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International Planning MSc

The International Planning MSc provides a strong international and comparative focus on planning, urban theory and practice. The scope of the programme primarily encompasses Europe, North America, Australia, South Africa and the Far East, and increasingly China and South-East Asia.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£12,570 (FT) N/A (PT)
£23,050 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university (or higher). Overseas qualifications of an equivalent standard will also be considered. Admissions tutors may, at their discretion, consider applications from students who have not achieved this but hold professional qualifications (e.g. RTPI) or can demonstrate substantial work experience in the field of planning. Where this is the case, applicants will still be expected to meet the minimum UCL academic requirement of a lower second-class degree.

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

Students develop an appreciation of planning approaches and systems, alongside an understanding of planning as a culturally specific, context-dependent activity taking different forms in different countries and regions. The programme aims to provide students with a broad range of skills and knowledge in planning and urban theory in a global context while offering them the opportunity to develop a specialisation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), one specialism with two modules (30 credits), a research dissertation (60 credits), and a field trip (not credit bearing).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules from the list of possible specialisms available (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules

  • Urban Design: Place Making
  • Pillars of Planning
  • Comparative Planning Systems and Cultures
  • Critical Debates in International Planning
  • Dissertation
  • International Planning Project

Optional modules

Students choose two linked modules from the following to form a specialist study area:

  • Communities and Planning
  • Planning for Housing
  • Mega-Infrastructure Planning
  • Sustainable Governance
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Regeneration
  • Historic Cities
  • Smart City Theory and Practice


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, traditional lectures, tutorials and seminars, field trips and direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, examination, and skills-based practical work.


Field study trip in reading week in term two; part of assessed module 'BENVGPLG': a video of 2015/16 cohort's trip to Barcelona.


Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: International Planning MSc


Bursaries may be available from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Students must apply directly to the Planning School and should approach the Programme Director or Admissions Tutor in the first instance.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

UCL Bartlett School of Planning - Land Securities Scholarship

£10,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


International Planning graduates have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment in various sectors. At present, there is a growing demand for our graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers in the UK and abroad. They are employed in both local and central government internationally, in global planning-related consultancies, as well as in a wide range of other related sectors, such as housing, transport and urban regeneration, as well as in public and private utility companies, teaching and research.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Management Consultant, Boston Consulting Group
  • Research Analyst, Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS)
  • Graduate Transport Planner, Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Planning Officer, London Borough of Barnet Council
  • Town Planning Graduate Professional, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region


Recent graduates of the MSc in International Planning have gone on to work in a variety of international contexts and roles including leading London-based planning, design and architecture consultancies; UK-based local authorities and government offices; overseas government offices and ministries; overseas private sector consultancies in planning, design, construction and development; non-for-profit organisations and charities world-wide; academic research and teaching.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett School of Planning has a strong history of teaching and research. The school has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for nearly 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation.

This MSc programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Based in the heart of London there is much for students to learn from being at the forefront of policy-relevant critical debate, empirical study and research-led teaching. The staff profile is multidisciplinary and teaching staff are actively involved in shaping the theories and debates covered in their teaching. Our annual public lectures attract pre-eminent speakers from around the world and our student body has a broad, international profile.

Department: Bartlett School of Planning

Student / staff numbers › 43 staff › 350 taught students › 70 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Planning
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

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 intended for students who want an international perspective on planning systems and cultures or are likely to develop careers outside the UK after graduation, in planning or related fields such as housing, urban regeneration, transport planning, and urban design.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

International students who require a Tier 4 visa are strongly advised to submit their application before 15 June 2015.

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 International Planning at graduate level
  • why you want to study International Planning 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

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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