The School is internationally distinguished within the planning field and offers a unique hands-on learning environment for students, involving interaction with some of the leading urban planning academics and practitioners, through close supervision, creative project work and teaching innovation.
Modes and duration
Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week. Part-time students normally attend half this amount. Research students are required to be in continuous attendance, apart from periods of leave.
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.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a relevant subject, is essential. Exceptionally: where applicants have other suitable research or professional experience, they may be admitted without a Master's degree; or where applicants have a lower second-class UK Honours Bachelor's degree (2:2) (or equivalent) they must possess a relevant Master's degree to be admitted. We expect any successful application to include a sufficiently strong and convincing proposal, and those holding a Master's degree are typically well prepared to provide one. Relevant work experience is highly desirable.
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:
- Economic development: diverse aspects of the economy in complex city-regions; processes of industry clustering and innovation; local and regional economic development; impacts of multinational companies; foreign direct investment and trade openness; political economy of urban regeneration
- Housing, society and culture: housing design, development and planning; representation of space; questions of identity and the engagement of different groups in space; housing supply; affordability; mix and social cohesion
- Property and regeneration: inter-relationship of property markets and planning; effectiveness and sustainability of urban regeneration in the UK, Europe and internationally
- Spatial planning: planning systems, policies and processes in the UK, Europe and beyond
- Sustainable development: lifestyle, consumption and production; investment and property development; eco-design and planning for climate change
- Transport and infrastructure: sustainable modes of travel; inequalities in urban and rural mobility; delivering major infrastructure projects
- Urban design: public space design and management; the design dimension of planning; questions of form, type and quality; the value of design
About this degree
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) consists of a piece of supervised research, normally undertaken over a period of three years full-time. Assessment is by means of a thesis, which should demonstrate your capacity to pursue original research based upon a good understanding of the research techniques and concepts appropriate to the discipline.
Initially, you will be registered for the MPhil degree. If you wish to proceed to a PhD, you will be required to pass an 'Upgrade' assessment. The purpose of the upgrade is to assess your progress and ability to complete your PhD programme to a good standard and in a reasonable time frame. It is expected that a full-time student will attempt upgrade within 18 months of registration.
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.
As a research student, your additional costs may include expenses such as books, conference attendance and field research, in the UK or overseas.
The Faculty provides financial support to students through the Bartlett Student Conference Fund, Bartlett Doctoral Initiative Fund and Bartlett Extenuating Circumstances Fund. However, please note that these funds are limited and available through competition.
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Students completing a research degree have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. Graduates typically find employment with a wide variety of public and private employers in the UK and abroad, including universities, research institutes, consultancies and government organisations.
At The Bartlett School of Planning our research informs our teaching. The school offers a unique hands-on learning environment for students, involving interaction with some of the leading urban planning academics and practitioners, through close supervision, creative project work and teaching innovation. These are the features that distinguish the School's teaching programmes within the planning field internationally. Through our undergraduate, taught Master's and doctoral programmes, students learn in a creative and highly stimulating environment about the form, planning, design and management of cities and about how to shape their future.
The school offers students numerous opportunities for networking with the professional community. Engagement with practising planners on taught programmes is reinforced through contact with visiting speakers in our extensive seminar series. Careers events are attended both by past alumni who have become successful planners and by employers seeking expertise within our student body.
Why study this degree at UCL?
Research students at UCL are heavily involved in the academic life of the department, organising and contributing to seminar series, interacting with renowned academics from across the globe and adding their own expertise to the body of work that the department produces.
In order to best prepare our students for academic life we offer funds for international conference attendance, for training in teaching and research (to complement other formal training sessions offered by UCL Doctoral School) and above all else, we embed the fundamentals of academic teaching by employing our research students in the teaching of undergraduate and Master's level students.
In REF 2014 46% of The Bartlett’s research was rated 4* i.e. “world-leading”, with a further 35% recognised as 3* i.e. “internationally excellent”.* The Bartlett submitted the largest quantity of 4* world-leading research outputs (156 items) of any university submitting to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel. On “Research Environment”, which grades the “vitality” and “sustainability” of the research environment, the Bartlett received the highest score for submission to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel.
Department: Bartlett School of Planning
What our students and staff say
"There is a huge variety of different training courses that you can take at UCL to improve your research and personal skills."
Sonia Friere TrigoPlanning Studies PhD
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.
- All applicants
- 30 July 2021
Prospective MPhil/PhD applicants are encouraged to send an informal research enquiry before applying. This should be sent directly to the academic you would like to supervise you. Please refer to the staff list on the department website and see UCL’s Institutional Research Information Service (IRIS) for staff profiles. Please attach to your e-mail a referenced research proposal of around 1,000 to 2,000 words and your curriculum vitae (CV).
Further details on how to apply to an MPhil/PhD can be found on the UCL Graduate Admissions website.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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