Ecology and Urban Engineering MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

The MSc in Ecology and Urban Engineering will equip you with the tools to design spaces that work with and for nature, bridging the gap between ecosystems and the artificial landscape. You will learn how to shape our surroundings and how to design and build urban spaces for biodiversity benefits.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£21,200
£10,600
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£35,000
£17,500
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 03 Jan – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in life sciences, environmental science, civil engineering, urban design or architecture subject area, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
 Applicants with an appropriate professional qualification and relevant work experience (e.g., engineering design, green infrastructure, local government) will be considered.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The interface between planners, architects, engineers, and ecologists is rarely integrated or trans-disciplinary. Yet the need to develop capacity to assimilate natural capital in ways that provide long-term, sustainable benefits is paramount, and requires ecological literacy in areas of expertise traditionally lacking in these skills.

By using methods to sense, process, and inform new technologies, you will develop the expertise to improve biodiversity and ecosystem health using design tools and technologies for the built environment. By the end of the programme, you will have the project management skills, and theoretical and practical experience needed to implement ecologically and environmentally informed sustainable urban development solutions across society.

Who this course is for

Our new cross-disciplinary postgraduate programme will welcome students interested in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems in urban areas, sustainable urban design, ecosystem services, citizen science and big data analytics.
This programme will interest engineers and architects, as well as people coming from government and NGO backgrounds looking to work in projects involving the built environment.

What this course will give you

The foundation of your career

Employability

Upon completion of the programme, you will possess the project management skills, and theoretical and practical experience needed to implement cutting-edge technological, statistical and computational solutions to address ecological and environmental challenges within the urban built environment.

You will also leave with the necessary insight to plan and undertake independent research, and the ability to report its findings to a variety of audiences. Employment destinations may include engineering, architecture, local government, and UK government organisations such as the Defra and the Environment Agency, development and environmental consultancies; environmental charities; conservation charities.

Teaching and learning

You will be assessed through a variety of means including case study report, individual video presentation, group presentation/pitch, open book exam, grant proposal, reflective summary (group and individual), science communication, and a final research project developed in collaboration with UCL academics and/or with a programme partner.

This programme offers approximately 300 contact hours with approximately 1200 hours of self-directed learning.

Modules

In term one, you will take three core modules that cover (i) the impacts of building and infrastructure design and construction on nature; (ii) the fundamental aspects of ecological theory, survey design and sampling, sensing and sensor technology and their ecological applications; (iii) experimental design, field techniques, data collection, visualisation, management, and analysis. 

In term two, you will develop and integrate applied skills across a range of activities delivered through two core modules. The first provides both theoretical and experiential explorations and develops practical insights on the design and build of projects that work with nature to improve biodiversity outcomes and support healthy ecosystem function. The second module - Urban Engineering: Nature-Smart Challenge - spans two terms, and you will work in teams to deliver a solution to an urban design/construction problem posed by an external client (a programme partner from industry, an NGO, or local community). To succeed, you will apply your learning, insight, skills, and experience within a team dynamic to answer a real-world urban design question in need of a pro-nature solution. 

You will further develop your interdisciplinary skills in terms one and two via optional modules you choose, selected from People and Nature Lab (BIOS0031 Technology for Nature; BIOS0032 AI for the Environment; BIOS0035 Foundations of Citizen Science) or other available UCL East electives (e.g., COMP0153 Inclusive Design and Environments).

As well as finalising the Urban Engineering Nature Smart Challenge, term three will also see the start of your individual research project. With academic support from experts in the field, you will develop an original question with UCL academics and/or in collaboration with industry partners, which in order to answer, you will draw upon and apply your learning and experience from terms one, two, and three.

Depending on the project, it may be possible to develop your research question directly from the work you complete on the ‘Nature-Smart Challenge’ module. Weekly tutor-facilitated, student-led workshops will provide the platform for you to discuss the central themes in conducting research in urban design and engineering in an ecological context, and support you in exploring and resolving challenges you may face in your own research-project work, in collaboration with your peers. 

If your research project is supervised by a member of academic staff based at Bloomsbury, you will need to spend time at this campus.

Year One:
In term one, you will take two core modules that cover (i) the impacts of building and infrastructure design and construction on nature; (ii) the fundamental aspects of ecological theory, survey design and sampling, sensing and sensor technology and their ecological applications; (iii) experimental design, field techniques, data collection, visualisation, management, and analysis.

In term two, you will develop and integrate applied skills across a range of activities delivered through a core module which provides both theoretical and experiential explorations and develops practical insights on the design and build of projects that work with nature to improve biodiversity outcomes and support healthy ecosystem function. 

You will further develop your interdisciplinary skills in terms one and two via optional modules you choose, selected from People and Nature Lab (BIOS0031 Technology for Nature; BIOS0032 AI for the Environment; BIOS0035 Foundations of Citizen Science) or other available UCL East electives (e.g., COMP0153 Inclusive Design and Environments).

Year Two:
In term one, you will take one core module that covers experimental design, field techniques, data collection, visualisation, management, and analysis. 

In term two, you will continue to develop and integrate applied skills across a range of activities delivered through Nature-Smart Challenge: Urban Engineering. This spans two terms, and you will work in teams to deliver a solution to an urban design/construction problem posed by an external client (a programme partner from industry, an NGO, or local community). To succeed, you will apply your learning, insight, skills, and experience within a team dynamic to answer a real-world urban design question in need of a pro-nature solution. 

As well as finalising the Urban Engineering Nature Smart Challenge, term three will also see the start of your individual research project. With academic support from experts in the field, you will develop an original question with UCL academics and/or in collaboration with industry partners, which in order to answer, you will draw upon and apply your learning and experience from terms one, two, and three.

Depending on the project, it may be possible to develop your research question directly from the work you complete on the ‘Nature-Smart Challenge’ module. Weekly tutor-facilitated, student-led workshops will provide the platform for you to discuss the central themes in conducting research in urban design and engineering in an ecological context, and support you in exploring and resolving challenges you may face in your own research-project work, in collaboration with your peers. 

If your research project is supervised by a member of academic staff based at Bloomsbury, you will need to spend time at this campus.

Compulsory modules



Foundations of Nature and Climate-Friendly Urban Design

Tools for Building Sustainable Resilient Cities

Nature-Smart Challenge: Urban Engineering

MSc Ecology and Urban Engineering Research Project


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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits in total. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Ecology and Urban Engineering MSc.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Study at the People and Nature Lab

The last few years have served to emphasise how interwoven our built environment is with health and the natural world. To meet the challenge, we're looking for inquisitive minds to take on this century’s greatest ecological challenges, and to come up with innovative solutions for these. Our programmes at UCL East are key to preparing the ecologists and environmentalists of the future. Join us to find out more about our MSc programmes in Ecology and Data Science and Ecology and Urban Engineering.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Study at the People and Nature Lab

The last few years have served to emphasise how interwoven our built environment is with health and the natural world. To meet the challenge, we're looking for inquisitive minds to take on this century’s greatest ecological challenges, and to come up with innovative solutions for these. Our programmes at UCL East are key to preparing the ecologists and environmentalists of the future. Join us to find out more about our MSc programmes in Ecology and Data Science and Ecology and Urban Engineering.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £21,200 £10,600
Tuition fees (2023/24) £35,000 £17,500

Additional costs

Students are required to have a laptop which is suitable for running R software.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your 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.

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 £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Ecology and Urban Engineering at graduate level
  • why you want to study Ecology and Urban Engineering at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • How your academic, professional and personal background meets the demands of this 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 will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.