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Taught degree

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

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

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 August 2015
Flexible/Modular:
5 September 2015

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 requirement: Standard

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.

International equivalencies

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

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

Optional Modules

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

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.

Funding

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

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective Overseas Master's students on one of the 10 eligible programmes, who are nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently living or studying in a developed country. The students must hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level and be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme. Applicants must not have previously studied for one year or more in a developed country, nor have been employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable). Students must be be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

David Thomas Award

Value:
c. £300
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Current graduate students in the Development Planning Unit.

Otto Koenigsberger Fund

Value:
Up to £3,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective overseas MSc students in the Development Planning Unit.

Bartlett Masters Scholarship

Value:
£5,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective MSc, MA or MArch students in the Bartlett Faculty. Applicants' annual income (from a salary or other sources) at the start of the programme must not exceed £14,000 (full-time study) or £28,000 (part-time study).

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships 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
2015-08-01
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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