UCL Graduate degrees


Health in Urban Development MSc

This programme 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 2021

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. Part-time and flexible mode students normally attend half this amount.

Application dates

Full-time applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.
Applications received by 31 December 2020 will receive a response by 28 February, then in two-monthly intervals after that.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£16,000 (FT)
£8,000 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. 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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

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

Health in Urban Development MSc 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 five compulsory modules (90 credits) and either one or two optional modules (totalling 30 credits) plus a dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Health in Urban Development.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Health, Social Justice and The City Part I (15 credits)
  • Health, Social Justice and The City Part II (15 credits)
  • Urban Health and Development Planning Strategies Part I (15 credits)
  • Urban Health and Development Planning Strategies Part II (15 credits)
  • Urban Health: Practice and Reflections (30 credits)

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: optional modules are subject to availabiity.


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. The module is Development and Planning Dissertation (60 credits).


The overseas practice engagement is a practical research-based project that helps draw the various elements of the degree together.

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 an overseas practice engagement. Student performance is assessed through coursework, unseen examinations and a final dissertation report.

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.


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.


Overseas applicants may be eligible for the Otto Koenigsberger Scholarship.

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2021
Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Based on financial need

DPU MSc Health in Urban Development Scholarship

Deadline: 1 July 2021
Full fees (1 year)
UK, Overseas
Based on academic merit

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

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

GREAT Scholarship

£11,000 (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. An overseas practice engagement in collaboration with our partners and focused on 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: 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

Full-time applicants
31 May 2021
31 May 2021

Applications received by 31 December 2020 will receive a response by 28 February, then in two-monthly intervals after that.

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?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Health in Urban Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Health in Urban Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • 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 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021