Urban Development Planning MSc
Options: PG Diploma
This MSc explores the challenges of urban governance in the global South, seeking to expand the room for manoeuvre for socially and spatially just urban development planning.
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
- Flexible/Modular: 5 September 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
This MSc aims to equip participants to work effectively as development practitioners in urban contexts through a deeper understanding of the processes that generate urban change. The programme aims to enhance their diagnostic and strategic capacities to respond to such change within the framework of socially just urban governance.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
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.
This MSc focuses on international practices in urban development policy, planning and management, addressing spatial, socio-economic and political transformation in the global South. The programme promotes a deeper understanding of community-led urban development in partnership with other actors, based on political economy, socio-cultural and spatial perspectives on urban policy, planning and management.
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 lectures, seminars, group work, workshops and field trips. Fieldtrips so far have taken place in Egypt, Ghana, India and Thailand. Student performance is assessed through course work, team project reports, written examinations, the overseas fieldtrip and a 10,000-word report.
Further details available on subject website:
Successful applicants to the programme are frequently financed by DfID (through the British Council), their governments and international agencies.
Specific funds are available through the Premadasa Scholarship (Sri Lankan only), or the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship (fees only).
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.
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
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.
Applications should be made by 1 August 2014 or by 5 September 2014 for flexible/modular applicants.
Who can apply?
Participants from a range of backgrounds, including those working in or aspiring to work in international aid agencies, central government and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, academia and the private sector will benefit from this programme. Students come from a variety of disciplines, including planning, architecture, geography, economics, political science and sociology.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Urban Development Planning at graduate level
- why you want to study Urban Development Planning 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
This MSc is widely recognised by international organisations and agencies (such as UN agencies and the World Bank) and bilateral aid organisations from different countries. 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. 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 practice; other graduates have successfully sought employment in international development organisations 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
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