Global Urbanism MASc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

Our Master of Arts and Sciences degree will equip you with the critical skills and specialist knowledge to operate as an urbanist in today's global environment, collaborating across sectors to tackle urgent challenges and shape fairer cities.

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 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: 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

Cities are complex, diverse, and globally interconnected. To develop insights into global urban experiences and respond to contemporary challenges we need to collaborate and build knowledge across often very different locations, and to draw on multiple academic disciplines, professions and communities. The Bartlett’s Global Urbanism MASc is the first urban Master’s degree to cut radically across arts, humanities, social sciences and technology studies, giving you the opportunity to specialise in urbanism as a challenge-driven and practice-oriented transdisciplinary field.  

Drawing from the distinctive breadth of UCL’s urban expertise, the programme will equip you with state-of-the-art knowledge of urbanism – a term that embraces the social and cultural life of cities, and the numerous approaches and practices which set out to understand and shape urban futures. You will graduate with the ability to draw from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, conceptual frameworks, methods, and practices. You will have the tools to engage across diverse cities and lead in a variety of roles in urban policy, research, and practice. 

The MASc offers a choice of two pathways, Global Studio or London Studio. In addition to a shared core curriculum, each pathway offers you the opportunity to build your critical understandings of global urbanism, specialising either in the highly globalised urban context of London, or in a selected international partner city. You will learn in a collaborative and experimental research setting, engaging with your environs and the university’s local and international partners.   

Your education in the methods of urban research, and the ethics and practice of global urbanism, will be inspired by the fabric of cities: you will learn from the people who live in them, the concepts and techniques that have emerged to shape and interpret them, and the cultures that forge new possibilities for them.  

The programme will be delivered by UCL Urban Laboratory as part of The Bartlett at UCL East, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, east London – an area that has undergone huge and rapid change since the 1980s and is unrivalled in the opportunity it offers to study the dynamics of urbanisation. Staff and students will be based at UCL East, in a purpose-designed environment for transdisciplinary postgraduate research. One of the new facilities at UCL East is UCL Urban Room, to which students will have priority access. You will take advantage of the resources and initiatives centred in this space as you develop your expertise in collaboration with partners and present your original research to public audiences. Urban Lab, the UCL Urban Room and UCL East all prioritise links to industry, professional built environment practice, community-based, public, and cultural organisations and UCL’s East Bank partners. Students’ research projects will be developed by drawing on UCL’s and the Urban Laboratory’s established networks.

Who this course is for

We welcome applicants who may have taken a break from higher education and/or have acquired some voluntary or professional skills and experience in urban practice of various sorts, eg municipal and local government, the built environment professions, urban political organisations, art consultancies, financial services, social enterprise companies, cultural and heritage institutions, community development organisations and think-tanks. We encourage applicants from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who can contribute to the development of a vibrant, diverse, and engaged transdisciplinary research community associated with UCL Urban Laboratory at UCL East.
This MASc provides an accredited route for those wishing to pursue further advanced urban research, and/or a professional development pathway for those working (or aiming to develop a career) in a position that requires sophisticated understanding of urban challenges and development in London and other cities internationally.

What this course will give you

The programme is hosted and delivered by UCL Urban Laboratory (a cross-disciplinary department of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment) at UCL East. The  QS World University Rankings  (2022)  places The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment as the #1 for Architecture/Built Environment studies in the UK and #3 in the world. You will benefit from and contribute to UCL Urban Laboratory’s track record of advancing engaged, critical and creative urban research, teaching and public engagement over nearly two decades.  

Urban Lab’s activities focus on intervention and experimentation across different epistemologies and practices, whether through community collaboration, design, policy, or historical and theoretical engagement. The programme provides the opportunity to engage with innovative methodologies, theories and practices developed at UCL and grounded in the university’s history of radical, engaged, ground-breaking research on London and the partner cities. 

Students will be based at UCL East: a dynamic transdisciplinary postgraduate research environment. Urban Lab, the UCL Urban Room and The Bartlett at UCL East all prioritise links to industry, professional built environment practice, community organisations, and UCL’s  East Bank partners. It is envisaged that students’ research projects will be developed through collaborations that build on these networks. 

The foundation of your career

Based on alumni data from related programmes linked to the Urban Laboratory, graduates have gone on to lead in careers such as municipal and local government, the built environment professions, urban political organisations, art consultancies, financial services, social enterprise companies, cultural and heritage institutions, community development organisations and think-tanks; as well as pursuing doctoral research in a wide range of prestigious higher education institutions internationally.  


This programme will train an emerging generation of urbanists to undertake advanced, experimental, collaborative research, driven by the pressing agendas set by the Sustainable Development Goals and other international policy and practice directives. Graduates will be qualified to address the complexity of cities and urbanisation creatively, and the global challenges and potentials that they present.  

This MASc provides the relevant skills and knowledge for those working in, or aiming to develop a career in, built environment and urban policy and practice positions that require a sophisticated understanding of the contexts and complexity of urban challenges and development in cities internationally. Graduates will be suited to a wide range of urban and built environment careers that engage with processes of urban change and design, community participation, inclusive urban development and governance. The creative problem-solving, analytical, collaboration and presentation skills which you will develop will also provide a good preparation for doctoral study and professional research positions. 

Teaching and learning


  • Essays
  • Portfolio
  • Presentations
  • Group collaborative project report
  • Research thesis

For each 15 credit module, students typically receive 42 contact hours and 6 hours e-learning tutor-led contact; 90 hours self-directed study and 12 hours e-learning student led contact.


The MASc provides two pathways, Global Studio/London Studio. These include opportunities to build critical understandings of global urbanism, specialising either in the highly globalised urban context of London, or in selected international partner cities. Students take a set of shared core modules, and with guidance you will select your studio pathway during Term 1.

You will learn through a mix of lectures and seminars taking a blended approach, with a combination of face-to-face and online teaching and learning, presentations, site visits, tutorials, engagement in the UCL Urban Room (e.g. workshops, exhibition and object-based learning), individual and group projects, collaboration with international students and staff in a partner city, and supervised independent research.  London-based site visits will be a component of teaching for students on both pathways. Initially, in the 2022/23 academic year, the Global Studio will be focussed on Johannesburg, through a partnership with University of the Witwatersrand*, South Africa. The partnership will include shared online teaching and a field trip is planned in term 2, depending on foreign travel guidance at the time. For contingency and in case students are unable to participate in the field trip for medical or personal reasons, the programme will offer an alternative blended format.  

In the first term all students will take two shared core modules (Global Urbanism: Theory and Politics, and Engaged Urbanism), one module from their chosen studio pathway (East London Lab or Cities Studio), and one elective module.

In the second term all students will take one shared core module (Cities Methodologies), two modules from their chosen studio pathway (Global Urban Theory Lab and City Co-Labs, or Histories of Global London Parts 1 and 2) and one elective module.

In the third term all students will complete their own original research in the dissertation module.

You will be able to select modules from the parallel studio pathway as one of your elective modules as well as from a wider portfolio of electives offered through Urban Lab and at UCL East. These may include, dependent on availability:

  • London: Aspects of Change  
  • Civic Design  
  • Find Your Future
  • Inclusive Design and Environments
  • Exploring Power, Inclusion and Exclusion with Local Communities 
  • Sustainability and Decision-making
  • Protecting and Managing Creative Content 
  • Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

Part-time, 2 years:
Year 1, Term 1: Engaged Urbanism and East London Lab or Cities Studio according to pathway choice;

Year 1, Term 2: Histories of Global London or City Co-Labs + Global Urban Theory Lab depending on pathway.

Year 2, Global Urbanism Theory and Politics, Cities Methodologies, electives, dissertation.

Modular flexible mode, 2 to 5 years: modules taken in bespoke order with guidance from programme director.

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. 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 MASc in Global Urbanism.


The programme is designed to include some urban fieldwork in London and in the international partner city, initially Johannesburg, South Africa, the scope of which will be determined according to the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and in discussion with supervisors.

London Studio involves local fieldwork specifically as part of the East London Lab and Histories of Global London modules.

Global Studio includes a field trip to the partner city as part of the City Co-Labs module.

An alternative online and blended format will be prepared for short term contingency, and in the longer term for students who find themselves unable to make the field trip for medical or personal reasons.


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: Introducing the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD)

There is an urgent need to use professional capacities to recalibrate our engagement with design to effectively respond to social, economic and environmental global urban challenges and to address transformative change in cities globally. The MSc BUDD immerses students in the theory and practice of urban design and its role in building just cities. This event will introduce potential applicants to our unique design approach.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: MASc Global Urbanism Q&A

Join the UCL Urban Laboratory as we describe the breadth of topics, methodologies and resources that make the Master of Arts and Sciences degree a unique, dynamic and trans-disciplinary programme. We will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the course content, funding opportunities, how to apply and your career aspirations.

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) £29,000 £14,500

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

Fieldwork costs include the following:

  • London Studio: total £400 – £700 local fieldwork costs (post-COVID i.e. travel and material associated with the student’s work (£200 – £500 plus subsistence (£200). Field trip travel and accommodations will be covered by UCL (see East London Lab, and BARC0128/9 modules)
  • Global Studio: fieldwork, travel and material associated with students’ field trip to partner city (City Co-Labs module). UCL will cover airfares (£800pp) and local transport (£100pp). Students will need to pay for accommodation and subsistence.

An alternative online and blended format for presentation and the assessment option will be prepared for short term contingency, and in the longer term for students who find themselves unable to make the field trip for medical or personal reasons.

Global Studio fieldwork: UCL will cover airfares (£800pp) and local transport (£100pp).

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 Global Urbanism at graduate level
  • why you want to study Global Urbanism at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • 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: 2023-2024

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