• Oct 2023 – Sept 2024

  • 3 terms – Courses, Thesis, Internship

  • 60 ECTS

  • Taught in English

  • € 10.680 Fee* (Includes Field Trip + Enrolment Fee)

Course Certified by IFRC

As part of the masters, students will complete the Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements course certified by the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), providing students with the necessary skills to lead and coordinate Shelter Clusters on the field during the  emergency response phase. At the end of the course, participants will have acquired strategic and practical knowledge on shelter coordination policies, methods, tools and procedures in the humanitarian response system. 


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 on humanitarian design. This is one of the only master’s degree 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.

Learning Outcomes

Delving into three main topics: international cooperation, sustainable development, and emergency architecture, the program includes courses with a multidisciplinary approach to urban and architectural strategies that promote social cohesion. Students will acquire the proper skills to develop a critical analysis and management capacity of complex problems in a variety of contexts, learn to maximize human resources to support local actors in post-disaster scenarios and tackle urban upgrading strategies in both developed and developing countries.

Course Structure & Syllabus


Students attend daily classes and professor-led workshops that provide an integral and multidisciplinary understanding of project management, sustainable urban development policies and the economic and social policies that influence urban regeneration based on practical knowledge of complex local situations.


M1: Emergency Shelter and Settlements
– Introduction to Emergency and Urban development
– Humanitarian Shelter and settlements *Course certified by IFRC
– Reconstruction and Displacement

M2: Urban Development and Community Design
– Humanitarian Design and Implementation
– Bottom Up Strategies for Urban Regeneration

M3: Socio-Spatial Strategies
– Socio Spatial Workshop for Integrated Urban Upgrading
– Climate Resilient Urban Design
– Environmental Justice and Urban Development
– Participatory planning and Community Design

M4: Internship

M5: Master’s Thesis

THESIS — March-May

Students undertake their individual research projects under the supervision of a tutor which will focus on specific post-emergency scenarios, urban development, prototypes and disaster management. This module includes lectures on practical matters and methodology to assist students in writing and developing their thesis. Students will defend their thesis before a final jury comprised of faculty members and a special guest juror.

For more information, see our FAQ page.

INTERNSHIP — June-August

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 responsible for finding an internship and are fully supported by the Masters team. We coordinate the student’s applications with our many collaborating institutions and organizations in the area of international cooperation.

Internship institutions include:

– BCNUEJ (Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability) Barcelona, Spain
– Center on Global Justice, UCSD; San Diego, USA
– CRS (Catholic Relief Services) Leeds, UK
– CPID (Center for Public Interest Design) Portland, USA
– EMI Manila (Earthquakes and Megacities) Manila, Philippines
– GWOPA (Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance) Barcelona, Spain
– MSF (Médicos sin Fronteras) Barcelona, Spain
– Office of Displaced Designers; Lesvos, Greece
– Tsum Nubri Relief Centre; Kathmandu, Nepal
– SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres) Mumbai, India
– UCLG (United Cities Local Governments) Barcelona, Spain
– UN HABITAT CRPP (City Resilience Profiling Program) Barcelona, Spain
– UN HABITAT Offices; Nairobi, Laos, Fukuoka, Lebanon…
– VPUU (Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading) Cape Town, South Africa

For more information, see our FAQ page.


Who Can Apply

Applicants must have a university degree. The program is aimed at graduates from the following areas:

  • Architecture
  • Urban Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Design
  • Geography

How to Apply

Applicants must apply online and send the necessary documentation via email to your designated program officer. Please consult these websites for full instructions and application deadlines.


The  € 10.680 fee includes:

  • 480€ – Enrolment fee
  • 60 credits x 170 €/cr
  • Field trip costs (flights and accommodation)

*Prices are subject to variations.



Your tuition payments can now be split into the following 5 instalments:

  • 20% Deposit to reserve a place in the program, 15 days after being admitted
  • 20% Enrollment Period, July 31 2023
  • 20% Before November 30, 2023
  • 20% Before January 31, 2024
  • 20% Before March 32, 2024

Necessary Documentation

In all cases:

– 1 passport-size photo
– Photocopy of your Spanish identity card (DNI) or passport
– Updated curriculum vitae
– Portfolio
– Motivation letter
– Attested photocopy of any other university degrees, including postgraduate degrees
– University degrees and academic transcripts are accepted in Spanish, Catalan, English, French and Italian. Documents in any other language must be officially translated into one of these languages.
– Certificate indicating your level of English:
First Certificate in English (FCE)
TOEFL 61-79/173-210/500-547
IELTS 5.0/5.5/6.0
Trinity Grades 7, 8, 9

Students with an official European Union university degree:

– Original attested photocopy of your university degree or a document certifying that your degree has been recognized, or an original attested photocopy of the receipt for payment of the fee to have the degree issued
– Original attested photocopy of the academic transcript of your university studies

Students with an official foreign university degree (outside the European Union):

– Original attested photocopy of your university degree
– Original attested photocopy of the academic transcript of your university studies