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 (2024/25)
£22,700
£11,350
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£37,500
£18,750
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

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.

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

This is an ideal degree for highly motivated students interested in the application of cutting-edge solutions to building climate- and nature-friendly cities. This cross-disciplinary programme welcomes both ecologists seeking to apply their skills and deepen their knowledge of urban design, and engineers and architects keen to deepen their skills and learn how urban environments can be better adapted to environmental change.

What this course will give you

This new programme brings together ecological theory and practice and urban design and engineering to train a new generation of built environment professionals. This multi-disciplinary programme will cover foundational understanding of ecological theory, biodiversity monitoring and data handling, as well as climate-resilient urban design and green and blue infrastructure. Students will also work with professionals from industry, government, NGOs, and local communities to deliver real urban projects with long-term climate and biodiversity benefits. 

The foundation of your career

This programme launched in September 2023, so detailed graduate destinations are not yet available at the time of publication.

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.

Networking

Students are invited to divisional, departmental and other research seminars, where there are opportunities to network with academic colleagues. A number of teaching sessions are taught by staff from industry providing key networking opportunities. Additionally, through the Nature-Smart module, students will be working directly with a range of industry partners such as local governments, environmental consultants, wildlife NGOs, and local community groups to co-develop cutting-edge solutions to building climate- and nature-friendly cities.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a broad suite of teaching approaches, including lectures; seminars incorporating problem-based learning, group discussions, concept mapping; task-focussed workshops; hands-on experience; and reflective 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.

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.

Fieldwork

There is a one week fieldwork course in term one which takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where the UCL East campus is based.

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 and Wellbeing team.

UCL East Marshgate E20 2AE - Open day

UCL East Graduate Open Evening

Discover our range of practice-based, postgraduate programmes and cutting-edge facilities at our UCL East Postgraduate Open Evening. Visit us for your chance to learn more about the future-focused, interdisciplinary degrees we offer and to meet leading researchers delivering our programmes and interact with current UCL students.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £22,700 £11,350
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500 £18,750

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

UCL East Scholarship

The scholarship works to support the ambitions of east Londoners by funding the fees and living costs of eligible Master's programmes including this MSc at UCL. Further details at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships/ucl-east-london-scholarship.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.