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The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

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FAQ

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?

On completing the MSc/MRes degrees with us you will have learnt a range of data science skills in spatial analysis, databases, quant 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, six core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), is offered. The PG Dip Smart Cities and Urban Analytics programme follows the same structure as the MSc except that the dissertation is not required.  It would be possible to enrol on either a part time (two years) or flexible (up to five years) mode of study.  You can choose how many modules to study each year to suit your other commitments, and as long as they followed a logical sequence (taking note of pre-requisites for each, for example, on the MSc Smart Cities You must complete Quantitative Methods before Spatial Data Capture, Storage & Analysis, for the MRes you must complete Quantitative Methods and Introduction to Programming before Digital Visualisation and Data Science for Spatial Systems).  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.

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 computer 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 computer programming, database management, (big) 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.

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, and as long as they followed 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 organisers 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. I believe 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.