Working groups - Urban Planning Programme

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Practical experience in real-world conditions

The working group has been one of the mainstays of our teaching method for nearly forty years. Over eight months, students conduct a highly technical study commissioned under contract by a public or private organisation. The topics are complex and include an appraisal phase, a proposal development phase and sometimes facilitation assignments. Students have professional-type responsibilities and the studies must therefore be completed to very high standards of quality.

Each working group of six or seven students spends two days a week working on the project under the supervision of a professional specialised in the subject. The entire pedagogical organisation of the programme is designed to correlate this practical experience with their theoretical learning.

Themes that are often addressed include:

  • Planning and urban projects
  • Transport infrastructure and development
  • Housing and urban renewal
  • Urban policy; economics and development
  • Public management of transport


Karim Lahiani:

"The working group is like the common thread running through the year spent on the programme. With the group, we get to put into practice what we learn in the classroom, experiment with other knowledge, and take a first step into working life while enjoying a rewarding social experience".

Manon Lesterlin:

"The working group puts us into a real, comprehensive professional situation where we get to complete a project from start to finish, with all the support we need to do it as well as possible. It’s great training for working life!"


Deliverables are contractually defined but correspond to industry standards for engineering and project management consulting.

  • Technical/academic guarantees: the programme coordinators guarantee the quality of the work and are involved in the project development process at all times.
  • Relations with the commissioning organisation: the work is conducted under agreement with Sciences Po. It is therefore covered by the administrative and regulatory guarantee of an internationally respected higher education institution.
  • Professional code of ethics: the programme follows a strict code of ethics for data collection and dissemination.
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