This professionally accredited postgraduate programme has been carefully designed as a ‘fast-track’ conversion course for graduates of any discipline who wish to make a career in planning or in related fields. It aims to broaden students’ appreciation of planning and urban theory whilst providing them with the necessary skills to engage in critical and creative problem-solving.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £12,570 (FT)
- £23,050 (FT)
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.
Preferably an upper second-class Bachelor's degree (or higher) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standing. There is no particular subject requirement as the MSc provides an 'initial' planning education for graduates with cognate and non-cognate degrees. Where candidates fail to meet the standard requirement (i.e. they hold a degree of a lower classification), the department will take into account professional experience in planning or a related field when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Applicants who do not hold a first degree may, in exceptional cases, by 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:
About this degree
Students analyse the definition of, and solutions to, urban and regional planning problems and the nature of existing planning systems and practices. Emphasis is placed on the importance of a spatial and comparative perspective to planning and the need for integrated solutions to planning problems and the achievement of sustainable development.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), one specialism with two modules (30 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).
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.
- Urban Design: Place Making
- From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
- Pillars of Planning
- Spatial Planning
- Critical Debates in Planning
- Students choose two linked modules from the following to form a specialist study area:
- Communities and Planning
- Housing for Planning
- Mega Infrastructure Planning
- Sustainable Governance
- Urban Design
- Urban Regeneration
- Historic Cities
- Smart City Theory and Practice
All MSc students undertake an independent research project, closely related to the specialist option chosen and linked to UK spatial planning. The project culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures, tutorials and seminars. A short field course based in a European city outside the UK will take place in the second term. Assessment is through individual and group work, essays, examination, skills-based practical work, and the dissertation.
There are a number of sources of funding available specifically for students in The Bartlett School of Planning.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- £10,000 (1 year)
- Based on academic merit
- £10,000 (1 year)
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment, including core public and private sector planning careers (such as local government and local, national and international consultancies), as well as the housing and transport sectors; planning, urban regeneration and environmental agencies; public and private utility companies; think tanks and public policy organisations; environmental campaign groups; and teaching and research.
Top career destinations for this degree
- Research Analyst, Knight Frank
- PhD in Planning, The University of Manchester
- Planning Adviser, The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
- Transport Planner, London Borough of Camden
- PhD in Environmental Management, Seoul National University
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 (BSP) has a strong history of teaching and research. It has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation. Based in the heart of London there is much for students to learn from being at the cutting-edge 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.
Although situated within global and European contexts, the focus for the programme is primarily the UK, and particularly London. London is a complex setting that provides the natural and most accessible laboratory for BSP students. An emphasis on understanding the social and physical world will lead onto a greater appreciation of how action or intervention shapes place. But at the same time, there is a concern with ethical issues as a framework for planned intervention.
This MSc programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Department: Bartlett School of Planning
Student / staff numbers
› 43 staff
› 350 taught students
› 70 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
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 designed for graduates from any relevant discipline who wish to make a career in planning (in central and local government, private consultancy, voluntary bodies, etc.), in related fields (such as housing, urban regeneration, transport planning or urban design), or in teaching and/or research.
- 28 July 2017
- 1 September 2017
- 1 September 2017
*Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa will not be eligible to apply.
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 Spatial Planning at graduate level
- why you want to study Spatial 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.