International Master courses

Transformative Urban Studies (TRUST) in a nutshell

The TRUST program is part of the "Urbanisme et aménagement" diploma. It prepares Master students for new professional opportunities in the context of global challenges that deeply transform cities and their surroundings. 

It combines the theoretical and methodological background of urban studies and the strategic thinking of urban planning. It both analyses and accompanies actions from public actors, NGOs, citizens that put forward strategies promoting social, spatial and environmental justice.

Through a transformative approach to professional practice and immersive experiences, students learn to recognize, understand and accompany processes of urban, economic, political, ecological and social change.

The Urban Planning Master Programme at IUGA is accredited by the French Ministry of Higher Education, as well as by:
  • AESOP, the Association of the European Schools of Planning
  • APERAU, the world wide French speaking association for the promotion of teaching and research in planning
  • OPQU, the official board giving the professional accreditation for spatial planners in France with an agreement for mutual recognition with the Quebec Order of Planners.

You can also find the Master TRUST on LinkedIn.

TRUST Objectives

Transformative approaches have the ambition to support, locally, processes of change driven by systemic and global economic, social, political and ecological crises.

The TRUST Master program aims at:
  • preparing students to become urban planners in France and beyond
  • providing students with tools to understand urban transitions and transformations at a global scale and to implement transformative urban strategies in different geographical contexts
  • training students capable of transcending the urban-rural and North-South divides to better understand the complexity of the contemporary production of the urban production
  • promoting autonomy and adaptation through immersive learning experiences, promoting bi- and pluri-linguism
  • training students to develop and articulate theoretical and practical skills, oriented towards both research (PhD) and professional projects

Benefiting from a large network of partners, the TRUST Master degree allows students to work in immersion in different geographical contexts, in France, in cities in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Tunisia and other non-European contexts.

These cooperations we established with actors of urban and territorial production allow students to confront current urban challenges in a professional setting and to support the necessary adaptation of urban professions to major economic, ecological and international political changes.

Network of partners

The TRUST programme is an international programme that benefits from a wide network of partners in the professional spheres concerned by urban and territorial development, as well as in the academic and research communities.

Among its partners are public and institutional actors, international organisations, associations, NGOs and citizens' collectives. We established long-term relationships with partners in different countries, notably for the organization of project pedagogic workshops that take place in France, Western Europe (Barcelona, Rome), Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania), Maghreb (Tunisia), etc.

TRUST's International dimension

TRUST is international in both content and organisation. Lectures are given, in different proportions depending on the year and the track, in French and English and encourage reflection on polyglot skills.

It focuses on international themes and aims to offer students an international perspective: international workshops, a mix of French and foreign students, the possibility of doing an internship (for students in "initial training") in a country other than the country of origin of the second-year master students.

In the second-year (M2), the programme includes students who have completed the first year of the MSc "International Cooperation in urban development" at TU Darmstadt, as part of the Mundus Urbano consortium, which allows students to obtain a double degree.

Program structure

TRUST offers a first-year (M1) and second-year (M2) Master program. It is possible to apply only to the second-year master.

Please note: The M1 is mainly thought in French, while the M2 is mainly thought in English. For the M2, a B1 language proficiency in French is required.

For more information on the program (teaching units and courses), click here.

Teaching staff

Pedagogical directors of the Master TRUST: Adriana Diaconu and Cristina Del Biaggio.

The Master's programme can count on a rich pedagogical team, composed of both permanent teachers and experts who intervene in specific courses. The complete list of the team can be accessed by clicking here.

Application calendar - Applications for the academic year 2023-2024

The calendar differs according to the student's country of residence (and not the nationality!).

Non-European students coming from a member country of the PEF ("Plateforme pour les études en France") must apply directly via the EFP platform. They do not need to register via the e-candidat platform.

The application calendar for the academic year 2023/2024 is not yet available. You will find below the 2022-2023 calendar as an indicative timeframe.
  • First session: beginning of March – mid- April 2022 (results’ publication: mid-May 2022)
  • Second session (M2) : end of April – end of May 2022 (results’ publication: mid-June 2022)
The e-candidat platform has not been completely translated into English, please refer to the document "eCandidat - guide for applicants" that will guide you through the platform.
PEF (Campus France):
  • Only one session: mid-January – beginning of March 2022 (results will be published during Spring)
PEF countries are: Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United States of America, Vietnam.

Due to the delays to obtain visas, candidates from outside European Union are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible.

To apply:

Tuition fees

For the academic year 2021-2022, the Université Grenoble Alpes will not apply any tuition fees increase decided by the French government for extra European citizens.

As some of you asked about more details on the tuition fees, I got this link from UGA which mainly states that: "By deliberation by its board of directors, the University of Grenoble Alpes has decided that non-community students who are subject to the payment of differentiated fees, may benefit, on request, from the exemption from the additional cost of registration fees."

You can also refer to:

The way it works is the following:
  • if you applied via e-candidat, you should have filled in this "extra-tuition"-waiver form. If not, you still have the possibility to do so before finalizing your registration and paying;
  • if you applied via Campus France / PEF, you will have the possibility to fill in the waiver before finalizing your registration and paying;
The amount of the fees you have to pay are 170 EUR for first-year and 243 EUR for second-year students. To this amount you have to add the so-called CVEC ("Contribution vie étudiante et de campus", i.e. a contribution for the activities proposed to students), about 90 EUR. More details here.


There are several different funding sources available to qualified international students in degree-seeking programs. Please check the funder's website for details about who is and is not eligible.

For the IDEX Excellence Grants, more information by clicking here.
Published on  July 16, 2019
Updated on November 16, 2022