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The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

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Here are some frequently asked questions about our degree programmes at CASA. For all other enquiries please contact casa-teaching@ucl.ac.uk.

What skills will I learn on the degree programmes at CASA?

What skills do I require to start a course at CASA?

What are the differences between the degree programmes at CASA?

What is the Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)?

Which course is recommended for graduate job opportunities and which for further academic research?

What are the graduate destinations for CASA students?

What support does CASA offer to students looking for employment or opportunities for further research at the end of the degree programme?

What research topics do students undertake at CASA?

I received an offer to start a degree at CASA and deferred my place. Can I defer again?

I have been offered a place on a master’s programme in CASA but I want to change to another master’s programme in CASA.  What should I do?

I have relevant work experience but my degree is a non-related field. Can I still apply to study at CASA?

How do I apply for a student visa?

What are the language requirements for enrolling on a programme of study at CASA?

I forgot to include something on my application. Can I send you supporting documentation?

How do examinations and assessment work at CASA?

What are the time commitments for study at CASA? How are the courses structured?

When are timetables for the courses available?

How does flexible study work at CASA?

What are the annual fees for study? What are the fees for flexible and part-time study?

Are there any further costs other than the tuition fees?

Are there any opportunities for funding at CASA?

Can UCL help me to find accommodation?

Are there job opportunities at CASA for graduates?

What skills will I learn on the degree programmes at CASA?

On completing the MSc/MRes degrees with us you will have learnt a range of data science skills in spatial analysis, databases, quantitative methods, and urban modelling. You will learn about web mapping, interactive visualisation online using JavaScript, as well as how to use tools like Leaflet, Mapbox and WebGL. The depth of your knowledge will depend on your choice of dissertation as this will be your opportunity to pursue a particular research topic over a period of six months, and take the taught elements to a new level of depth and understanding.

What skills do I require to start a course at CASA?

The courses include an Introduction to Programming module, so it is not essential that you have prior programming knowledge before starting. However, any basic experience you have in languages like Python, R or Java will make the course easier for you!

What are the differences between the degree programmes at CASA?

The MSc degree has two extra modules: Agent Based Modelling and an elective module of your choice from across the UCL MSc programmes (e.g. urban design, planning, Space Sytax, computational methods). So the MSc has a greater teaching element. The MRes has a greater emphasis on individual research, and may be a better choice if you wish to pursue a PhD later in your career. The MSc is better if you want to go straight into a job in consultancy/industry/government.

What is the Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)?

A Postgraduate Diploma comprising six core modules (105 credits) and one optional module (15 credits) is offered at CASA. The PG Dip Smart Cities and Urban Analytics programme follows the same structure as the MSc except that the dissertation is not required. It is possible to enrol on a part-time basis (two years) or a flexible basis (up to five years). You can choose how many modules to study each year to suit your other commitments (as long as they follow a logical sequence – for example, some modules must be taken before other modules to ensure positive learning outcomes). Your selection can be made in conjunction with the programme director, who will be able to advise you. Each module has approximately 20-30 hours of contact time. Teaching varies according to the module in question: some are project based, some technical and some lecture style. In addition to the contact time, you would be expected to dedicate around 120 additional hours of private study per module (for a 15 credit module). This can take the form of private reading, independent project work, required written work and student or tutor led e-learning contact.

Which course is recommended for graduate job opportunities and which for further academic research?

The MRes has a greater emphasis on individual research, and may be a better choice if you wish to pursue a PhD later in your career. The MSc is better if you want to go straight into a job in consultancy/industry/government.

What are the graduate destinations for CASA students?

This programme provides you with the skills and knowledge base to embark on a professional or academic path through the highly interdisciplinary field of spatial science.

Our focus is on equipping you with key practical skills such as programming, data handling and analysis techniques, but these will be underpinned by a thorough theoretical grounding in the science of cities and the critical discourse surrounding the current interest in making our cities ‘smarter’.

Our programme is suitable for graduates or experienced practitioners from a whole range of backgrounds but with a common interest in cities. We have current students with professional and academic backgrounds as diverse as architecture, computer science, environmental science, geography, planning, physics, mathematics, remote sensing, geomatic engineering and transport studies.

You will graduate with an extremely broad range of new transferable practical skills including programming, database management, data mining and web visualisation, along with an understanding of mathematical and statistical analysis methods, geographic information science, spatial analysis and urban modelling. All of these skills are developed in parallel with a wider appreciation of the problems and challenges facing planners in contemporary cities and how the latest data and analysis methods can help address them.

Our students go on to a variety of rewarding careers and on to further study.

Since the cohort graduated in 2015, several students have gone on to PhD study in the department and further afield.

Careers that our graduates have gone on to include job titles such as Graduate Cities Consultant, Data Scientist, Urban Planner, Data Quality Manager, GIS Specialist / Officer, Policy Consultant, Spatial Data Analyst, Systems Developer, Urban Designer, Project Manager, Analytics Client Architect.

What support does CASA offer to students looking for employment or opportunities for further research at the end of the degree programme?

We have a series of talks from employers if you are looking to find a job at a consultancy or government agency in London. You will also receive workshops on employment skills like CVs and interviews. We also have employee sponsored dissertations available which often lead to job opportunities after the dissertation has finished.

What research topics do students undertake at CASA?

Our research at CASA covers a variety of disciplines and fields, from physics to architecture, city planning to geography. You can find out about the work of our current doctoral students here.

I received an offer to start a degree at CASA and deferred my place. Can I defer again?

UCL policy permits one deferral following the offer to come and study with us. If you do not take up the offer following a deferral and still wish to study at UCL you will have to start a new application for the following academic year.

I have been offered a place on a master’s programme in CASA but I want to change to another master’s programme in CASA.  What should I do?

UCL’s policy is essentially: one application, one application processing fee payment, one decision.  This means that, if you have made an application for a programme of study and received an offer, should you decide to switch to another programme you will need to submit a new application for the new programme and pay another application fee.  This could mean you end up with two offers, so you would need to accept one and reject the other, but it also ensures that, should you be unsuccessful in your second application, you would retain the offer from the first programme you applied to and may continue with that course of study if you choose to. 

There is some flexibility to change the programme you wish to be considered for if your application is at an early stage of being reviewed and you have not yet received an offer.  In this circumstance, you should email UCL Admissions (postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk), copying in the Bartlett Faculty (ucftpgc@live.ucl.ac.uk) and CASA (casa-teaching@ucl.ac.uk) to confirm this desired change.  If your application has not been processed to offer stage, it will be re-directed to the Programme Director of course you want to switch your application to and you would not be liable to pay a second application fee.  You may, however, be requested to submit a revised personal statement and, if your references are specific to your first choice of programme, you may need to provide references which support the switch to the second programme of study.

I have relevant work experience but my degree is a non-related field. Can I still apply to study at CASA?

Yes, you are welcome to apply.

How do I apply for a student visa?

Please refer to the following guidance on UK immigration and visas: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/iss/immigration-visa

What are the language requirements for enrolling on a programme of study at CASA?

You must provide details of English language proficiency tests that you have taken within two years of the start date of the programme. The preferred International English Language Testing System (IELTS) qualifications are valid for two years upon completion.

Please see this link for further details regarding English language requirements.

If you meet the requirements of point 1, you will not need to complete an IELTS test.

Details regarding 'majority English speaking' countries can be found here.

I forgot to include something on my application. Can I send you supporting documentation?

Once an application has been submitted it cannot be accessed for editing by the applicant. If you need to amend your application in any way, send an email to postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk, quoting your application number with your request (including any documentation as an attachment).

How do examinations and assessment work at CASA?

There are no examinations as we do not believe this is the appropriate way to assess more technical skills. The coursework assessment is a mix of programming tasks, projects, presentations, essays and research work.

What are the time commitments for study at CASA? How are the courses structured?

All of our classes take place between 9am and 6pm.  There are no evening or weekend classes to attend.  The timetable for the 2018/19 session has yet to be finalised and would be subject to change up until September. 

When are timetables for the courses available?

Unfortunately the timetables for 2018/19 have not yet been set and this will not be finalised for some months to come. Email us at casa-teaching@ucl.ac.uk and we may be able to offer further information soon.

How does flexible study work at CASA?

With regard to flexible study, you are able to take up to five years completing our MSc and MRes programmes on a flexible study mode.

You can choose how many modules to study each year to suit your other commitments as long as they follow a logical sequence (taking note of pre-requisites for each). Your selection can be made in conjunction with the programme director, who will be able to advise you.  Each module has 20 -30 hours contact time, approximately.  They vary in terms of delivery, some are project based, some technical and some lecture style. In addition to the contact time, you would be expected to dedicate around 120 additional hours of private study per module (for a 15 credit module) – this can take the form of private reading, independent project work, required written work and student or tutor led e-learning contact.

Programmes marked as part-time study are generally completed in two years (i.e. double the length of the corresponding full-time programme), with the student enrolled on all modules and attending lectures and seminars on-site at UCL.

Programmes marked as modular/flexible study can take a maximum of five years to complete, with the student attending lectures and seminars on-site at UCL. Study is undertaken on a module-by-module basis, with the student accumulating credit by selecting which module(s) to complete in any given year. Advice can be given by the programme directors about the recommended period of time in which to complete your studies.

What are the annual fees for study? What are the fees for flexible and part-time study?

The fee due each year is dependent on the number of credits studied each academic year.  The full course is made up of 180 credits.  Each module has its own credit weighting (typically 15, double modules are 30 credits, MSc dissertations are 60 credits and MRes dissertations are 90 credits).  To calculate the fee payable, take the total fee for full time study and divide it by 180, then multiply that by the credit value studied in any given year.

Fees for part-time study are charged approximately pro-rata to the full-time fee for the relevant Master's programme. Please note that all programme fees are subject to an annual increase of up to 5%.

The fees for modular/flexible study are charged approximately pro-rata to the full-time fee for the corresponding Master's programme, and will vary year-by-year depending on how many modules you choose to take during that year. Please note that all programme fees are subject to subject to an annual increase of up to 5%.

Are there any further costs other than the tuition fees?

The main additional cost to the tuition fees are living costs in London. There are no additional academic costs, except for the printing cost for your dissertation, and some minor travel costs for research fieldtrips.

Are there any opportunities for funding at CASA?

Unfortunately CASA is unable to offer funding to prospective students. Our Faculty has a limited number of scholarships available. You must have received and accepted your offer before the stated deadline to be eligible.

Further funding opportunities can be found on this page.

Can UCL help me to find accommodation?

UCL offers accommodation for international students.

Are there job opportunities at CASA for graduates?

All opportunities to come and work with us at CASA will be advertised on our website and the UCL Human Resources website. Teaching Assistant opportunities are only available to PhD students.