Environment and Sustainable Development MSc
Options: PG Diploma
This MSc examines conventional approaches in development planning, and the environmental conflicts generated by them, with specific reference to developing countries. It contrasts these approaches with the need for environmental sustainability and social justice and examines attempts to incorporate awareness of these goals into development policy making, planning and management.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- Flexible 3-5 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £10,800
- Overseas Full-time: £19,050
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students examine the complexity and variety of environmental problems in urban regions, their causes and impacts, and the potentials and limitations of environmental planning and management. They learn how to respond to processes that generate social and environmental change, and to develop strategies to steer urban environmental planning towards sustainability.
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 and understanding the rapid urbanisation of the Global South.It encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management in 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.
This programme offers an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of socio-environmental change, equipping students with the necessary skills and abilities to promote environmental justice in the context of the Global South.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 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 consists of reading, essay writing, critical discussion and project work, directed by lectures, seminars, workshops, structured visits and discussions with practitioners covering theoretical and practical questions and case study analysis. Assessment is through course work, examinations, and a dissertation 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 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.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Standard
How to apply
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.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
Who can apply?
The programme is strongly interdisciplinary, attracting participants from a wide variety of disciplines, including anthropologists, economists, geographers and natural scientists, as well as planners, architects and engineers. The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma attracts most of its students from overseas but also from European countries.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Environment and Sustainable Development at graduate level
- why you want to study Environment and Sustainable Development at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- what do you think you will bring to the course
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Most graduates of this programme are engaged in professional activities, ranging from local and national government, consultancy firms and national and international NGOs, to United Nations programmes and international aid agencies the world over.
Examples of organisations where graduates are employed include:
- Public Sector: DEFRA and DfID (UK), Ministerio das Cidades (Brazil) and many other local government organisations
- International Agencies and NGOs: UNEP, UNDP, UN-Habitat, JICA, GIZ (former GTZ), InsightShare, Save the Children, and WWF
- Think-tanks, academic and research organisations: IIEED, Stockholm Environment Institute, Resources for Development Center, WaterWise and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport
- Private companies: HappoldConsulting, EcoSecurities, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Dialogue by Design, and BioRegionalQuintain
Top career destinations for this programme
- WWF, Corporate Partnership Manager, 2010
- Save the Children UK, Climate Change Advisor, 2011
- Japan International Cooperation Agency, Deputy Director, Water Resources, 2011
- Delloite and Touche, Senior Analyst , 2011
- USAID, Environmental Consultant, 2011
Our programme equips students ith several interdisciplinary and transferable skills including report writing, data collection and analysis, communication, research and project management skills and team work.
Our students network with diverse organisations, especially during the fieldtrip, where they will work directly with local public and private partners. Lecturers are directly involved in development planning; they have strong links with many research and consultancy organisations, forming a growing international network in 142 cities. Students can meet alumni and other individuals and groups forming part of this network, concerned with issues of sociallity just and sustainable development in the Global South. Our graduates work in diverse occupations in the public, private and community sectors worldwide.
"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