The UFP draws from IIHS’ curriculum co-created in partnership with the world’s leading universities including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University College London (UCL), University of Cape Town (UCT) and Federal University of the ABC Region, Sao Paulo (UFABC), in addition to nearly a hundred practitioners and scholars from across India.


Seven learning elements are structured across three terms: Commons, Electives and Internships. Fellows are in residence in Bengaluru for the first two, and in their internship placements for the third. There is an Exposure Visit held in between. Skill Labs, Applied Practica and Master Classes run throughout the Commons and Elective terms.


Commons represents the heart of the UFP. Taught across six modules stretching over sixteen weeks, the Commons is where Fellows understand the different approaches, systems, aspects and components that make up the urban. It is also where Fellows from different disciplinary backgrounds learn a common new vocabulary and set of conceptual perspectives to think about the urban.

There are six core modules:

  • Urban Economy
  • Law, Governance and Policy
  • Identity and Social Practice
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Built Environment and Planning
  • Infrastructure and Services



Electives build on concepts and skills taught in the Commons and allow learners to create their own trajectories through the UFP by focusing on particular sectors and focus areas they want to develop. Fellows will be able to choose four of ten to twelve elective courses offered, that will enable them to understand, engage and grapple with contemporary urban debates.

In 2020-21, these electives included a combination of practice-oriented courses including modules on Housing, Urban and Regional Economic Development and Climate Change where Fellows interrogated how policy problem was framed, interventions and actions proposed, and possibilities and challenges of the current paradigm. Other elective courses were more conceptual and allowed Fellows to explore ideas and concepts that inform the understanding of the urban such as The Practice of Economics in The Urban and The Urban Missions.

A list of Electives offered in 2020-21 included:

  • The Practice of Economics in the Urban
  • The Urban Missions
  • Energy and the City
  • Urban Mobility
  • Governing Mega-Infrastructure Projects
  • Urban and Regional Economic Development
  • Climate Change and Cities
  • Digital Labour Markets and the Future of Work in Indian Cities
  • Urban Health Systems
  • Housing Policy and Practice
  • Urban Risk and Resilience
  • Work, Labour, and Informality in the Urban