Building and Urban Design in Development MSc
Options: PG Diploma
This MSc presents a process for design for development in cities within the context of rapid urbanisation and connected urban challenges of climate change, inequality and vulnerabilities. It combines cultural, social, economic, political and spatial analysis in order to present a holistic response to the growing complexities within the design and production of urban form.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- Flexible 3-5 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £11,000
- Overseas Full-time: £19,550
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
- Flexible/Modular: 5 September 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
The programme will equip those interested in the development of urban areas with a political economy perspective of space; a comprehension of the needs, abilities, aspirations and forms of resistance of urban dwellers; the ability to respond with strategically co-ordinated proposals for processes and outcomes to leverage local abilities to meet local needs; and to critically engage with the practice of urban design and architecture in developmental processes – particularly in the global south.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multi-disciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment, bringing together dozens of scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.
The Development Planning Unit 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. Its programmes are supported by international agencies as well as by national and provincial governments.
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.
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 combination of weekly lectures, seminar presentations, group exercises and workshops. Students are encouraged to explore different tools, techniques, concepts and ideas throughout the programme and test these during the field project. Assessment is through coursework, design work, written examinations and the 10,000 word report.
Further details available on subject website:
Applicants may be eligible for the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme and the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.
Scholarships available for this department
This scholarship is to assist prospective Master's students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. Students must not have previously studied for one year or more in a developed country and must hold the equivalent of a UK first- or upper second-class undergraduate degree. Students must have applied to study one of the 10 eligible Master's programmes. Students must return to their home country on completion of their degree.
Founded in 1995 by Jenny Rossiter, who graduated from the DPU in 1994, in memory of her husband, David Thomas, a Financial Times journalist who was killed on assignment in Kuwait in April 1991. The Scholarship is awarded to assist a DPU student to travel to a developing country to research on matters directly related to his or her Master's Dissertation or Thesis in the field of housing studies.
The purpose of the OKS is to support overseas candidates of the highest calibre for postgraduate study at MSc level, in the expectation that as graduates, these scholars will make important contributions to urban development by drawing on the strengths of the international perspective and leading position of the DPU in the development field.
These scholarships are based on financial need.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
The normal minimum qualifications are a good 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 than 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.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Standard
How to apply
Applications should be made by 1 August 2014 or by 5 September 2014 for flexible/modular applicants.
Who can apply?
The programme is encouraging a multi-disciplinary approach attracting architects, designers, planners, and engineers as well as those from other professional backgrounds who are interested in the built environment and seeking to increase their understanding of urban environmental issues in developing countries and to develop practical design skills. The MSc attracts most of its students from overseas, but also from Europe.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Building and Urban Design in Development at graduate level
- why you want to study Building and Urban Design in 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
The programme enables graduates to work in NGO's and local government – facilitating community organisations and households to improve their living conditions. Graduate destinations range from UK-based organisations in the public, private and community sectors, to governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, which operate in a development capacity in the South. Recent graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and Aid and Development Agencies. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in the practice, teaching or research of urban development, urban design and architecture practice; others have successfully sought employment away from their own countries.
"The students at the DPU come from many international locations and backgrounds, which means we are always hearing about developments in different parts of the world from people who have first experience of them, whether this is in Syria, Indonesia, Congo or Brazil."
Dr Vanesa Castán Broto
Lecturer in Environment and Sustainable Development
"London is the hub of the most interesting things going on in the UK, with governmental organisations, built environment consultancies and some great academic institutions."
Dr Robin Hickman
Senior Lecturer in Transport Planning