Home Menu

Research

Development Planning MPhil/PhD

The UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) promotes just, sustainable forms of development, seeks to understand rapid urbanisation and encourages innovation in the policy, planning and management of cities and regions in the global south. It's programmes are supported by international agencies and national and provincial governments.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

UK/EU:
£7,995 (FT) £3,925 (PT)
Overseas:
£18,670 (FT) £9,550 (PT)

Application dates

There is only one start date in September for this programme because the first year consists of a structured and full-time programme. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

Entry Requirements

A UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard at a level that demonstrates good academic potential. Relevant work experience is highly desirable.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Research areas

Research is an important part of the learning that the DPU promotes around theory, methodology and practice in the field of international development. Currently the DPU has four research clusters, each with sub-clusters which reflect the development of different, but intersecting, strands of their work PhD students are strongly encouraged to participate in one or more of these clusters:
  • Urban transformations explores the multiplex urban transformation processes and its aim is to explicitly increase the room for manoeuvre for a variety of city actors to harness key levers of transformatory change
  • Environmental justice, urbanisation and resilience explores so-called 'urban transitions' faced by the Global South, by unearthing emergent relationships and contradictions between resilience and environmental justice in the contemporary geographies of capitalist urbanisation and accumulation
  • Diversity, social complexity and planned intervention comprises two overlapping sub-clusters, dealing in different ways with the relationship between social diversity, development processes and planned interventions
  • State and market governance and policy in development provides a forum for discussion and the development of collaborative research ideas on long-term approaches to the governance of development transitions.

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

DPU60 2016 Scholarship - NOW CLOSED FOR 2016/17

Value:
(3)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website

Careers

Recent graduating PhD students work in a range of positions, mostly based in the Global South. These include lectureships in leading universities, postdoctoral research projects, international development institutions (e.g. Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank), government ministries and international non-governmental organisations. Others work in private consultancy firms.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Staffer, World Bank (Washington DC)
  • Director, Private Architecture Consultancy (London)
  • Special Assistant/Senate Resident, National Assembly Nigeria

Employability

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) research programmes constitute a programme of self-selected academic study in the area of international, national, regional and urban development, focusing on the political, economic, social and institutional dimensions of development. They embrace the range of areas of study that are central to the interests of the DPU and are designed to support the formation of rigorous researchers by helping them strengthen their analytical skills whilst critically engaging with theoretical concepts and methodological tools.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The uniqueness of reading for a PhD at the DPU is the environment of the department. Staff and fellow students are generally involved in intellectual research situated at the interface of theory and practice. This orientation affects the way we tend to approach research, the issues of study and the types of knowledge that are produced.

The MPhil component of the PhD consists of a structured programme which while it trains rigorous researchers, also builds a supportive peer support network that provides a safe, secure and stimulating environment for testing and developing new ideas and practices at the frontiers of development planning research. The DPU's PhD programme is the only development-oriented PhD programme in London to offer this structure.

Student / staff ratios › 33 staff › 210 taught students › 45 research students

Department: Development Planning Unit

Degree reviews

Staff review

"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-hand experience of them, whether this is in Syria, Indonesia, Congo or Brazil."

Dr Vanesa Castán Broto

Environment and Sustainable Development MSc, Urban Development Planning MSc, Development Planning MPhil/PhD
Lecturer in Environment and Sustainable Development
Staff review

"I examine recent changes in cities of the (so-called) Global South, with a particular interest in how local governments can design and implement sustainable, more inclusive policies that seek to counterbalance long-term trends towards income inequality and spatial fragmentation. Because of the complex nature of cities, this work is inevitably multi-disciplinary and UCL provides a fantastic platform for it. I have the opportunity to interact with some of the top minds in my field, and to learn from the cutting-edge science that is being carried out in London, including UCL. The energy and diversity of activities within UCL and my own department is something that fills me with awe and pride."

Professor Julio Davila

MSc Development Administration and Planning MSc Transport & City Planning MSc Global Health DPU's Doctoral Programme
Professor of Urban Policy and International Development
Staff review

"The DPU is a warm, stimulating intellectual environment where concern for others is a key feature. Through its location in the heart of London, a vibrant international development milieu and extensive networks with activists, advocates and researchers at the cutting-edge of social change around the world, students and staff are constantly engaged in the most up-to-date debates to promote just, sustainable progressive change."

Dr Colin Marx

Development Planning MPhil/PhD

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

Application deadlines

There is only one start date in September for this programme because the first year consists of a structured and full-time programme. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact Information

UCL+

  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

Life and learning

At UCL we're proud of our pioneering history, our distinguished present and our exciting future. UCL is a great place to be a student.

  • World-leading reputation
  • Extensive connections that benefit your study and career
  • The best and brightest staff and students from over 150 countries
Find out more