Career opportunities - Urban Ecological Planning (Master's Programme)
Our past international students have been successfully employed in various other places across the globe. Many are university teachers, researchers or development professionals in both NGOs and government service. Others are active as experts in the private industry related to urban development. Some UEP alumni have also been employed as interns or consultants at different United Nations and European Union agencies and other multilateral institutions. In Norway, students get motivated to work for the local governments and community organizations to find integrated, cross-sector solutions to urban problems.
The PhD education is a structured degree with a nominal duration of three-year full time study. Some PhD positions may include a fourth year of required duties, usually in the form of teaching, this will be detailed in your employee contract if applicable.
- The programme consists of at least 30 ECTS of coursework, and an independent academic work in the form of a doctoral thesis estimated to 2.5 years.
- A PhD degree requires a great deal of independence and capacity for completion
- The final thesis should contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and meet international standards in the field
- PhD education at NTNU is internationally oriented
- You are expected to contribute to international conferences and publish in international peer-reviewed journals
- It is possible to complete part of your studies abroad, either in the form of a prolonged research stay or by completing some of your courses abroad
In addition to a master's degree or equivalent and a strong academic record, financing is an absolute requirement for admission to a PhD programme. Funding can be both through NTNU and other sources. Available PhD positions at NTNU are continuously posted online.
Read more about the Faculty PhD program here
Since I graduated from UEP in 2013, I have been a part of the Department of Architecture and Design; first as a PhD candidate in ‘sustainable urban planning in a framework of network Governance’ and today, as a researcher in ‘smart sustainable cities’. The UEP program has provided me with fundamental knowledge about the real urban challenges of both global North and South. It has also provided me with a deeper understanding of complex, uncertain and multi-layered urban planning that is partly rooted in politics and contextual characteristics. One of the strengths of UEP is its attachment to practice-based research and tangible experiences in the field that generates extremely valuable knowledge to communities and decision-makers. Moreover in the process the students gain significant understanding of who they are as a person and a professional. The key lessons I am walking away with upon graduation is to be critical, to think big yet be meticulous, and to value the application of theory to practice. In my point of view, multiculturalism is the defining characteristic of UEP that can notably broaden the horizons.
The choice of a master’s degree was one of the most important decisions in my life and I definitely don’t regret it. I was looking for something practical and interesting at the same time. TheUEP was exactly that. Through the field projects, group work and theoretical discussions, I gained the knowledge and experience that gave me a competitive advantage when seeking employment after graduating, both as a practitioner and researcher. After graduating from UEP I spent a few years working in the field in Latin America and India and later I got selected for a PhD Research Fellow position at the University of Oslo.
I am currently working at The State Highway Authority in Norway with topics related to Smart mobility and how to regulate the new mobility services. I found UEP because I wanted to come to Norway to study, I looked at the different programs that NTNU had and I became interested in UEP because of its international profile and people based planning.
UEP focuses on solving urban challenges based on people’s needs with solutions that are context- and cultural sensitive. UEP is a program for candidates who are interested in the social dimension of cities and the nexus of research and policy. Before starting UEP I was familiar with the technical tools that are required for urban planning but after UEP I knew how to consider the contextual and cultural dimensions. Adapting to life in Norway was nice and easy, the student life at UEP had an international atmosphere, providing many opportunities to learn from other cultures.
I am a PhD student at Makerere University (Uganda) and I am working on the topic “Street vending and its impact to urban planning and management in Kampala City”. I was fortunate to be admitted to the UEP program in August 2007. It is a good course for Urban Planners and Managers. The course is very relevant to my occupation, especially in designing Solutions tailored to specific needs, norms, traditions, and aspirations of marginalized interests and communities. After my graduation in June 2009, I returned to Kampala (Uganda) to work in academia and in 2013, I got full time employment at Makerere University. Here at the Department of Architecture and Physical planning I participated among others, in the Cities Alliance research project titled “Transformation of Settlements for the Urban Poor in Uganda” (TSUPU) and the “Participatory Slum Upgrading Program Phase II” (PSUP II) together with the European Commission (EC), the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) secretariat, UN-Habitat along with selected local governments.
Andrew Gilbert Were - Uganda
After finishing the UEP, I did an internship within the Slum Upgrading Unit of UN-Habitat, where I had the chance to work on the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme where we supported slum upgrading teams in 35 countries. Then, I did a research project on participation within refugee camps in Northern-France, where I also participated in the construction of shelter and in camp management. Recently, I started a new position as an Urban Resilience Officer with Concern Worldwide within the EU Aid Volunteer programme. Here I work on empowering households and communities in the slum of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to build up resilience.
Hanne Vrebos – Belgium
Being part of UEP has prepared me to confront today's urban development and cross cultural contextual challenges especially in Global South, which could not have been possible with my earlier experience and training. I am able to relate with different disciplines and sectors because of the multidisciplinary approach, diversity and depth of issues the program covers. Meanwhile on a personal note, I learnt that good networking skills are fundamental in life and career expeditions, which this program emphasizes.
Ronald Murungi – Uganda
UEP programme changed my perception and perspective towards built environment. Before, my perspective was very much material-oriented, after joining UEP I gradually observed a progressive shift in my perception and approach towards planning. I also learned to apply my knowledge to other fields such as cultural heritage and its conservation!
Aida Ayoubi – Iran
The UEP program was a really valuable experience for me through hands-on learning with international and interdisciplinary classmates. It changed and challenged my role and perspective as a development professional and has strongly influenced my decision to continue working on issues of sanitation that I started to explore during the UEP program. It also motivated me towards my current job at a small, interdisciplinary company that is creative, self-analytic and working to replace the developed country status quo of water-borne toilets with composting toilets.
Megan Prier - USA
After completing my Master’s degree, I worked at the Planning section at the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction in Kathmandu. Shortly after, I was transferred to the Division office in Dolakha, where I was involved in reconstruction works after the catastrophic earthquakes of 2015. After 8 months, I was promoted to the post of Senior Divisional Engineer through written and oral examination and then I worked at the Division office Kailali as division Chief where I was responsible for coordinating building construction and urban development works. I also worked as a Project Manager the Regional Urban Development Project (RUDP), funded by the Asian Development Bank. Recently, I returned to the Kathmandu office of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction and currently work in the Housing Section, which plans to construct 20,000 houses for the poor section of Dalit – a marginalized and vulnerable community.
Raju Neupane – Nepal
As someone who joined the academia, I would say this program helps to extensively work on the inclusion of social dimensions in design courses. It also enables to transform the regimented and technocratic Architecture studios.
Gizaw Fikre – Ethiopia