Environment and Sustainable Development MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This programme examines the critical relations between development planning and socio-environmental challenges in urban areas of the Global South. It challenges mainstream approaches to development, focusing on strategic pathways to address socio-environmental injustices and enhance collective capacities to act. Many of our graduates go on to help shape future sustainable development agendas in local government, international agencies and civil society organisations.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£16,500
£8,250
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£26,600
£13,300
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications open

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard; and a demonstrated interest in the subject matter of the programme. A minimum of six months work experience is also recommended. Candidates who do not meet the above requirements may be considered if they are able to demonstrate substantial relevant senior-level professional experience and an ability to engage academically with the subject matter of the programme.

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: Good

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

This programme examines the critical relations between development planning and socio-environmental challenges in urban areas of the Global South. It challenges mainstream approaches to development, focusing on strategic pathways to address socio-environmental injustices and enhance collective capacities to act. Many of our graduates go on to help shape future sustainable development agendas in local government, international agencies and civil society organisations.

Who this course is for

This interdisciplinary programme attracts participants from a wide variety of fields including anthropologists, economists, geographers and natural scientists, as well as planners, architects and engineers. 

What this course will give you

Faced with the most severe environmental crisis in human history, with unprecedented environmental degradation, rapid urbanisation and the production and reproduction of inequalities, it becomes ever more pressing to aquire the capacities for effective action to safeguard nature and current and future generations. 

This programme offers an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of socio-environmental change, equipping graduates with the skills required to face complex global challenges in urban regions while being sensitive to local contexts and remaining flexible in fast changing realities.

For the last 60 years the Development Planning Unit at UCL has championed forms of development planning that promote socially just and sustainable development in the context of rapid urbanisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The programme provides opportunities to interact with leading thinkers in development planning and students will join a community of practice with an international network of researchers and practitioners.

The foundation of your career

The programme equips students with interdisciplinary and transferable skills. It develops reflective and ethical professionals with enhanced capacities as critical thinkers, researchers, team players, leaders, effective project managers and impactful communicators. 


Our students interact with diverse private and public organisations and join a network of long term partnerships with fellow students, alumni, instructors and partners across the world. They work closely with academic staff concerned with socio-environmentally just and sustainable development and are involved in research, consultancy and development practice, influencing global debates on development such as UNFCCC negotiations, Sustainable Development Goals and UN Habitat III agenda.

Employability

Most previous graduates of this programme are now engaged in professional activities, ranging from local and national government, consultancy firms and national and international NGOs, to United Nations programmes and international aid agencies all over the world. 


Examples of organisations where graduates have been employed include:

  • Public Sector: DEFRA and DfID (UK), Ministerio das Cidades (Brazil) and many other local government organisations
  • International Agencies and NGOs: UNEP, UNDP, UN-Habitat, JICA, GIZ (former GTZ), InsightShare, Save the Children and WWF
  • Think tanks, academic and research organisations: IIED, Stockholm Environment Institute, Resources for Development Center, WaterWise and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport
  • Private companies: HappoldConsulting, EcoSecurities, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Dialogue by Design, and BioRegionalQuintain.

Teaching and learning

The programme comprises reading, essay writing, critical discussion and project work, facilitated through lectures, seminars, workshops, an overseas practice engagement and discussions with practitioners covering theoretical and practical tasks and case study analysis. Assessment is through coursework, examinations, and the dissertation.

Modules

Full-time

The programme is divided into four key taught components and one independent research project. The four taught components include three compulsory modules which focus on the core of sustainable development as a field, including: the political ecology of environmental change; urban environmental planning and management in development; and the practice module, which engages with practical approaches to advocating for and contributing to just and sustainable development practice in the urban global south. 

You also take one or two optional modules which allows you to tailor the programme of study to accommodate your own interest and direct your own learning experience.

You must also undertake an independent research project culminating in the production of a dissertation, with support from a dedicated dissertation tutor. This gives you the opportunity to focus on an area of the programme that most interests you. The research that supports the production of your dissertation should rely on secondary sources of data and/or primary sources of data that can be accessed without field survey work (e.g. internet or archival data sources). Conducting this independent research builds your skills in planning a research project, reviewing literature, and using the knowledge acquired during the taught component of the programme to review evidence, develop an argument and communicate and justify your findings.

All taught modules on the programme are delivered in terms 1 and 2 and the practice module is delivered in terms 1, 2 and 3. Work on the dissertation startsduring terms 2 and 3. The summer term is entirely dedicated to the dissertation with a final submission at the end of the summer (September).

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development.

Fieldwork

The overseas practice engagement component in Term 3 provides an opportunity to test theories and concepts discussed in the porgramme's core modules, and to gain practical experience in tackling socio-environmental justices in collaboration with key actors in the cities where we work.

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

Applying to The Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Presentation and Q&A about the Bartlett Promise UK Master’s Scholarship.

Online - Open day

Applying to The Bartlett Promise Sub Saharan Africa Master's Scholarship

Presentation and Q&A about the Bartlett Promise Sub Saharan Africa Master’s Scholarship.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500 £8,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

Programme fees 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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

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.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Any additional funding available from the Bartlett Development Planning Unit and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

Applicants may be eligible for the Otto Koenigsberger 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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Applications Open: 1 March 2022. Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 18 April 2022
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Brown Family Bursary

Now Closed for 2022/23
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2021/22
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

GREAT Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: £10,000 towards tuition fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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 Environment and Sustainable Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Environment and Sustainable Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • what do you think you will bring to the course
  • 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 will deliver.

We give preference to candidates with a minimum of six months relevant work experience.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.