Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Urban Studies BSc

This programme has been designed with a range of professional career opportunities in mind, offering great flexibility for students curious to explore a broader range of studies relating to the built environment, as well as other subjects with a different focus offered elsewhere in UCL and other University of London institutions.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Urban Studies BSc
UCAS code
3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
Urban Planning and Urban Studies
Total intake (by subject area)
50 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
6 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade B, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades AB.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • London is undergoing rapid change in its urban and natural environments making this a special time to be studying contemporary urbanism in the city.
  • The Bartlett has a strong history of research and leading policy advisory work, and it places itself at the heart of international debates on the future of cities and regions.
  • Aside from the rich academic activities at the school, London offers students in planning an unrivalled concentration of professional meetings, exhibitions and events which will greatly enrich your education.
  • The school has a strong international outlook and provides opportunities for combined study overseas in Europe, North America, Australia and Hong Kong.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The programme shares common courses with the Urban Planning, Design and Management BSc, meaning you can move freely between the programmes up until the start of your final year.

The programme is based around three streams of courses. A hands-on project based stream entitled 'The Urban Laboratory' is designed to allow you to put into practice the knowledge gained through two other streams 'Understanding Urban Change' and 'Managing Urban Change'. A fourth stream, 'Specialist Study/Choice', allows you to concentrate on specialist interests in your second and third years.

The programme offers the opportunity to study overseas for one or two terms. The school has long-established links with many universities in Europe as well as a growing list in the USA and Asia-Pacific including universities in Hong Kong and Melbourne.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Contemporary Cities
Development of Cities and their Architecture*
Introducing Planning Systems
Introducing Urban Design: Design Skills
Management for Built Environment Professionals I
Making Cities
Planning History and Thought
Urban Lab I: Graphic Skills

Optional courses

* may be exchanged for a language

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Economics of Cities and their Regions
Green Futures
Planning Project: Plan Making
Urban and Environmental Politics
Urban Lab II: Spatial Analysis

Optional courses

You will take 1.5 credits of optional undergraduate courses offered within the School of Planning or other departments of UCL.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Cities and Social Change
Real Estate Development
Transport Policy and Planning
Regional Development Planning and Policy

Optional courses

You will take 2.0 credits of optional undergraduate courses offered within the School of Planning or other departments of UCL.

Your learning

The School of Planning advocates and employs a very interactive, hands-on form of learning. Alongside lectures, seminars and tutorials we include field visits, group project work, and laboratory and design work sessions to improve your learning experience.


Your final marks will reflect your success in a wide range of assessment types - examinations typically constitute about a third, with essays, individual projects and group work making up the balance. This is a distinctive feature of our planning courses, and of The Bartlett's approach in particular.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Urban Studies BSc.


The programme enables you to acquire highly transferable knowledge and skills such as data collection and analysis; resolution of problems and conflicts; negotiation and mediation; presenting complex data and ideas; managing work tasks; preparing and writing professional reports; and preparing and using graphics for effective presentations.

Graduates work in a vast range of positions - both within planning and in other sectors where their analytical, negotiating and problem-solving skills are valued. Demand for people with planning skills in the UK and abroad is strong. A rapidly growing field of work is 'urban regeneration', where people from many professions, sectors and organisations collaborate on urban and regional projects.

These combine economic development and regeneration, social development, housing, transport, public space improvements and community participation.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme, and of related urban planning programmes, include:

  • Research Assistant, Smart Urbanism (2013)
  • Graduate Surveyor, CB Richard Ellis (2013)
  • Full-time student, MSc in Urbanisation and Development at LSE (2011)
  • Planning Designer, Western Homes (2011)
  • Urban Designer, SPPARC (2010)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Student view

I like the way the Urban Studies programme looks at urban spaces, construction and society holistically and combines courses in design, real estate and social studies. Robin Karlsen - Urban Studies BSc (Third year)

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£21,320 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

We will look for evidence of your interest in our subject in your personal statement. We hope to see demonstration of design skills, numerical skills, the ability to understand and solve complex problems, and effectiveness in communication. We will also assess your use of English and to what extent you possess an understanding of, and interest in, urban planning issues.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


Shortlisted applicants living in or near to the UK are invited to an applicant open day. This will typically include an introduction to UCL and the School of Planning, a planning activity combined with a short walk and on-site lecture, and an interactive Q&A session with members of staff and current students.

You may be asked to submit an essay in support of your application.

We welcome applications from people with non-standard qualifications, including those who have relevant study or work experience. Please contact us if you need further advice about the acceptability of non-standard qualifications.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students