PDF version of Urban Economic Development MSc

Contact details

Bartlett Graduate Faculty Clerk

Email: dpu@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 1111

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£10,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£17,750 (FT)

Applicants may be eligible for the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme and the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry

Development Planning Unit

Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

60% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Urban Economic Development MSc

Bringing economic analysis to city planning and management, the Urban Economic Development MSc explores how economic solutions can contribute to urban sustainability and wellbeing, and aims to meet the current skills shortage in managing sustainable and viable cities in both developed and developing countries.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

The programme aims to identify methods of enhancing urban productivity while promoting sustainability and equity through public intervention at the city level. Students gain a critical understanding of the economics governing urban development, the ability to analyse the contexts within which a city economy operates, and learn from policy experiences.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The Development Planning Unit at UCL is an international centre concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management responses to the economic, social and environmental development of cities and regions, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This MSc involves fieldwork abroad as well as in the UK that allows students to put into practice some of the tools and techniques acquired during the programme. Characterised by a strong emphasis on international experiences and comparative approaches, students from both the developed and developing countries will find this programme beneficial.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years (flexible 3-5 years)

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a development and planning report (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Urban Development and Economics
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Practice in Urban Economic Development


  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
  • Housing Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • The City and Its Relations
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Socially Sensitive Development in Practice
  • Social Development and Poverty Reduction
  • Urban Environmental Planning and Management in Development
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Management and Planning for Development


All MSc students submit a 10,000 word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies and field work relating to cities in different parts of the world, and includes an overseas fieldtrip. Students are assessed through unseen examinations, individual essays, course work, team work reports, oral presentations and a dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

A second acceptable qualification is a degree of lower second-class Honours standard, or an equivalent overseas qualification, in a subject appropriate to the programme, plus relevant work experience. Applicants who do not hold a first degree may, in exceptional cases, be admitted to the programme if they are able to demonstrate considerable senior-level professional experience in planning or a related field.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for modular/flexible programmes is 6 September 2013. If you require a Tier 4 visa in order to study in the UK, then you are not eligible to apply or be made an offer of a place on a programme as a part-time (modular flexible) student. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at economists/future economists who are either currently working in, or intend to work in multilateral or bilateral aid agencies, government agencies, private companies or non-governmental organisations, universities and research institutes concerned with formulating and/or implementing economic policies related to the urban sector or particular cities.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Urban Economic Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Urban Economic Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Graduates of this programme tend to follow three distinctive career pathways: private consultancies; the public sector (including the government at different levels and international organisations); and academic teaching and research. Some graduates pursue further PhD studies in the UK and elsewhere.

Recent graduates are working for organisations including:

  • Department for Communities and Local Government (UK); Centre for Cities; USR Corporation (UK)
  • Japan Bank for International Cooperation (Japan)
  • CCID Consulting; Wolkswagan Group; China Securities Co (China)
  • Ministry of Federal Planning (Argentina)
  • Halcrow Consulting; WRI Centre for Sustainable Transport (India)
  • Office for Urban Regeneration and Housing Development (Germany)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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