This MSc explores how urban economies can contribute to urban sustainability, social justice and wellbeing. Bringing economic analysis to city planning and management, it aims to nurture future professionals who are equipped to engage in city management and development programmes. A unique focus on the city economy and an extensive alumni network make graduates of this programme highly employable.
Unless otherwise indicated, the information on this page relates to September 2019 entry. The information for September 2020 entry will be launching in the online Graduate Prospectus shortly. Applications for most postgraduate taught programmes will open 1 November 2019.
Modes and duration
Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Part-time and Flexible students normally attend half this amount.
Tuition fees (2019/20)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
The normal minimum qualification is an upper 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 second-class Bachelor's standard, or an equivalent overseas qualification, in a subject appropriate to the programme, plus excellent work experience.
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:
About this degree
The programme focuses on identifying methods of enhancing urban productivity and structural change while promoting sustainability and equity through public intervention at the city level. Students gain a critical understanding of the political economy of urban development and urban policy-making, the ability to analyse a city economy and its performance, and numerous opportunities to learn from policy experiences across the world.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four compulsory modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning report (60 credits).
- Cost-Benefit Analysis: Theory and Practice
- Managing the City Economy
- Practice in Urban Economic Development
- Either An Introduction to Public Economics and Public Policy or Urbanisation and Development
- Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
- Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
- Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
- The City and its Relations
- Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management
- Gender in Policy and Planning
- Socially Sensitive Development in Practice
- Social Development and Poverty Reduction
- Urban Environmental Planning and Management in Development
- Urban Agriculture
- Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
- Management and Planning for Development
- Public Economics
Or any other open MSc module on offer at UCL, with Programme Leader approval.
Please note: not all optional modules listed above may be available.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Guided by individual supervisors, all MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation 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.
The programme involves field work abroad (undertaken in recent years in Mek'ele, Ethiopia; Mbarara, Uganda; Barcelona, Spain; Cairo, Egypt; and Accra, Ghana), as well as in the UK, allowing students to put into practice some of the tools and techniques acquired during the course.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies and fieldwork related to cities in different parts of the world, and includes an overseas field trip. Students are assessed through unseen examinations, individual essays, coursework, team work reports, oral presentations and a dissertation.
The cost of flights, visas, necessary vaccinations, accommodation, and fieldwork-related travel and facilitations costs, are incorporated within the programme fees. Meals and other expenditure must be covered by the student.
Applicants may be eligible for the DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme and the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline is 26 April (4pm GMT)
- £10,000 (1 year)
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on financial need
- Deadline is 5pm (BST), 26 July
- £10,000 (1 year)
- Based on academic merit
- Now closed for 2019/20
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Nominations have now been submitted
- Full tuition fees (1 year)
- Based on academic merit
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates pursue a variety of careers, predominantly: private consultancies and think tanks; public sector (including government careers at different levels and international organisations); academia and research.
Graduates of this programme enjoy a high level of employability. Students develop an integrated approach towards efficiency, sustainability, social justice and wellbeing and acquire crucial skills in tackling the significant task of economic management of cities. They also have the opportunity to strengthen their CV while on the programme by participating in numerous practice-oriented assignments, both in the UK and abroad. Past graduates have found employment in a variety of fields, ranging from working with UK-based organisations in public, private and community sectors that focus on either local or international development, to employment with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental agencies in the Global South.
Why study this degree at UCL?
In addition to strong theoretical teaching, this MSc involves practical fieldwork abroad and in the UK that allows students to put into practice the tools and techniques acquired in the classroom. Characterised by a strong emphasis on international experiences and analytical approaches, this programme will be of benefit to students from both developed and developing countries.
The UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit is an international centre of excellence promoting sustainable development and encouraging innovative policy, planning and management of urban, regional and international development. Cross-departmental career networking sessions are held throughout the year where current students can socialise with alumni and external professionals.
Department: Development Planning Unit
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is aimed at economists or non-economists who are either currently working in or intend to work in multilateral or bilateral aid agencies, government bodies, private consultancies, think tanks, non-governmental organisations, universities and research institutes concerned with analysing, formulating and implementing economic policies related to the urban sector or particular cities.
- All applicants
- 26 July 2019
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 Economic Development at graduate level
- why you want to study Urban Economic Development at UCL
- what considerations particularly attract 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
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme aims to deliver.