 students
€132 / ECTS
Main class location


ESCI-UPF in collaboration with

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Cities have experienced a period of unprecedented growth and expansion. In response, a new science combines theoretical, practical and applied knowledge from the fields of ecology, economy, society, technology and habitat in order to tackle present and future issues in urban spaces.

The new Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Sciences (BDUSc) is managed by ESCI-UPF and designed in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).

Students on this three-year, full-time, 180-ECTS degree programme can also take elective subjects offering complementary training in areas such as economy, society, ecology research and high-performance computing. The curriculum also includes the possibility of doing company internships in distinguished public, private and professional offices.

This bachelor’s degree will:

  • Train professionals to become the future leaders of cities by equipping students with the necessary skills to take diverse career paths, including local, regional, national and even international public and private organisations, set up their own entrepreneurial initiatives or even specialise further by taking a master’s or doctorate programme.
  • Create multifaceted graduates who have a solid understanding of urban sciences by offering comprehensive, interdisciplinary education integrating the areas of computation, ecology, economy, society and habitats.
  • Provide education that is tailored to meet the specific interests, abilities and knowledge of each student by letting students specialise in elective subjects in fields such as computing, habitat and ecology.
  • Equip students with cutting-edge knowledge, skills and competences in the field of urban sciences.


The course content is delivered through learning by doing, an innovative methodology of applied knowledge where students develop their skills by using the latest technology and learning from teachers who are leading change in cities. This stimulating, immersive education is based on models of cooperative learning, flipped classrooms and skill-based programmes and delivered through masterclasses, seminars, workshops, studio projects and individual and group tutorials. 

Competences and skills

Graduates will acquire the competences to:

  • Assess Urban Development Programmes by taking account of the necessary Environmental and Self-sufficiency aspects to meet Sustainable Development criteria.
  • Conduct case studies and apply the comparative method to analyse urban areas of different sizes and complexity.
  • Identify and analyse the problems of urban environments by collecting and analysing relevant data, interpreting results, recognising contemporary diversity and taking into account the complexity of the phenomena converging in the field
  • Develop skills in the use of state-of-the-art technologies and software to represent, analyse, evaluate and simulate urban environments.

Students should have a good grounding in science, logical reasoning skills, an ability to handle abstract models and good observation, attention and concentration skills.

They should approach problems in a creative, imaginative and innovative way and have an interest in the environment and urban habitats.

Given that Urban Sciences is a multidisciplinary field of science and technology at the crossroads of computing and urban sciences, graduates have openings in several fields of expertise in a wide range of public, private and educational institutions:

  • Urban Computing Expert: data collection, modelling and simulation.
  • Urban Manager: data monitoring, social networks, social contractor and data operations supervisor.
  • Urban Data Collector: environment analyst, civic analytics track, photogrammetric, urban information tracking, data processing and statistical computation.
  • Urban Data Analyst: environment analyst, civic analytics track, photogrammetric, urban information tracking, open data analyst, urban analyst and quantitative methods.
  • Urban Data Mapper: urban simulation, GIS specialist, data visualisation and infographics.
  • Urban Modeller: 3D modelling, BIM/CIM technician, AR/VR and environmental representation;
  • Smart City Planner: design proposal and concept planning.
  • Urban Quality Controller: smart system theory, analysis and feedback experts.
  • R&D Researcher for both universities and companies.

Urban Sciences students will attend seminars in Technology, Urban habitat, Social studies, Ecology and Economy that will allow to develop the following skills:

  • Foster an updated thinking of cities, from classical texts to the most recent theories, with an adequate understanding and interpretation of current and future unresolved urban problems and paradigms

  • Understand the principles, critical relationships and operational behaviors of the disciplines that make up urban sciences, collaborating with professionals from different disciplines in urban environments (economists, sociologists, geographers, economists, town planners, architects)

  • Develop an interdisciplinary problem-solving attitude that is able to combine theoretical and empirical components, with descriptive and practical methodologies, for the correct analysis and evaluation of local, urban and global phenomena

  • Capacity to collect, interpret, analyze, and apply static and dynamic data for the evaluation and resolution of problems in urban realms, including real-time, open data, and IOT concepts

  • Capacity to use, interpret and manage the latest technology applied to urban realms, from self driving cars to TIC’s (sensors, apps, networks, etc.). Apply TIC for the study, evaluation, design and planning of urban environments

  • Proficiency in the latest 3D modeling software to envision urban realms (Rhino, Programming, GIS, etc.). These advanced graphic skills, 3d modeling, and simulation techniques, prove fundamental to represent dynamic urban systems based on fluctuating data

  • Envision new scenarios for urban governance and citizen participation.

  • Envision ecological systems and urban metabolisms for a self-sufficient city

  • Ability to analyze new models of production in cities, linked to new models of collaborative economies, makers, fablab cities, etc.

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