Master of Arts / Master of Science in (Urban Policy and Governance) | Admissions, TISS


Tata Institute of Social Sciences

PG Programmes

Programme Details

Master of Arts / Master of Science in (Urban Policy and Governance)

Location: Mumbai

School: School of Habitat Studies

Centre: Centre for Urban Policy and Governance

Intake: 23


The two-year Master of Arts / Master of Science (Urban Policy and Governance) is the first of its kind in India. It aims to build a comprehensive understanding of urban realities, processes and challenges in India and the Global (and globalising) South. Apart from imparting interdisciplinary insights from different contexts, the programme also equips students to intervene effectively on urban issues through work in public, private and civil society organisations. Alumni of the programme are currently pursuing promising careers in all three sectors.

The programme examines the origins, foundations, development, and implementation of public policy related to cities and urbanisation in India. It engages critically with policies, plans, laws and initiatives, as well as with the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural factors that shape them. The urban is conventionally studied as a static system, in a compartmentalised manner. This programme conceives of it as an open, multi-dimensional, evolving formation involving many forces: the natural and built environment; political, economic, social and cultural processes, structures and institutions; human, technical and managerial knowledge and capacities; and the lived experiences of people on the ground, among other things. Concretely, it examines how different policies affect different social groups and classes, and how they in turn respond to, and shape these policies, in turn. A key ambition of the programme is to re-imagine the urban in India, and the Global South, especially in the context of globalisation. The guiding perspective emphasises democratic, equitable, socially just, culturally sensitive and technically sound, processes and outcomes.

The programme structure includes programme specific courses on the one hand, and a mix of mandatory Foundation Courses and choice based courses (CBCS) offered at the institute level on the other. The programme specific courses are of four kinds: Core, Research Methods and Practices, Elective Courses, and Concentrations. The Core courses of the programme introduce the student to key dimensions, contexts, issues and mechanisms related to urban processes and realities. These include, for instance, introductions to South Asian urbanisation; the interplay between urban politics, governance and policies; the urban ‘metabolism’ produced by various infrastructures and its social life. Two sets of Elective Courses are offered within the programme. One set is devoted to deeper exploration of different urban ‘sectors’ like water, housing, and sanitation. Another seeks to impart ‘skills’ like GIS, macro data analysis, and EIA/SIA. There are also five courses in the Research Method and Practice set, two of which introduce research methodology, while the others offer very different experiences of actively doing research involving field immersion and group work. In the second year, the student chooses one of the Concentrations on offer to develop a more in-depth understanding of a particular thematic area of research and practice, which culminates in an independent research project or dissertation conducted with the guidance of a faculty member. Projects address practical problems and challenges, while dissertations contribute to creating academic knowledge. Both require independent work and systematic research by the student. Work on Project/ Dissertation commences in the 3rd semester with the submission of a research proposal.

Faculty at the School engage in research projects along these key themes and this experience feeds into in-class teaching and exercises. Course teachers and students benefit from this dynamic and interactive learning process.

Distribution of Credit Hours:





Foundation Courses


Institute Electives (Open & Foundation)


Programme Core


School Commons


  Research Methods and Skills

4 or 6*


  Programme Core


Dissertation / Concentration 10
Research Methods and Skills 4 or 2*

Total Credits



Note: * Students must undergo 4 credits of skill courses in all,available to choose in the first and third semester.Courses in each of the groups have been presented together in the table above for comprehension and not necessarily in the sequesnce of teaching.

Semesterwise Courses:














Foundation Course



HS 01

Public Policy and Governance  : Theory , Analysis and Advocacy


HS 02

Introduction to State, Law,and Governance


HS 03

Basics of Financial Analysis


HS 04

Ecosystems, Habitat and Sustainability


HS 05

Research Methods - I


HS 06

Basic Principles of Economics


UPG 01

South Asian Cities Urbanisation - I


   UPG 02

Sustainable Cities






HS 07

Socio Cultural Perpectives


HS 08

Research Methods -II


UPG 03

Urban Planning : Challenges and Current Practices


UPG 04

Field Institute


UPG 05 Urban Poverty and Exclusion 2
UPG 06 South Asian Cities and Urbanisation- II 2
UPG 07 Urban Economics 2

  Sectoral Electives :Choose any 2 from the 3 sectoral courses given below ** (total of 4 Credits)







UPG 08

1) Urban Water,


UPG 09

2) Urban Housing


UPG 10

3) Urban sanitation and Solid Waste Management



Open Elective



Elective Foundtion

Summer Vacation  


  Internship (6 weeks)  
                  Skill Electives : Choose any 2 from the 5 skill courses given below ** (total of 4 Credits)

HS 09

1) Green Economy and Sustainability


       HS 10         2) Macro Data Analysis 2

HS 11

3) Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (EIA and SIA)



HS 03

4) Basics of Financial Analysis (Note: Taught in Semester I)


HS 12

5) Introduction to GIS


UPG 11

Urban Studio


   UPG 12 Urban Governance , Politics and Policies 2
   UPG 13 Issues and Challenges in Urban Transport  2
    UPG 14 Project / Dissertation : Literature Review and Proposal      1
Taught Course : Choose any one out of the four given below)

UPG 15

1) Engendering Urban Local Governance


UPG 16

2) Urbanisation and Water


UPG 17

3) Land, Housing and Property : Perspectives and Alternatives


UPG 18

4) Planning and the Indian City


IV    UPG 19 Project / Dissertation


  UPG 20 Urban Futures 2

Note: The Total number of creditts, list of CBCS curses and semester- wise listing of courses is provisional, and may undergo some changes. Due to current pandemic situation courses may be shifted or taught across semesters.

* The estimated expenses for the Field Institute are about Rs.14000/-, and this will be collected and managed by students themselves

** A concentration course enables students to develop their areas of inerest and usually linked to the project work or dissertation. Though every effort will be made to offer all Electives and Concentration courses, certain courses might not be offered in specific semester due to faculty unavailability or any other reason.


Fee Structure:


Components MA./M.Sc. In Urban Policy & Governance
Fees Sem I Sem II
Sem III Sem IV
FEE Tuition Fee 16,000 16,000 16,000 16,000
Examination Fee 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000

Field Education / Internship / Experiential Learning Charges 3,000 3,000 0 0
IT Charges 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Library Charges 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500
Other Charges( ID Card, Convocation & Misc.) * 2,500 0 0 0
FUNDS Students' Competency Fund 0 0 1,000 0
Lab / Studio Fund 0 0 1,500 0
Development Fund 10,000 0 10,000 0
Students' Union Fund * 500 500 500 500
Alumni Fund * 0 500 0 0
Health Care Fund* 2,000 0 2,000 0
DEPOSITS Caution Deposits (Refundable at the time of exit from programme on submission of No Dues Certificate) 10,000 0    
  Semester wise Course Fee 48,500 24,500 35,500 21,000
  Yearly Fees 73,000 56,500
  Total Course Fee 1,29,500
Institute reserves the right to revise the Fee Structure of programmes if necessary.
Expenses related to Practicum / Study tour / Rural field work / Urban field work/Winter Institute, if any, will have to be met by the students themselves at the time of the activity.
No fee concession is available for self-finanaced programmes.


*Institute reserves the rights to revise the Fees Structure of programme if necessary.