Modes and duration
- Full-time: 3 years
Programme start date
Tuition Fees (2016/17)
- £7,995 (FT) £3,925 (PT)
- £18,670 (FT) £9,550 (PT)
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
- UK, EU, Overseas students
- Based on academic merit
More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website
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
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
"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 BrotoEnvironment and Sustainable Development MSc, Urban Development Planning MSc, Development Planning MPhil/PhD
Lecturer in Environment and Sustainable Development
"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 DavilaMSc Development Administration and Planning MSc Transport & City Planning MSc Global Health DPU's Doctoral Programme
Professor of Urban Policy and International Development
"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 MarxDevelopment Planning MPhil/PhD
Application and next steps
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.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now