UCL Graduate degrees


Health in Urban Development MSc

Urban Health in Development MSc looks at the effects of urbanisation on both physical and mental health and considers the role of urban form, urban social interactions, productive processes and urban policies as causes of inequalities in health.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Flexible students normally attend half this amount.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 2019
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 30 August 2019

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £14,610 (FT) £7,190 (PT)
Overseas: £23,300 (FT) £11,650 (PT)

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

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject (e.g. Planning, Architecture, Social Sciences, Geography, Health Studies, Civil Engineering) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

The programme provides a solid grounding in analysis, skills and perspectives for the study of urban health including public health, research methodology, evaluation research, comparative urban health analysis and practice-based experience.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three compulsory modules (90 credits), either one or two optional modules (totalling 30 credits) plus a development and planning dissertation (60 credits).

Compulsory modules

All three of the following:

  • Health Social Justice and the City (30 credits)
  • Urban Health and Development Planning Strategies
  • Urban Health Reflections on Practice

Optional modules

Recommended optional modules include:

  • Concepts and Controversies in Global Health (15 credits)
  • Research Methods and Evidence in Global Health (15 credits)
  • Power and politics in Global Health (15 credits)
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities (15 credits)
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives (15 credits)
  • Health Systems in Global Context (15 credits)
  • Climate Change and Health (15 credits)
  • Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental States (15 credits)
  • Political Economy of Development: Land, Food and Agriculture (15 credits)
  • Political Economy of Development: Industrialisation and Infrastructure (15 credits)
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South (15 credits)
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development (15 credits)
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics (15 credits)
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility (15 credits)
  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development (30 credits)
  • Participatory Processes: Building for Development (30 credits)
  • The City and It's Relations: Context Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning (30 credits)
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice (30 credits)
  • Gender in Policy and Planning (30 credits)
  • Managing the City Economy (30 credits)

Or any other open MSc module on offer at UCL, with Programme Leader approval.

Please note: not all optional modules listed above may be available.


All MSc students submit a 10,000-word paper on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic is chosen by the student in dialogue with the Programme Leader.

Teaching and learning

The programme consists of reading, essay writing and individual and group project work, in the context of lectures, seminars, workshops, case study analysis, and a field trip abroad. Student performance is assessed through coursework, unseen examinations and a final dissertation report.


The overseas fieldwork trip is a practical research-based residential that helps draw the various elements of the degree together.

Additional costs

The cost of flights, visas, necessary vaccinations, accommodation, and fieldwork-related travel and facilitations costs, are incorporated within the programme fees. Meals and other expenditure must be covered by the student

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.


Overseas applicants may be eligible for the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Bartlett Masters Scholarship

Deadline is 26 April (4pm GMT)
£10,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on financial need

DPU Health in Urban Development Scholarship

Deadline is 5pm (BST), 26 July
£10,000 (1 year)
Based on academic merit

Brown Family Bursary

Now closed for 2019/20
£15,000 (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

GREAT-UCL India Scholarship

Nominations have now been submitted
Full tuition fees (1 year)
Based on academic merit

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


Graduates of this programme are likely to find employment as officers of local and international NGOs, international organisations, local and national government departments or as consultants. Some graduates may pursue an academic research career.


The programme's learning activities have been designed with employability in mind. You will gain a strong core knowledge, combined with hands-on experience. You will also learn how to evaluate, analyse and develop intervention strategies, and will become familiar with more advanced research tools, theory and methodology.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme provides the necessary skills to be involved in the field of urban health, focusing on: the effect of formal and informal urban processes in the Global South on health; the role of development planning in health; the interaction between urban-spatial elements and health; the evaluation and design of intervention strategies and practical experience.

The programme aspires to produce an interdisciplinary and critical perspective of the relationships between urban processes, health disparities and development planning. Learning activities will mirror common practices and activities. A field trip overseas to a location in the Global South provides a contemporary real-world perspective. By completing the programme you should expect to gain subject specific knowledge, academic and research skills which are practical and transferrable. 

Department: Development Planning Unit

Application and 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 £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is interdisciplinary and attracts students from a wide variety of disciplines including architecture, planning, health studies, social science (geography, anthropology and alike), development studies.  

It is targeted at practitioners and scholars from a range of relevant backgrounds, from across the world and with special emphasis on participants from the Global South. The programme will provide participants with the necessary academic and professional skills to become involved (as architects, planners, consultants, community\social organisers, health experts) in the growing field of urban health 

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 July 2019
30 August 2019

When assessing your application, we would like to learn about:

- your understanding of what urban health constitutes;

- any experience you have of working in the development and\or health related sector;

- why you want to study health in urban development at graduate level;

- why you want to study Health in Urban Development MSc at the DPU and UCL;

- what you think you will bring to the programme;

- how your academic and professional background prepares you for this challenging programme;

- where you would you like to go professionally with your degree;

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the distinctive features of this programme and tell us about your expectations.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

We aim to cultivate socially sensitive urban practitioners who can promote humancentric responses to challenges like marginalisation, inequality and environmental degradation. The programme is suitable for graduates and professionals who want to engage with contemporary urban issues while acquiring the practical skills needed to deliver positive urban change.

Contact information

Page last modified on 23 May 2019 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing