Engineering for International Development MSc

London, Bloomsbury

There is an international need for professionals who can engineer sustainable and resilient infrastructure to help alleviate poverty in low to middle-income countries. This programme will create engineering graduates who can work in a global context and with the skills and understanding to address the challenges of poverty worldwide.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open


Application closes at 17:00 (UK time).

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (such as engineering, architecture, geography, urban planning, mathematics) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Normally, however, only candidates with either a first- or upper second-class degree will be accepted, although applicants with a lower second-class degree supported by extensive relevant work experience will also be considered.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

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

Students gain understanding of infrastructure design and delivery processes in resource-limited settings, and learn how to mobilise technical expertise to develop solutions with local stakeholders in a global context. The wide range of taught modules also provides opportunities to critically engage with the complexities and ethical dilemmas of working as an engineer internationally.

Who this course is for

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. When we assess your application, we would particularly like to learn: Why you want to study Engineering for International Development at graduate level; why you want to study this programme at UCL; what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme; how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme and where you would like to go professionally with your degree.
This programme is suitable for students from any engineering discipline or built environment background who are keen to gain exposure to real-life applications of engineering solutions in international development. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please send us an email.

What this course will give you

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering is an energetic and exciting department with well-established research projects and networks in environmental engineering, transportation, urban resilience, wastewater provision, human settlements and renewable energy.

Students benefit from UCL's strong links with industry partners in the heart of London, participating in collaborative projects with businesses, charities and utility companies. 

Extra-curricular engineering initiatives are supported by the UCL International Development Hub (ID Hub). Events and activities - including talks, workshops, hackathons and internships - are advertised through the ID Hub social media pages and Moodle.

The foundation of your career

Previous Engineering for International Development MSc graduates have gone on to study a PhD, or joined engineering consultancies, design practices, various non-governmental organisations, and the European Space Agency.

Our alumni are encouraged to join our LinkedIn page and are invited to UCL each term to present their current work to the new cohort of EfID MSc students. 


This MSc programme gives students an opportunity to practice technical engineering and design skills in a humanitarian context. Our students are given opportunities to conduct social science research, develop community engagement strategies, and learn the fundamentals of education and training. Through individual and team projects, lectures and self-study, students learn to understand complex systems, and to use their engineering knowledge as a tool to address 'wicked' problems. 

Graduates can expect to find employment in the following areas:

  • International organisations (e.g. United Nations, World Bank, European Union).
  • Engineering consultancies (e.g. Arup, Mott MacDonald).
  • Utilities companies (e.g. Water, Energy).
  • Non-governmental agencies worldwide (e.g. Practical Action, WaterAid).


This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree. See for further information.

Teaching and learning

Assessment includes a combination of technical report, presentation, essay, written examination, group report, and a research dissertation.

The workload for students is approximately 40 hours per week.

This is typically made up of formal learning and teaching events such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as self-directed study.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) consisting of three core modules (45 credits), a collaborative project (30 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits) is also offered.


The programme consists of three compulsory modules, a collaborative project, three optional modules, and a dissertation/report.

Compulsory modules

  • Engineering and International Development (15 credits)
  • Appropriate Technologies in Practice (15 credits) 
  • Collaborative Project International Development (30 credits) 
  • Dissertation (60 credits) 

Optional modules 

Any 15 credit module at FHEQ Level 7 that is approved by the Programme Director, including but not limited to: 

  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction*
  • Environmental GIS
  • Environmental Modelling
  • Environmental Systems Engineering
  • GIS Principles and Technology
  • Natural and Environmental Disasters
  • Urban Flooding and Drainage
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Critical Urbanism Studio I – Learning from Informality: Case Studies and Alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio II – Learning from Informality: Investigative Design
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Food and the City
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practice and Alternatives
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Clean Energy and Development
  • Water and Development in Africa
  • Housing as Urbanism
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture

*This module is strongly recommended.

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. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Engineering for International Development. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Engineering for International Development.


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

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Discover more about our innovative and exciting postgraduate programmes at UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (CEGE). From earthquake engineering to engineering for international development, geospatial sciences, urban sustainability and resilience, transport, and many more options! Join the CEGE Postgraduate Team Leader Prof Carmine Galasso, CEGE Head of Department Prof Jose Torero, programme directors, and current students at the CEGE PGT Virtual Open Day 2023!

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £18,000 £9,000
Tuition fees (2023/24) £35,000 £17,500

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

A site visit to the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Wales will incur costs of c. £300, contributing to accommodation and food.

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

Chevening Scholarship - Saïd Foundation -

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: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and 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.

Applications are accepted throughout the year but applicants are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. It takes approximately six-eight weeks from submission of an application to receiving an offer letter. If you are an overseas student requiring a visa we recommend applying in sufficient time to obtain the CAS number required for your visa.

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: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.