Studying Spatial Planning as an exchange student

On this page you will find information about our programmes and courses, as well as some practical details that you should know.

Programmes and Courses
There are two main programmes at the Spatial Planning Unit (department) at BTH:
- Fysisk Planering (Spatial Planning) - in Swedish
- European Spatial Planning and Regional Development - in English

The Spatial Planning programme ("Fysisk Planering") is the Swedish 3+2-year programme. The programme consists of courses that are either 7.5 or 15 ECTS credits. The courses are in Swedish but often part of the reading material and some of the lectures are in English. Some of the courses on the Spatial Planning programme are open to non-Swedish speaking exchange students. You can find closer details about the courses here.

The courses that are primarily open for exchange students are the design courses, the architectural and project-based planning courses. On these courses, teachers will adapt the main elements of the courses for English speakers (for example group work instructions, assignments, and exams). Group work is usually done either with other exchange students, or in groups where the Swedish students volunteer to have English as their working language. Most of the lectures will, however, be in Swedish, but the required reading material that is in Swedish will normally be adapted and/or replaced by English material. 

The English language programme, European Spatial Planning and Regional Development (ESP), is a 1-year Master's programme. All courses, lectures, assignments on this programme are in English and students come from all over the world. Exchange students can either follow the entire ESP programme, or they can take some courses from the ESP programme and some from the (Swedish) Spatial Planning programme. We try to coordinate the schedules and time-tables so that students can follow some courses on the two programmes.

Students who have followed the entire ESP programme, including Thesis, may be able to graduate with a Master's in European Spatial Planning, once he/she has a degree from his/her home university. (Conditions apply in some cases, however. You are advised to contact for further information.) 

More information about the European Spatial Planning and Regional Development programme - including the courses on this programme - can be found (in English) on, or by contacting

How do I decide which courses to choose?

Exchange students should think about the kind of interests they have and what focus they have on their studies at home. If you are more into design, architecture and project work, and related subjects, perhaps the courses from the Swedish Spatial Planning programme will be more relevant. If you are more of an 'analytical' planner and your focus and expertise is within, for example, regional planning, economics, transport issues, environmental assessment and sustainable development, and so on, then you may prefer the European Spatial Planning courses. Another way of thinking about it is of course to take the opportunity to choose courses in subjects that are not offered at your home university/department.

Remember to speak to your departmental Eramus or exchange coordinator to make sure that the courses you choose at BTH will be approved when you go back home!

Whatever courses students choose, we recommend all exchange students to take the first course on the ESP programme. During this course we also organise a number of social events, an excursion, and give general introductions to studying at BTH. This is also a good way to get to know your fellow international students at BTH and the department, and it also provides a European perspective to planning issues.

In addition, those exchange students who are not doing all their courses on the ESP programme, are recommended to follow the City Planning Project course during the autumn term.  

Most exchange students and Master's students also follow one or more of the Swedish language courses for foreign students at BTH.


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