4CITIES is an international, interdisciplinary, immersive master programme in urban studies. Supported by Erasmus Mundus, its perspective is European while its context is global. Students learn to see the city, to hear it, to understand it, to engage it, and to choose their role in shaping it.
European Urban Studies in a Global Age
The interdisciplinary curriculum designed specifically for 4CITIES builds on the strengths of each host city, university, and department or research institute. Theoretical coursework is enhanced by field observation, applied skills, and a wide array of excursions. Students are challenged to connect readings and concepts from across the disciplinary spectrum and to analyse urban systems and elements at micro, meso, and macro levels.
What is 4CITIES?
4CITIES is an immersive, two-year, interdisciplinary master program in urban studies, incorporating geography, sociology, history, cultural studies, and political science. Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union since 2013, 4CITIES brings together 40–50 students each year from around the world and across the academic spectrum. The language of instruction is English and proof of fluency is required. Graduates receive a master of science (MSc.) degree in urban studies.
There are three separate tracks that students in 4CITIES follow: Classical, Research, and Practice. The first year is the same for all three tracks. Students in the Classical Track spend the third and fourth semesters together, following a shared curriculum in Copenhagen and Madrid. This is how 4CITIES has been organized since it began in 2008, hence “classical.” Students in the Research and Practice tracks spend their second year interning at a research institution or work-placement, respectively, and completing 25 ECTS of self-chosen coursework at either the University of Vienna or Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Students can also choose to study at one of the partner institutions with whom 4CITIES has set up Erasmus+ study exchange agreements. These tracks have been designed for students who prefer a more independent, bespoke curriculum and intend to pursue careers in research or practice. Regardless of the track pursued, all students are expected to complete a written academic thesis.
4CITIES is, however, much more than the formal description of its three tracks. Because of the exploratory nature of a program in which travel is a constant, because of the diversity of each cohort of students, and because of the intention of the program to provide an interdisciplinary education in urbanism, 4CITIES is also a crossroads where academic research, professional practice, urban exploration, and civic activism overlap and intersect.