This programme identifies ways to enhance urban productivity while promoting sustainability and equity through public intervention in cities.
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 (2021/22)
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. 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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
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
Urban Economic Development MSc is designed to train development practitioners to better understand the dynamics of the city economy and encourage them to develop their own theoretically-sound perspectives and world views on how to tackle urban challenges through state of the art research and creative policy formulation.
The programme is strongly interdisciplinary, attracting administrators, economists and politicians, as well as planners, architects, engineers, technologists and geographers who share common values around social equity, freedom and responsibility, prosperity and environmental sustainability.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four compulsory modules (90 credits) plus optional modules to the value of 30 credits and a dissertation (60 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Urban Economic Development.
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.
- Managing the City Economy (30 credits)
- Practice in Urban Economic Development (30 credits)
- An Introduction to Public Economics and Public Policy (15 credits)
- Urbanisation and Development (15 credits)
- 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
- The Slum in Urban Economic Development
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: the list of modules given here is indicative. 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. This module is Development and Planning Dissertation (60 credits).
The programme involves overseas practice engagements, collaborating with local partners in in Mek'ele, Ethiopia; Mbarara, Uganda; Barcelona, Spain; Cairo, Egypt; and Accra, Ghana, in recent years, as well as in the UK. Allowing students to put into practice some of the tools and techniques acquired during the programme. We also offer a ‘live’ client project with leading public and private development organisations in London. In the London Project you will leverage to co-create and communicate innovative approaches to major urban challenges.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies and practice engagements related to cities in different parts of the world, and includes an overseas practice engagement. Students are assessed through unseen examinations, individual essays, coursework, team work reports, oral presentations and a dissertation.
All costs, including partner and facilitation expenses and travel-related, where travel is possible, will be covered from within programme fees. Personal expenses must, as normal, be covered by the student regardless of whether activities take place in person or remotely.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline: 31 May 2021
- Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
- Based on financial need
- £11,000 (1 year)
- Based on academic merit
- Deadline: 1 July 2021
- Full fees (1 year)
- UK, Overseas
- 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.
Our Urban Economic Development MSc (UED) is widely recognised by international organisations, including UN agencies and the World Bank.
It is also recognised by bilateral aid organisations from different countries, including the UK's Department for International Development, as well as other government aid programmes; and by many national organisations.
The UED programme has been offered by the Development Planning Unit for more than two decades. Its alumni benefit from the international reputation enjoyed by both DPU and the programme itself.
There is enormous variety in the careers UED graduates pursue, ranging from working with UK-based organisations in the public, private and community sectors that focus on local as well as international development, to employment with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations operating in a development capacity in the South.
Graduates of this programme enjoy a high level of employability and pursue a variety of careers, predominantly in private consultancies, think tanks, public sector (including government careers at different levels and international organisations), international development organisations, academia and research.
There is also diversity in the geographic location of UED alumni: some return to their home countries with the additional MSc qualification and engage in the practice, teaching or research of urban development there; others find employment in development organisations (from grassroots to multilateral tiers) away from their own countries.
The Bartlett Development Planning Unit boasts a global network of alumni spread across many continents, countries and organisations, often facilitating that essential first introduction of an Urban Economic Development MSc graduate into employment.
Why study this degree at UCL?
In addition to strong theoretical teaching, this MSc involves practice engagements with partners overseas 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.
Moreover, the programme offers a unique and well-calibrated curriculum that aims to prepare the participants for a professional career in the urban sector.
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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: 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.
Potential 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.
- Full-time applicants
- 31 May 2021
- 31 May 2021
Applications received by 31 December 2020 will receive a response by 28 February, then in two-monthly intervals after that.
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.
Our students come from dozens of countries, speak many different languages and have a mix of experiences and skills. However, they all have something in common:
- They have worked or intend to work professionally in the field of policy-making, implementation and consultancy that focus on the city economy and economic development in urban areas.
- They want to acquire a critical understanding of the city economy and the capability to develop and formulate well-grounded sectoral and city development strategies
- They are interested in exploring interdisciplinary approaches to achieving prosperity, equity and sustainability at the same time.
- They are keen to learn from development experiences elsewhere and feel comfortable in engaging in theoretical and policy debates.
If they sound like you, you are strongly encouraged to apply.
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