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Building and Urban Design in Development MSc

The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. This MSc combines cultural, social, economic, political and spatial analysis to recalibrate the urban design project, presenting a holistic response in which informality and marginality are central features.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Flexible: 3-5 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£11,330 (FT)
Overseas:
£20,140 (FT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 2015
Flexible/Modular:
5 September 2015
Fees note: Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. The tuition fee schedule for 2015/16 entry can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Entry Requirements

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.

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:

Degree Information

The programme will equip those interested in informality and contested urbanism with an innovative and recalibrated perspective on urban design practice, with a political economy understanding 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 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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning report (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
  • Participatory Process: Building for Development
  • The BUDD Studio: Building and Urban Design Practice

Optional Modules

  • Recommended optional modules include:
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Critical Urbanism Studio I. Learning from Informality: Case studies and alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio II: Investigative Design Strategies for Contested Spaces
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Housing Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
  • Management and Planning for Development: International and National Dimensions
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty
  • Social Policy and Citizenship
  • The City and its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice
  • Urban Environmental Planning and Management in Development

Dissertation/report

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. The BUDD studio includes a fieldwork project in an urban reality of the global south, developed in partnership with local organisations, networks of communities, slum dweller federations, universities and governments alike. Students are encouraged to explore different tools, 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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Building and Urban Design in Development MSc

Funding

Applicants may be eligible for the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme and the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed 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.

Bartlett Masters Scholarship

Value:
£5,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on financial needs

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK students
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial needs

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial needs

David Thomas Award

Value:
c. £300(1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

GREAT-UCL India Scholarship

Value:
£5,000(1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

Otto Koenigsberger Fund

Value:
Up to £3,000(1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas students
Criteria:
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website

Careers

The programme enables graduates to work in NGOs 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 and architectural and design practices. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in urban design and architecture practice, teaching, or research of urban development there; others have successfully sought employment away from their own countries.

Why 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.

Particularly, the Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD) programme reflects on the necessity of design practices to contribute to change the mainstream paradigm of working with the urban poor, with communities and the city itself.

Student / staff ratios › 33 staff › 200 taught students › 40 research students

Department: Development Planning Unit

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.

Who can apply?

The programme is encouraging a multi-disciplinary approach attracting professionals who already have a background in the built environment field, such as architects, designers, planners, geographers 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-07-31
Flexible/Modular
2015-09-05

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information

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