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The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

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FAQ's

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

Benefits of studying a degree course at CASA 

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

You will learn 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?

CASA offers 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. 
Learning to code is like learning a language: it’s not about ‘cramming’, it’s about regular practice for short periods of time (e.g. 30 minutes/day 5 days a week is much, much better than 8 hours on one day).

In terms of resources, there are many free online ‘learn to code in Python’ courses: Software Carpentry, Coursera, EdX, etc. If anchoring the content in geographical concepts and terms would be helpful, then we have ‘Code Camp’ that could serve as a good jumping off point: https://kingsgeocomputation.org/teaching/code-camp/code-camp-python/ which requires no software installation at all and runs through the browser (this is a joint endeavour between KCL and UCL but hosted by KCL).
 

What is the significance of accreditation with Royal Geographic Society?

The MSc Urban Spatial Science programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers - IBG). Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills and prepare graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.
Which course is recommended for graduate job opportunities and which for further academic research?
Both the MSc and the MRes will prepare you for entering the workforce or for pursuing a PhD. The MSc may be better if you want to go straight into a job in consultancy/industry/government since you have the chance to take additional taught modules and enhance your knowledge and skills through additional study. Whereas 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. 
 

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.
 

What are the employment prospects for CASA graduates?

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. Examples of job titles include Graduate Cities Consultant, Data Scientist, Urban Planner, Data Quality Manager, GIS Specialist / Officer, Policy Consultant, Spatial Data Analyst, Systems Developer, Urban Designer, Project Manager, and 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. CASA also provides workshops in coordination with the UCL Careers Office which cover a variety of employment skills like CVs and interviews. 
Beyond these opportunities, there are many corporate and government sponsored dissertation research opportunities available each year. In the past, these have often led to job opportunities after the dissertation has finished.

Applications and Admissions

When is the deadline to apply?

The application deadline is 13 May 2022 for all programmes. 

Urban Spatial Science MSc | Prospective Students Graduate (ucl.ac.uk 
Urban Spatial Science MRes | Prospective Students Graduate (ucl.ac.uk)
Connected Environments MSc | Prospective Students Graduate (ucl.ac.uk)

What are the language requirements for International Students?
  • Urban Spatial Science English Language Requirements = Standard
  • Connected Environments English Language Requirements = Good

You can find additional information here: English Language Entry Requirements | International Students - UCL – University College London

Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in computer science or geography to be accepted into CASA?

No, you do not. CASA is inherently interdisciplinary in nature. We are home to geographers, mathematicians, physicists, economists, urban planners, architects, and artists. 

I need to upload additional documents to my application, what do I do?

You are not able to upload additional documents to your application once you have submitted it. It is, therefore, important that your application is complete and correct when you first submit it. If you have new documents you wish to include, you can contact postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk to see if they can be included. If UCL admissions request further documentation from you, such as language scores or final degree transcripts, they will provide you with the ability to upload these documents to your application portal. 

How long will it take for me to find out the result on my application?

All applications are thoroughly reviewed by Admissions and by the Department. The length of time varies based upon the number of applications received. When there is an update to the status of your graduate application, you will receive an email informing you of a change to your status. If your application status on the portal has not changed then your application is still under consideration.

Post-Offer

What is the deadline for accepting an offer?

You should ideally accept your unconditional and/or conditional offer within 4 weeks of receiving it. The sooner we know you are coming, or that you are intending to meet the requirements of your conditional offer, the more preparatory information UCL information can send you. Also, if you need a visa, you should accept your offer as soon as you can in order to allow the UCL Admissions Office to prepare your CAS. They can only do this once you have a firmly accepted unconditional offer, but they may not initiate the process until later depending on their schedule. 

What do I do if I have a conditional offer?

If you have a conditional offer, you must provide UCL Admissions with the requested documentation to demonstrate the condition has been met. This can include sending in proof of English Language ability, final transcripts from your undergraduate degree, or other requirements as outlined in your offer. If you have questions on when and how you will receive your unconditional offer you need to contact postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk.  

I am having trouble meeting the conditions of my offer, what do I do?

Begin by contacting postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk.  If they cannot help you and/or advise you that you will need a Suspension of Regulations in order to be admitted, then contact casa.teaching@ucl.ac.uk. Please be sure to include your Applicant Number on all correspondence and emails. 

I need a Student Visa. How do I get my CAS? 

For information on your CAS and all student visa related questions you need to contact studentvisa@ucl.ac.uk.

How long will it take to get a student visa?

Student visas have normally been issued over the summer following the admissions deadline and the main round of Offer letters. You can find the most current information here: Student visas | Students - UCL – University College London 

What kind of laptop do I need to be successful in my studies?

Most new PCs and Macs meet the computing requirements for our courses. As a general guideline, we suggest the following: 

RAM – min 8GB; good 16GB; best 32GB
Hard Disk – min 512GB (solid state preferably if you can afford it). Good 1TB. 2TB is not necessary. 
Processor – Intel Core i5 should be fine. i7 is better. i9 is not necessary, but if it is in your budget, that is fine. 
Don’t skimp on the RAM – particularly as if your computer doesn’t have the grunt for some big tasks, you can use the UCL Remote Desktop – but having a decent amount of RAM helps with running this. 
 

Does UCL provide accommodation for postgraduate students?

First year international postgraduate students who accept their offer to study for a full-time Master’s programme, who have not previously lived in London whilst studying at a Higher Education Institution (University), and who submitted their application by 30th June in the year of study will normally be offered a place in UCL accommodation.

UCL is unable to offer student accommodation to graduate students with UK fee status. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/accommodation/prospective-students/postgraduates
 

For further information about UCL accommodation, eligibility criteria and application process, students can visit the following link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/accommodation/frequently-asked-questions
 

I would like to defer my offer until next year, what do I do?

UCL will not accept applications for deferred entry to taught postgraduate programmes. Applicants must apply in the admissions cycle for which they seek entry. Once an offer of admission has been made, applicants may request to defer their place to the next academic year only in the following circumstances

  • The serious illness of the offer holder or the serious illness of a parent, guardian, partner or child of the offer holder.
  • The death of a parent, guardian, partner or child of the offer holder.
  • The need to take parental or adoption leave during the next 12 months.
  • Where the offer holder is directly and severely affected by a natural or human-made disaster (i.e., war, earthquakes or flooding).
  • The offer holder has been awarded a UCL scholarship (including UCL partnership agreements and Faculty awards); or a full scholarship (tuition fee and maintenance support) from a recognised funding body - for study in the following academic year. (A ‘scholarship’ does not include student loans. The UCL Student Funding office can confirm the standing of a funding body or partnership as required).

Requests to defer for the above reasons will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Graduate Admissions Office. Requests to defer for any other reason will not be considered.
Postgraduate applicants looking to request a deferral must do so through their applicant portal. The deadline to request a deferral is two weeks prior to the start of the programme.

Please note the following:

  • Requests that relate to illness or parental/adoption leave will need to be supported by a letter from a relevant medical practitioner.
  • If a request is made on the basis that the offer holder has been awarded a scholarship for study in the following academic year, the request must be supported by an official scholarship award letter.
  • UCL reserves the right to request more information from the offer holder, scholarship body or medical practitioner before making a final decision.
  • If a request to defer is approved, any tuition fee deposit payments will be held on account until enrolment.
  • Applicants holding an offer of admission may only request a deferral for one year of entry. An application cannot be deferred twice. Applicants wanting to defer for two years must re-apply and be considered as a new application in competition with other applicants.

Starting Your Programme

What is the deadline to enroll for 2022-23?

Generally, the deadline to enroll is the first Friday in October. Once you have fully enrolled, you will be able to obtain your UCL ID card, IT login details etc. so please do enroll fully as soon as you can. You should aim to enroll by 3 October so that you may attend all classes; have access to UCL Moodle etc.

How do I register for the modules for my programme and pathway?

The compulsory modules for your degree will be automatically added to your registration. Once you select your pathway, you will then register for those modules through Portico. If you have any issues with module registration, you can email casa.teaching@ucl.ac.uk for assistance. 

Who do I contact if I need help with an academic issue?

If you need help with an academic issue related to a module then your first point of contact is always the module leader and/or the PGTAs for that module. 

Who do I contact if I need help with a personal issue?

There are many resources available to you if you need help. You can contact your personal tutor, email the Teaching & Learning Administration team at casa.teaching@ucl.ac.uk, and you can also contact Student Support and Wellbeing. A list of their services is provided here: Support and wellbeing | Students - UCL – University College London 

When are marks released and what is the standard timeline for receiving my degree certificate and attending my graduation ceremony?

The normal procedure for receiving your official marks is as follows:

  • Marks for the taught modules are released following the June Exam Board by UCL in July. 
  • The dissertation mark and any applicable Late Summer Assessment resubmissions/deferrals are confirmed at the October/November Exam Board and released by UCL in November/December. 
  • Transcripts and degree certificates are sent to student addresses on Portico no earlier than 5 months following the notice of award.
  • For those requiring resubmission of the dissertation/deferrals then these are confirmed at the March Exam Board and released by UCL in April.
  • The graduation ceremony is usually in September/October the year following the submission of your dissertation.
  • Once all modules are completed, you will receive confirmation of completion of your degree following the Exam Board. If all modules are completed on time, then you should receive this confirmation by January of the year following your dissertation submission.