Modes and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
- Flexible: 2-5 years
Tuition Fees (2015/16)
- £11,125 (FT)
- £19,620 (FT)
- All applicants:
- 31 July 2015
- 5 September 2015
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.
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 MSc aims to equip participants to work effectively as development practitioners in urban contexts through a deeper understanding of the processes that generate urban change. The programme aims to enhance their diagnostic and strategic capacities to respond to such change within the framework of socially just urban governance.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma, three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.
- The City and its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
- Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice
- Practice in Urban Development Planning
- Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
- An Introduction to Public Economies and Public Policies
- Communication, Technologies and Social Power
- 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
- Management and Planning for Development
- Housing Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
- Management and Planning for Development: International and National Dimensions
- Managing the City Economy
- NGOs and Social Transformation
- Participatory Processes: Building for Development
- Political Economy of Development
- Political Economy of Development: Industrialisation and Infrastructure
- Political Economy of Development: Land, Food and Agriculture
- Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
- Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty
- Social Policy and Citizenship
- Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
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 lectures, seminars, group work, workshops and fieldtrips. Fieldtrips so far have taken place in Egypt, Ghana, India, Thailand, and Tanzania. Student performance is assessed through essays, course work, team project reports, written examinations, the overseas fieldtrip and a 10,000-word dissertation.
General information on funding and scholarships is provided by the faculty.
Overseas students are also encouraged to contact a local office of the British Council for information on possible scholarships.
The following other organisations may be able to offer financial support:
- United Nations
- Ford Foundation
- European Development Fund
- Architects Registration Board (ARB)
- Aga Khan Foundation for scholarships for applicants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Tanzania.
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.
- £15,000 (1 year)
- UK students
- Based on both academic merit and financial needs
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- Overseas students
- Based on both academic merit and financial needs
- c. £300 (1 year)
- UK, EU, Overseas students
- Based on academic merit
More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website
This MSc is widely recognised by international organisations and agencies (such as UN agencies and the World Bank) and bilateral aid organisations from different countries. 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. Graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and Aid and Development Agencies. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in the practice, teaching or research of urban development practice; other graduates have successfully sought employment in international development organisations away from their own countries.
Top career destinations for this degree
- Management Consultant, World Bank (2011)
- Engineer, Hui Zhou Urban Planning Institute (2011)
- Quality Support Officer, London and Quadrant Housing Trust (2011)
- Civil Engineer, Department of Urban Routes, Ghana (2011)
- Project Co-ordinator, UN-Habitat Regional Asia Pacific Regional Office (2010)
The programme aims to help students:
- To prepare well-supported and critical and comparative analysis, and argument, based on theory and empirical evidence
- To undertake a well-supported diagnosis of the problems and opportunities in urban development in specific contexts
- To formulate systematic and well-supported proposals aimed at dealing with the multi-dimensional complexity of a range of urban development situations, including organisational and institutional development
- Acquire basic presentation, advocacy and negotiation skills
- Acquire basic research skills including the formulation of a conceptual framework, interviewing and the use of a range of information sources
- Acquire skills to work in groups to achieve effective outcomes to team working
- Operate professionally in an unfamiliar environment in a developing country context .
Why study this degree at UCL?
This MSc focuses on international practices in urban development policy, planning and management, addressing socio-economic, political and environmental transformations in the Global South. The programme argues that planning is key to dealing with urban problems and opportunities thrown up by rapid urbanisation, but that its potential cannot be harnessed without a critical understanding of the processes that generate urban change in specific contexts.
The programme seeks to equip students with the capacity to develop critical diagnoses of the urban, as a basis for developing propositional responses within the framework of socially, spatially and environmentally just urban governance.
The programme promotes a deeper understanding of community-led and partnership-based urban development planning. Students also benefit from the Development Planning Unit’s longstanding and geographically exhaustive alumni and partner network.
Student / staff ratios › 33 staff › 200 taught students › 40 research students
Department: Development Planning Unit
"The students at the DPU come from many international locations and backgrounds, which means we are always hearing about developments in different parts of the world from people who have first experience of them, whether this is in Syria, Indonesia, Congo or Brazil."
Dr Vanesa Castán BrotoSubject: Environment and Sustainable Development MSc, Urban Development Planning MSc, Development Planning MPhil/PhD
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?
Participants from a range of backgrounds, including those working in or aspiring to work in international aid agencies, central government and local authorities, non-governmental organisations, academia and the private sector will benefit from this programme. Students come from a variety of disciplines, including planning, architecture, geography, economics, political science and sociology.
- All applicants
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 Urban Development Planning at graduate level
- why you want to study Urban Development 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