Global Prosperity MSc
The Global Prosperity MSc prepares you to become one of a new generation of global leaders. The programme challenges current economic and social models that have generated both astonishing levels of wealth as well as deep social and ecological dilemmas. Through your study you will examine possible solutions to contemporary global challenges and explore how much-needed economic, social and political transformations can be enacted to deliver sustainable prosperity.
Programme startsSeptember 2022
Applications not yet open
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in any discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Prospective students must demonstrate commitment to engage with complex global challenges across a range of disciplines. Applicants with significant work experience in government, business, civil society or social entrepreneurship and/or postgraduate training are strongly encouraged to apply.
- 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.
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 21st Century seems to be a critical moment for humanity. From climate change to global pandemics, livelihood security and human wellbeing is under threat around the world. Existing economic structures, extractive systems and patterns of consumption are exceeding planetary limits. With GDP oriented growth failing to increase the welfare of millions of people, many communities remain isolated from the models of economic prosperity generated in the 20th century.
The Global Prosperity MSc argues that in order to address these interconnected challenges, we must fundamentally reconceptualise what prosperity means and how it is designed and delivered. Students on this programme will unpack this premise by critically exploring how the economic, political and institutional roots of today’s global challenges have informed current modes of social and natural prosperity thinking. In assessing the legacies of these paradigms, you will explore a range of methods and experimental case studies aimed at addressing extant global challenges through the process of co-design and the decentralisation of older more hegemonic paradigms of prosperity.
The Global Prosperity MSc offers you the choice of two unique pathways. The ‘Society and Livelihoods’ pathway offers the opportunity to critically deconstruct current solutions to global challenges and explore models for enacting and co-designing positive and inclusive change for livelihoods around the world. The ‘People and Planet’ pathway provides the opportunity to explore the relationship between planetary health and human wellbeing and examine emergent ideas around regenerative ecologies and the reproduction of resilient and adaptive socio-natural systems as the basis for building new natural prosperity models and ecologies of the future.
Both of these unique pathways offer an explicitly transdisciplinary learning experience. You will be situated within a diverse network of IGP-led initiatives with industry leaders, businesses and citizen scientists. Through these networks, you will not only be taught cutting-edge natural and social science method and theory but will be offered real practical experiences through direct engagement with the kinds of future initiatives needed to address current global challenges. The programme draws particular originality from world-leading research into heterodox forms of inclusive and sustainable prosperity generated by the IGP and its ongoing engaged work with multiple stakeholders in the UK, Lebanon and Kenya. These initiatives include IGPs Transforming Tomorrow (TTI) science and policy programme for change, the Fast Forward 2030 (FF2030) network for young Entrepreneurs and regional Prosperity Co-Labs in the UK, Lebanon and Kenya (PROCOL). Through these initiatives you will be integrated into projects that are prototyping and designing new futures built upon the notions of equality and inclusivity in design, access and decision making.
Global Prosperity MSc is a dynamic, novel transdisciplinary degree that links students with communities of practice in order to generate new pathways to social and natural prosperity. In doing so, students will be trained as the next generation of sustainability managers, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, critical thinkers, researchers and artists who are able to draw on these ideas in their daily practice – both as the ‘responsible citizens’ envisaged in the SDGs – and as future change-makers working through their selected careers to generate and co-design a diversity of prosperous futures both for people and planet.
Who this course is forThis programme will appeal to a range of students from around the world. In particular, individuals who already have a postgraduate degree and/or significant real-world experience in business, social entrepreneurship, government or third sector organisations are encouraged to apply. Entry to the programme is highly competitive and we are especially searching for students with diverse knowledges and abilities and a desire to work as part of a dynamic and inclusive community. We welcome students from natural and/or social science and humanities backgrounds and with skills in both quantitative and qualitative research. Students with a strong personal vision for social, economic and ecological transformation are especially encouraged to apply. Please also note that this is a unique transdisciplinary programme and is not a standard business, economics or development studies programme.
What this course will give you
The mission of the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) is to rethink social and environmental prosperity and to generate new economic models and measures to deliver prosperity. Prosperous communities are socially inclusive, equitable and sustainable; however, radical changes are required to overcome today's grand challenges and to enact such prosperity.
The IGP is pioneering research into questions of prosperity and driving forward novel transdisciplinary engagements to deliver new, more prosperous social and economic forms. As a student in the Institute, you will have the opportunity to become part of this emerging community, to learn from and participate in our research, and to help shape debates around what a prosperous society should be. We expect students to graduate as leaders who go on to deploy the ideas and practices they have learnt in future careers.
You will have the opportunity to engage with a range of IGP researchers, partners and affiliated fellows with possibilities of developing academic, policy or business-oriented projects. As a multidisciplinary global university with wide resources at its disposal, UCL is the ideal environment in which to study sustainable global prosperity.
The foundation of your career
After graduation, we expect you to go on to define new routes to prosperity through working in your chosen field. Alumni have gone on to a wide range of careers including in business, industry, entrepreneurship, social impact investing and finance, policy making and politics, NGOs and the third sector, and further advanced study. Current students are encouraged to be actively engaged within our lively alumni network. We run several events across the academic year to link students to alumni who provide an important network and resource for our new graduates. We aim to build a networked community of like-minded and self-supporting leaders for change and our alumni play a crucial role in achieving this and in enhancing your educational experience.
This programme will prepare students from a range of academic backgrounds for careers in policy-making, social and sustainable entrepreneurship, education, government, the third sector, and business, as well as doctoral-level research.
Teaching and learning
The Programme involves various forms of assessment. They include:
- Individual and group formative and summative assignments
- Blog posts
- Written essays, reports and case studies
- Individual and group presentations/films
- Posters and design portfolios
The Global Prosperity MSc is a one year taught program that combines a range of class and seminar based teaching with practical research based student activities. The programme is inter- and trans-disciplinary in approach, and will include contributions from the humanities and the physical and social sciences. The programme engages with global challenges using novel collective problem solving, and by examining historical, current, and projected issues in global prosperity through avenues of development, health, demographics, ecology, energy systems, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.
In Term 1, all students undertake two foundational modules: ‘Pathways to Prosperity 1: Global Legacies’ and ‘Researching and Measuring Global Prosperity’. These modules will introduce you to a range of core concepts that examine how we come to understand current economic, social and environmental challenges. Critical historical analyses of major global trends such as the drive for economic growth, unsustainable consumerism, and sustainable development are accompanied by practical research methods classes that examine how measures of prosperity, wellbeing and progress have been constructed and how alternative measures (both quantitative and qualitative) might be framed through your own engaged and participatory empirical research.
In Term 2, students have the option of choosing one of two pathways:
‘Society and Livelihoods’ Pathway
This pathway offers you the opportunity to critically deconstruct current approaches to global challenges and explore models for enacting positive and inclusive change for livelihoods around the world. Content will be taught through two modules unique to this pathway. The ‘Pathways to Prosperity 2: Society and Livelihoods’ module will focus on concepts and theories of social, economic and technological change and develop case studies of ongoing radical transformations driven by actors from across the globe and from a range of positions including entrepreneurs, policy makers, business and civil society. Radical changes discussed may include concepts such as Universal Basic Income/Services, de-growth, sustainability transitions and circular and green economies. The ‘Collective Problem Solving for Inclusive Prosperity’ module will introduce you to a range of practical engagement methods aimed at empowering you to affect change within your future careers, including processes of collective decision making, trans-disciplinary research, decolonising methods, social innovation labs and human-centred design.
‘People and Planet’ Pathway
This pathway will offer you the opportunity to explore the interconnected relationship between planetary health and human prosperity. Taught through two unique modules, it will allow you to engage with cutting-edge research that works towards building new forms of engagement with the environment. The ‘Pathways to Prosperity 3: Regeneration and Ecology’ module critically introduces a range of ideas surrounding current political ecological thinking and explores alternative global transition cases striving to build new pathways towards diverse futures of planetary prosperity. In particular the module introduces you to emergent ideas around regenerative ecologies and the reproduction of resilient and adaptive socio-natural systems as the basis for developing new natural prosperity models and ecologies of the future. The ‘Prototyping Planetary Prosperity’ module allows you to engage practically at the forefront of researching and re-designing new ways of thinking about these relationships and harnessing emergent forms of ecological consciousness. This will be achieved by embedding you within IGPs ongoing policy and research initiatives working with partners from both within and outside of academia. Through these initiatives, you will be directly involved in identifying and designing new models for people-planet relations and engaged with adaptive epistemologies and interdisciplinary approaches as a means to derive new collaborative solutions to major Natural Prosperity challenges.
In Term 3, you will develop a research dissertation of your own choosing on a topic related to Global Prosperity. Dissertations can be both desktop/literature based or involve practical empirical research and may be supervised by an appropriate departmental tutor or an expert from another part of UCL. Dissertations may also be aligned to ongoing IGP research or collaborative partnerships.
Optional/Elective Modules (30 Credits in total)
You must also choose up to 30 credits of optional or elective modules. Options can be chosen from the agreed Programme Diet as per the list below.
- BGLP0007 Debt, Finance and Prosperity (15 credits)
- BGLP0008 China and Global Prosperity (15 credits)
- BGLP009 Urban Futures and Prosperity (15 credits)
- BGLP0010 Transformative Entrepreneurship and Prosperity: Core Concepts (15 credits)
- BGLP0012 Transformative Entrepreneurship and Prosperity: Design (15 credits)
Electives can also be drawn from across UCL. Students who wish to select an elective module from outside the agreed diet for the programme should contact the Programme Leader in the first instance. Permission must be sought from both the Programme Leader and, in turn, the Module Leader of the module concerned. We encourage students to think broadly but permission to take any optional module is subject to timetabling and availability.
In their first year Part Time students take the two compulsory modules below plus 15-30 credits of optional modules from the list below.
- BGLP0001 Pathways to Prosperity 1: Global Legacies (15 Credits)
- BGLP0002 Researching and Measuring Global Prosperity (15 Credits)
In their second year Part Time students take the compulsory modules remaining depending on their chosen pathway. They also take 0-15 optional credits and the dissertation.
Students undertaking Modular Flexible study may choose to organise the distribution of their modules flexibly across the five years provided they complete 180 credits by the end of year five. Modular Flexible students must still choose one of the pathway routes set out above and must complete the following compulsory modules before completing their other two compulsory modules.
- BGLP0001 Pathways to Prosperity 1: Global Legacies (15 Credits)
- BGLP0002 Researching and Measuring Global Prosperity (15 Credits)
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 Global Prosperity.
Short, half-day field trips are a component of some of our modules. We still expect to be able to deliver these field trips subject to COVID-19-related guidance, either in person under regulations that may involve distancing or other precautionary measures, or using a range of virtual and case-study formats, depending on the situation at the time.
Fieldwork related to your dissertation is encouraged and may take place in the UK or elsewhere in the world, however, risk and ethical considerations will need to be discussed with your Programme leader and fully approved according to the circumstances at the time.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£16,500||Fees to be confirmed in fee schedule|
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£26,600||Fees to be confirmed in fee schedule|
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please contact email@example.com.
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.
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 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.
Your application must consist of both a personal statement and CV. We place considerable emphasis on your personal statement and how you have tailored this for your application to the Global Prosperity MSc. Generic or template style personal statements will not be strong enough for admission. Statements that do not fully engage with aspects of the degree programme will be unlikely to succeed. We particularly value personal statements that outline a clear vision for transformative change and directly explain how the degree programme will help you to realise the changes you would like to see happen. We also encourage students to explain how their past experiences have directly led them to this degree programme and to outline how the skills and knowledge they have acquired will help them to realise their goals for transformation. When we assess your personal statement we would like to learn: • why you want to study Global Prosperity at graduate level • why you want to study Global Prosperity at IGP and UCL • what particularly attracts you to this programme • which pathway you would like to study and why • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme • how you can make a unique contribution to our innovative academic community • how you see this degree programme leading to a future transformative career Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate how your reasons for applying to the programme match what the programme will deliver. Please note that the programme is not a standard business, economics or development studies programme (though it contains elements of each of these). The programme aims to address major challenges in our current social, economic and environmental conditions, and students are encouraged to consider how they would work to contribute to addressing such challenges.
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.
This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021