Modes and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
- Flexible: 3-5 years
Programme start date
Tuition Fees (2016/17)
- £13,370 (FT)
- £21,320 (FT)
The normal minimum qualifications are a good second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard; and a demonstrated interest in the subject matter of the course. Candidates who do not meet the above requirements may be considered if they are able to demonstrate substantial relevant work experience and an ability to engage academically with the subject matter of the course. Applicants who do not hold a recognised undergraduate 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.
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:
This focus of this degree is the complexity and variety of current environmental problems in urban regions, their causes and impacts, and the potentials and limitations of environmental planning and management. Students learn how to respond to processes that generate social and environmental change, and how to develop strategies to steer urban environmental planning towards sustainability and environmental justice.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma, three core modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 modules), full-time nine months, is offered.
- The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
- Environment and Sustainable Development in Practice
- Urban Environmental Planning and Management in Development
- Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
- Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
- Gender in Policy and Planning
- Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
- Housing Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
- The City and Its Relations
- Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management
- Socially Sensitive Development in Practice
- Social Development and Poverty Reduction: From Theory to Practice
- Managing the City Economy
All MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation 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 comprises reading, essay writing, critical discussion and project work, facilitated through lectures, seminars, workshops, extensive fieldwork and discussions with practitioners covering theoretical and practical tasks and case study analysis. Assessment is through coursework, examinations, and the dissertation.
Applicants may be eligible for the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme and the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.
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.
Most previous graduates of this programme are now engaged in professional activities, ranging from local and national government, consultancy firms and national and international NGOs, to United Nations programmes and international aid agencies the world over.
Examples of organisations where graduates are employed include:
- Public Sector: DEFRA and DfID (UK), Ministerio das Cidades (Brazil) and many other local government organisations
- International Agencies and NGOs: UNEP, UNDP, UN-Habitat, JICA, GIZ (former GTZ), InsightShare, Save the Children, and WWF
- Think tanks, academic and research organisations: IIEED, Stockholm Environment Institute, Resources for Development Center, WaterWise and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport
- Private companies: HappoldConsulting, EcoSecurities, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Dialogue by Design, and BioRegionalQuintain
Our programme equips students with several interdisciplinary and transferable skills including report writing, data collection and analysis, communication, research and project management skills and team work.
Our students network with diverse organisations in the UK and internationally, and in the field they may work directly with local public and private partners. Academic staff are involved in research, consultancy and development practice, influencing global debates on development such as UNFCCC negotiations, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Habitat III agenda. Students can meet alumni and other individuals and groups forming part of this network, which is concerned with issues of socially just and sustainable development in the Global South.
Why study this degree at UCL?
This programme offers an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of socio-environmental change, equipping graduates with the skills required to face global challenges in urban regions while being sensitive to local contexts.
For the last 60 years the Development Planning Unit at UCL has championed forms of development planning that promote social justice in the context of rapid urbanisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The programme provides opportunities to interact with leading thinkers in development planning and students will join an international network of researchers and practitioners.
Student / staff ratios › 33 staff › 210 taught students › 45 research students
Department: Development Planning Unit
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.
Who can apply?
The programme is strongly interdisciplinary and attracts participants from a wide variety of disciplines, including anthropologists, economists, geographers and natural scientists, as well as planners, architects and engineers. The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma attracts most of its students from overseas but also from European countries.
- All applicants
- 29 July 2016
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 Environment and Sustainable Development at graduate level
- why you want to study Environment and Sustainable Development at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- what do you think you will bring to the course
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree