Masters Degree in International Cooperation in Sustainable Emergency Architecture
Official Masters 6th edition – 2015-2016 Academic Year | ESARQ School of Architecture

The ever-growing impact of climate change, military conflicts, rapid urbanization and economic crises present a clear need and opportunity for qualified professionals in both developed and developing countries. This Master degree is the only masters with a joint focus on international cooperation, sustainable urban development and emergency architecture. It provides students with the necessary theoretical and methodological background in order to develop an interdisciplinary approach and manage projects in cooperation and sustainable development ranging from the urban to the architectural scale.


Professionals involved in these areas need to understand that their role in the complex system of international cooperation is to seek holistic solutions that integrate interdisciplinary knowledge and citizen participation. It is essential to understand the physical, social and cultural substrate of the cities or territories in which we are going to intervene and analyze the context at all scales throughout the intervention process in order to establish a critical approach and proposals in accordance to their urban legacies.

The Master degree deals with three main topics: international cooperation, sustainable development, and emergency architecture. The program includes courses that will help implement and complete this necessary multidisciplinary approach with alternative planning, urban and architectural strategies that promote social cohesion. Students will be introduced to different contexts and situations so as to acquire the proper skills to develop a critical analysis and management capacity of complex problems. They will learn to maximize human resources to deal with and support local actors in post-disaster scenarios and tackle urban upgrading strategies in both developed and developing countries.

The Barcelona-based master is a second-year option within the Mundus Urbano master (Darmstadt University), forming part of the prestigious Erasmus Mundus European Cooperation Programme and making it the only Erasmus Mundus master offered by an architecture school in all of Catalunya. The Mundus Urbano program is a joint European Masters degree program offered by the following universities: Technische Universität Darmstadt, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Université Pierre-Mendès-France Grenoble and the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona.


This program is aimed at university graduates from the following areas: Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, Engineering, Environmental Design, and Geography. The course is taught in English.  All the following information can also be viewed on our online brochure.

From September 2015 to August 2016

The syllabus contains a total of 60 ECTS credits, distributed throughout the academic year into 29.5 theory credits, 15.5 personal work credits and 15 practical credits.

Degree title
Master’s Degree in International Cooperation: Sustainable Emergency Architecture

Program Structure
The program is divided into three terms, each with a specific aim, with the final purpose of preparing students to develop a thesis on action methods in complex and fragile post-emergency situations.

MODULE 1: CRITERIA Students will attend full day classes. This module is designed to provide a full and multidisciplinary understanding of project management and sustainable urban development policies and the economic and social policies that influence urban regeneration in developing countries, northern countries and countries undergoing reconstruction. The aim is for students to acquire an integral understanding of all the processes involved in urban regeneration based on practical knowledge of complex local situations.

MODULE 2: FIELDWORK (Field trip & Internship) The course includes a field trip to developing contexts where we partner with other universities and local entities on sustainable development and emergency projects. Students are also placed in an internship with one of our many collaborating institutions and organizations in the area of international cooperation.

MODULE 3:  WRITING THESIS Students start their individual research projects under the supervision of a tutor. The project will focus on specific post-emergency scenarios, urban development, prototypes and disaster management. This part of the program includes lectures on practical matters and methodology to assist students in developing their studio projects.

Syllabus and Subjects

MODULE 1: CRITERIA – Sept 2015-feb 2016

Module 1: Urbanism and Housing in Developing Contexts (10ECTS)
Course 1A: Introduction to Emergency and Urban Development (1ECTS)
Course 1B: Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements *Course certified by IFRC (International Federation Red Cross) (6ECTS)
Course 1C: Urban growth and city resilience (3ECTS)

Module 2: Global Identity and Development (6.5ECTS)
Course 2A: Participatory Planning and Community Design (3.25ECTS)
Course 2B: Environmental justice and Urban Development (3.25ECTS)

Module 3: Design Tools (13.5ECTS)
Course 3A: Local Workshop urban Scale (3.5ECTS)
Course 3B: Participation as a tool for upgrading (3.25ECTS)
Course 3C: Building and Design for change (3.25ECTS)
Course 3D: Housing accessibility and sanitation (3.5ECTS)

MODULE 2: FIELDWORK (Field trip & Internship) – June, July, August 2016

The most practical part of the course will take place during the FIELD TRIP & INTERNSHIP.

MODULE 3: MASTER THESIS – Nov 2015- May 2016