Management of Smart Cities Master’s Programme

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Management of Smart Cities Master’s Programme

Do you work in public administration, local authority services, in companies or development agencies and are searching for innovative and comprehensive solutions for your municipality or city? Perhaps you do business with public administration and develop innovative solutions that provide advanced services in the fields of IT, energy, mobility, public utilities, spatial planning solutions, environmental protection, and sustainable development? Learn about the latest global practices and apply them to your local community. Get a master's degree in of one of the most topical development fields.

In-demand competencies that you will develop

Strategic management and leadership

Strategic management and leadership

Understanding the concept of smart cities, formulating development policies and managing complexity.
Advanced tehnologies

Advanced tehnologies

Understanding tehnologies for an inclusive, empowered, comfortable and efficient life of citizens.
Generating and managing innovation

Generating and managing innovation

Using technologies and analytics to innovative citizen-oriented solutions.
Global and sustainable development

Global and sustainable development

Knowledge of global challanges for introducing sustainable solutions.
Communication and participation

Communication and participation

Knowledge of strategies, platforms, tools and tehniques for effective communication.
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Pedro B. Ortiz,

Expert on urban issues of metropolises, consultant at the World Bank and former mayor of Madrid
Cities and communities are the main venues of key challenges of modern times, which we have to understand and be able to solve by including citizens to enhance sustainable development and quality of life.

Pedro B. Ortiz,

Expert on urban issues of metropolises, consultant at the World Bank and former mayor of Madrid
Cities and communities are the main venues of key challenges of modern times, which we have to understand and be able to solve by including citizens to enhance sustainable development and quality of life.

Programme structure

1st year
2nd year
Compulsory Courses
Methods of Research Work

This course challenges the prejudice of research being boring and demanding. It uncovers new aspects and possibilities of research that lead to important business factors in successful decision making. With this course, students have reported having higher self-confidence during meetings or when presenting improvements to an executive board. This course on business research methods represents an important building block in the study programme where students are introduced to the big picture of research, helping them to understand research requirements for their studies and for their master’s thesis.
This course aims to present the basic philosophies and approaches to research and apply the main quantitative/qualitative methods and techniques, setting clear research indicators and standards. Students have the opportunity to prepare a team research project proposal in order to learn how to prepare similar research proposals, evaluate research articles, and explore databases throughout the world to find relevant scientific and professional articles for their studies. The course expands the horizon into the world of research and exploration.

Understanding and Managing Smart Cities

What exactly does the term ‘smart cities’ mean? Understanding and Managing Smart Cities is one of the fundamental courses where students learn about the concepts of smart cities and the current challenges that cities are facing (from infrastructure and finance to energy sources and environmental issues). You will discuss the characteristics of existing/traditional and new/emerging cities, cities in the developed world, and cities in emerging markets. You will recognise the importance of a comprehensive approach to solving problems in cities and study examples of implementation of the concept of smart cities.

Economy of Future Cities

How can we enable economic growth and a more sustainable development to cities? This and similar questions were not asked in the past, but are now becoming increasingly current and sensible. Cities have to be good economic managers, know the indicators for measuring the smart economy, create the competitiveness of the city but also shape the city brand. The Economy of Future Cities course will also offer insight into how to finance city development from budgetary and non-budgetary funds. The economic aspect in the development of a city also includes recognising opportunities for smart cities and how to develop them into a business idea, i.e. how to use limited resources to create the best possible living conditions in the city now and in the future.

Economic, Environmental and Social Aspects of Sustainable Development and Glocalisation

What is the role of smart cities in the context of sustainable development, the circular economy, and glocalisation? The answers to this question will be revealed in one of the main courses of the first year. You will see that smart cities can be the intersection of economic, environmental, and social sustainable development. You will develop critical thinking on how sustainable development is even defined and on the role of companies, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders in sustainable development. You will learn about technologies and examples of mathematical models that contribute to finding the glocal balance.

Applied Urban Sociology

The fundamental terms and concepts that are associated with urban sociology are society vs. community ,urban vs. rural, global vs. local. This course explores the city as a social, political, economic, and cultural phenomenon. It further challenges you to consider the role of cities throughout history, the social dynamics of urban environments, and the social importance of urbanism and architecture. The course gives you the opportunity to discuss current urban challenges and encourages you to develop corresponding solutions.

Public Policies and Project Management in Public Sector

The course offers a detailed insight into public policies and the opportunity to explore how public policies are reflected in encouraging sustainable development in smart cities. You will learn how to obtain funding for smart city development projects, how to manage public sector projects, and how to manage risks. You will also review the existing EU funding opportunities for smart cities. Case studies and simulations will help you obtain experience in this field.

Innovation Business Processes, Relations and Models

This course takes a holistic approach to innovation development and management. Innovation is very complex and joins many important aspects of business, therefore only linear thinking and an individual approach are not enough. It takes cooperation and a systematic approach. The course is built on the precondition that innovation and innovativeness are the main factors of competitiveness. It starts with a macroeconomic view of innovation at home and in the global market by recognising indexes and indicators, and exploring supporting environments of innovation with R&D and other departments.
It includes a study of technological and service innovation and continues with an organisational view of innovation, learning about the techniques and methods of innovation management. The course/module concludes with deeper exploration and the understanding of marketing the potential innovation (market research, market strategy, market segmentation, market potential, customer value, etc.). Throughout the course, students are challenged to apply their new knowledge to case studies and to develop a team project showcasing a potential innovation.

Elective courses (the student chooses one course)
Creative Management of Innovative Services

Innovative services are just as important as technological innovations, as all technological innovations also comprise services (e.g. research, marketing, maintenance, etc.) and through development also their improvements. Technological innovations and innovative services intertwine. The course mostly focuses on answers as to how innovations happen in the most representative service sectors such as trade, tourism, utility services, IT programming, telecommunications, education, etc. We also observe the differences among the branches and among countries. We are interested in the current trends, how they create innovations, how the invention and innovation process runs in these branches, how these branches manage innovations, what are the bottle necks and the related possibilities of improvement. Students learn about theory and best practice examples and have the opportunity to study the innovation activity of their organisation and to propose improvements.

Communication and Lobbying

Interest representation, lobbying, and negotiation techniques are widely used terms. We often hear or even use them, but do we truly understand what they mean? What is the purpose of lobbying? What is business lobbying? What is the difference between lobbying and communication with influential publics? What is the importance of negotiations for an organisation and how are they connected to communication and lobbying?
More often than we are aware, different circumstances force us to act as lobbyists or to represent our organisation in negotiations. If we cannot communicate well, we are unable to successfully present our organisation’s products, services or projects to business partners or government authorities. We will not be able to attract customers or investors and obtain the best possible position in our own work environment. As a minimum defence, we need to be familiar with lobbying and negotiation strategies and tactics that other stakeholders will often use when communicating with us. It is also important to be familiar with the criteria of ethics and legitimacy of their actions so as to be able to quickly decide how to act when faced with such challenges.
The course thus focuses on three main aspects: (1) communication with influential publics and networking, (2) interest representation and lobbying, and (3) negotiation doctrines and techniques.

Creative Management of Technological Innovations

Today, technological inventions are considered the driving force of an economy. How can we develop them? What enables a company/organisation to create novelties? How to turn an invention into an innovation? What is important when protecting an innovation and what are the strategies of marketing an innovation or launching it on a new market?
These and similar questions will be answered in the Creative Management of Technological Inventions course. Students will also learn about good practice examples from companies both at home and abroad and try to develop their own idea into a technological invention through an applicative project.

Compulsory Courses
Communication, Participation and Inclusion of Target Groups by Management of Smart Cities

This course will encourage you to understand the importance of the development of technology and the city throughout history and try to anticipate the effect of digital media on modern communication and participation. You will explore how we understand the terms city – community – smart community and try to establish the special features of communicating these new concepts and the meaning of the transformation of communicators from technology-centric to human-centric. In addition to discovering interesting topics, the course will also offer the opportunity to learn about best practices and communication issues in a smart city.

Integrated Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning

Why should systemic and long-term comprehensive spatial planning of smart cities be important? The course will deal with the main urban models, theories, systems, and methods of city planning and try to encompass their comprehensive nature by considering various aspects of social, economic, political, cultural, environmental, and technological change. Furthermore, you will discuss who to include in planning (public-private partnership and the participation of citizens, the community, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, and research and educational institutions). All this will offer insight into the planning processes, plan documents, and communication.

Information Technology and Systems for Smart City Management

The fast development of information technologies poses a specific challenge to cities, leading them to seizing opportunities to develop towards greater effectiveness and sustainability. The course will therefore focus on informatisation and ICT management in smart cities. We will take a look at the solutions for smart city managers, citizens, and companies. You will learn about digitalisation and the digitalisation of infrastructure. We will also tackle the challenge of studying cyber security of systems and IT systems and how to ensure it.

Social Innovation and Quality of Life Services

The course explores social innovations and the social innovation process. You will learn how social innovations contribute to a better quality of life (in healthcare, education, ageing and intergenerational connections, employment, culture, and environmental protection). You will better understand the field of quality of life and how to assess it and gain insight into social innovation trends, projects, and research.

Research and Development Project: Urban Problems and Solutions

When discovering and exploring become your inspiring partners. The Research and Development Project: Urban Problems and Solutions course will challenge you to prepare a comprehensive project for the urban environment. You will have an excellent opportunity to develop a project for the organisation or community where you are already active and to propose improvements that you have recognised in the course of your studies. The course offers a deeper understanding and guides you through the different stages of research preparation, from sampling methods, choosing appropriate methods and techniques, data analysis techniques, software, and results interpretation to effective presentation of research results. Students prepare their research and development project on actual issues in the urban environment and take a critical look at other research as well.

Master's Thesis

Students complete their studies by preparing a final paper that explores a current issue from the chosen field or an interdisciplinary issue. You mostly focus on what has already been researched on the problem at hand, i.e. past studies, theoretical aspects, what your research of the phenomenon can show, and your findings and proposals for improvement or solutions to the problem. Throughout the process, you showcase your knowledge of research approaches and business research methods.

Elective courses (the student chooses two courses)
Development and Management of Rural and Urban Hinterlands of Cities

The course will focus on the demographic and urban dynamics – migration characteristics in the world, Europe and Slovenia and the effects of the regional policy on the development of urban and rural areas. You will also study the use of the smart growth concept at regional and local level. You will learn about centres of gravity of rural areas and explore sustainable transport connections between urban and rural areas. You will consolidate your knowledge on the circular economy and smart specialisation and help shape a supportive environment for development. Furthermore, you will be able to test the indicators and measures of sustainable coexistence of urban and rural areas.

Energy Management in Cities, Smart Buildings and Processes

The course focuses on smart cities, buildings, and processes, especially from the viewpoint of energy. We will focus on how to best manage energy in cities, both in the sense of effectiveness and harmonised supply and consumption, i.e. without power blackouts. You will learn about global, EU and national strategic and legislative guidelines and trends in sustainable energy. You will learn how to manage energy infrastructure in cities and study how to include renewable energy sources for effective energy consumption. You will focus on informatisation in energy and study smart management systems. You will look into energy efficiency of buildings and how to measure it. The interesting content of the course will also be supported with best practice examples from the field.

Sustainable and Smart Mobility Systems

The course deals with global changes and their effect on the development of sustainable and smart mobility. For example, what does the development of autonomous cars mean for smart cities? You will learn about trends in mobility, about urban and electrical mobility, and the economic and social aspects of modern mobility. You will study the effects of smart mobility on changes in the automotive industry and the economy and explore whether sustainable and smart mobility also bring incremental innovations.

Blue-Green Infrastructure in Cities

Have you already heard of blue-green cities? What could be the advantages of such cities? The Blue-Green Infrastructure in Cities course offers insight into how to manage water resources and how to strategically and comprehensively plan green spaces in city centres. You will research the importance of the European Green Capital title. You will try your hand at city planning in light of environmental aspects and discover energy opportunities for increasing social, cultural, and economic values of the urban environment. You will further learn about the effects of air quality on the urban population.

New Business Models and Competitiveness of Companies

Do you think that the development of a smart city could also be an opportunity for entrepreneurs? The New Business Models and Competitiveness of Companies course will show you how entrepreneurs can network and cooperate with the city so as to find comprehensive solutions and how they tackle challenges by including digital transformation. New opportunities lead to public-private partnerships and new business models as well as to generic business models for a comprehensive approach to problem solving. You will also be able to try your hand at developing an idea, presenting it, negotiating, and shaping a sales solution.

Minimum number of students for program implementation: 15 enrolled students.

Unique advantages for your study success

Innovative learning

Innovative learning

Modern pedagogical approaches and active studying with the support of professors and tutors.
Projects for companies

Projects for companies

The result of the student’s work on concrete projects are 12 applicable projects for companies during the study.
Student Support

Student Support

We support prospective students, students and alumni from the first inquiry through graduation and beyond.
International Environment

International Environment

Students have the opportunity to study in internationally varied groups and work with other international students.

Master's and Career

After completing the programme, you will be equipped with modern systemic and management knowledge for managing project teams in urban development and the development of smart cities. You will be able to successfully engage in cross-sector connections and in the management of development projects in municipalities and other public administration fields. A master’s degree in management of smart cities will help in your search for new opportunities in development-oriented companies and institutions with a vision of co-shaping the development of smart cities of the future.
Enrolment requirements
Tuition fee and payment options
Application deadlines

Enrolment Requirements

Enrolment in the first year of the master’s programme is available to candidates who have completed:

  • A first-cycle programme from the relevant fields in the extent of at least 180 ECTS credits 
  • A study programme leading to a higher education degree or a study programme leading to a university degree from the relevant fields (before the Bologna system) 
  • Equivalent study programmes to those specified in the previous indents but from different fields, provided that they complete additional study obligations worth 12–14 ECTS credits from the list of courses, which are determined for each individual prospective student by the competent DOBA Business School commission with regard to the professional field. 

Relevant fields are economic, business, administrative, and organisation sciences, sociology, legal, political, and social sciences, and humanities.

Mandatory attachments

Immediately after submitting, the candidates shall send the following to the school’s address at DOBA Business School, Prešernova ulica 1, Maribor, Slovenia:

  • Copy of authenticated/legalized certificate of completed study programme
  • Copy of authenticated/legalized transcript of records
  • Certificate confirming the knowledge of English min B2 level
  • Copy of a personal identity document
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • A one-page essay addressing two topics: What experiences led you to select your professional objectives, what are your expectations regarding the master’s programme
  • One Coloured Passport Photo

*Legalisation of the documents:

For countries which are Hague Convention signatories - According to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Hague Apostille Convention) the documents must be verified with APOSTILLE stamp.

For countries which are not Hague Convention signatories - Foreign certificates have to be verified in accordance with internal regulations of a specific foreign country, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The stamp and signature of the authorised person from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country have to be verified by the diplomatic consular mission or consular post of the Republic of Slovenia, which is accredited for this country, or by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.

You do not need to legalise (documents must be verified by notary) your diploma if you have finished your previous education in the following countries (due to bilateral agreements between countries): Bulgaria, Iraq, Algeria, Russia, Poland, Austria, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia

**English Language Requirements

Candidates must present a language certificate of their English language skills. The minimum required score is B2.

If DOBA Business School concludes based on reasonable grounds that the applicant has falsified any document/information presented to the School as part of his or her application, without limiting any other rights of DOBA Business School available by law, DOBA Business School reserves the right to revoke the application and, subject to the applicable law and DOBA Business School Policy, to terminate a student’s registration and no fees paid are refunded. 

Tuition fee for the master programme for the 2020/21 academic year:

  • EUR 5,890 per academic year

The fee is inclusive of VAT. In the case of drop-out, the tuition fee is not refundable.

Your payment includes:

  • costs of education
  • all information support
  • access to the Blackboard online learning environment
  • online material that has been prepared by DOBA Business School for the courses
  • registration for the final exam (up to three times)
  • counselling before, during and after the course
  • tutor support 7 days a week

Your payment does not include:

  • diploma EUR 549

*All transaction charges have to be covered by the student.

Payment Options

Payments in cash should be transferred to:

Supplier Name

DOBA Business School



Bank Name and Address


Account Name


Account Number

SI56 0510 0801 1838 648

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Bank SWIFT Code


All transaction charges have to be covered by the student.

If DOBA Business School concludes based on reasonable grounds that the applicant has falsified any document/information presented to the School as part of his or her application, without limiting any other rights of DOBA Business School available by law, DOBA Business School reserves the right to revoke the application and, subject to the applicable law and DOBA Business School Policy, to terminate a student’s registration and no fees paid are refunded.

Application deadline

  • 30 June

Application for DOBA’s master programme can be made online.

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