Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development MSc is unique in preparing students for the major global challenges ahead in the infrastructure field. The programme offers a holistic approach to the field offering decision-making and problem-solving that lead to more robust planning and investment outcomes.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours Bachelor's degree (or higher) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standing is required. Applicants with degrees of a lower classification (minimum of 2:2 in all cases) but with considerable senior-level professional experience may also be accepted, and for applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying essay may be set.

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.

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 MSc provides a critical review of infrastructure planning and appraisal methods and international practice and assesses how 'fit for purpose' these are for current sustainable development challenges. The programme focuses on transferable lessons, principles and practical tools that apply across the different sectors, while also covering the sectoral and context-specific considerations that determine success in different development contexts.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for graduates from civil engineering, planning, policy studies, project management, estate management, architecture, economics and finance, social sciences and other relevant fields. It provides enhanced capacity building opportunities for those currently working in infrastructure development and offers an invaluable grounded qualification for new entrants into the field.

What this course will give you

The programme is interdisciplinary and international, drawing from experiences both in the developed and developing world. It seeks to provide students with insights, knowledge and skills that will assist them in planning, appraising and delivering future infrastructure developments in a manner that is sensitive to the risks, uncertainties and complexities of different contexts.

Originally based on the work of the OMEGA Centre, the programme still draws on the numerous studies undertaken in this field by the Centre and other leading research institutions. 

UCL Bartlett School of Planning has a strong history of teaching and research at all levels. The school has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for more than 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation. UCL is ranked #1 in the UK for Construction, Surveying and Planning according to The Guardian Good University Guide 2024.

The foundation of your career

The programme has been conceived to provide enhanced capacity-building opportunities for those currently working in the field of infrastructure development and offers an invaluable qualification for new entrants to the field. With strong links to industry, government and academia on a global scale, a very high percentage of past students have gone on to find placements within the first year after graduation.


Students have gone on to take up positions in:

  • infrastructure fund management
  • local, regional and national government
  • international financial institutions
  • international co-operation agencies
  • investment banking
  • infrastructure planning and community development
  • academia
  • consulting, both infrastructure related and more broadly
  • the construction industry
  • research and academic institutions involved in the transport, energy, retailing and housing sectors, as well as in urban, regional and environmental planning.

Graduates have also undertaken PhD studies at The Bartlett School of Planning.


The Bartlett School of Planning and UCL's dedicated Careers Network are here to assist you in exploring your career options, gaining valuable skills and experience, and guiding you through the job application process. You will be given the opportunity to participate in various events and training tailored to your industry, such as alumni and industry insight panels, career taster sessions, masterclasses, careers events and more.


Completion of the MSc programme leads to eligibility for professional membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The MSc programme is also accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' fourth year for graduate students who have successfully completed an RTPI-accredited three-year undergraduate programme, and by the Joint Board of Moderators as a Further Learning programme for holders of a Chartered Engineer (CEng) accredited first degree.

Teaching and learning

The IPAD MSc advocates and employs an interactive and hands-on form of learning. Our lectures, seminars and tutorials feature significant inputs from infrastructure planning practitioners and we include site visits, group project work and simulated consultancy exercises to enhance your learning experience.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars, individual and group project work, and skills-based practical project work, with direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, examination and project work.

In terms 1 and 2 full-time students can typically expect between 8 and 15 contact hours per teaching week through lectures, workshops, tutorials and site visits. In term 3 students will be completing their own dissertation research, keeping regular contact with their dissertation supervisors.

Outside of lectures full-time students typically study the equivalent of a full-time job, using their remaining time for self-directed study and completing coursework assignments.

A Postgraduate Diploma, seven core modules (105 credits), one optional/elective module (15 credits), full-time nine months and part-time 2 to 5 years is offered.


The programme is inter-disciplinary and international, aimed at developing a critical understanding of the theory and practice of infrastructure planning, implementation and the development associated with it.

During Term one you will investigate: infrastructure as an agent of change; risk analysis and management; strategic planning; development of business cases including the financial, strategic, economic, management and commercial domains; the fundamentals of cost benefit analysis and project appraisal. These modules set the foundation for the Masters. You will also embark upon a group project exercise focusing on a selected project from the UK's major infrastructure project pipeline in order to start honing your infrastructure planning skills.

In term two you will study: financing and funding mechanisms for infrastructure; infrastructure policy, regulatory and consenting regimes; and either the multidimensional challenges of sustainable development or the environmental and social impact assessment of infrastructure. These topics further develop key concepts learnt during term one. In addition you will also complete the group project exercise and prepare your dissertation proposal to undertake during Term three and over the summer.

NB: You must complete BPLN0029 Sustainability and Major Infrastructure Investments OR BPLN0112 Environmental and Social Assessment of Infrastructure by the end of the programme studies.

Elective: You will have a choice of one elective module (subject to approval from the course director) to be taken during either term one or two.

Term three and the summer are set aside for examinations and for you to complete your Dissertation in Planning.

As a part-time student you will typically take your eight taught modules over a period of two years (four teaching terms) and will complete your dissertation in term 3 at the end of your second year.

Modular/flexible students can take their eight modules during term time and after completing these will move to their dissertation research. The modular/flexible approach can be completed in 2-5 years.

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 are 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 MSc in Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development.


The programme includes a residential field trip during which themes relevant to the course are explored in different place contexts. This is an opportunity to consider infrastructure planning and development issues in real world settings and network as a course community. The cost of travel and accommodation for the field trip are covered by UCL although students will need to cover visas, meals and other personal expenses. We will run field trips as part of our postgraduate degree programmes. We expect to be able to run our trips to continental European destinations unless there are any further Covid-19 restrictions. In recent years students have visited important European infrastructure projects and have received specially arranged presentations from a wide range of senior professionals, civil servants and academics regarding:

France's High Speed TGV network

The Grand Paris Express

Port of Hamburg

Haffen City Hamburg

Fehmarn Belt fixed link between Germany and Denmark

The Randstaad Rail and the Maeslant Barrier in the Netherlands

The Brussels Station area development

The Öresund Link in Sweden and Denmark


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: School of Planning

Whether your ambition is to design better buildings, plan better cities, build sustainable communities or help meet the challenge of climate change, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment could be a big step towards it. Join this session to learn about the master's courses offered by our School of Planning.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300 £8,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

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:

Additional costs

The purchase of books many constitute an additional cost, but there is no requirement to purchase any book as part of the programme.  The cost of the field trip (travel and accommodation) will be covered by UCL. Students are required to cover other costs such as visas, meals and other personal expenses.

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.

In our faculty, The Bartlett Promise Scholarship aims to enable students from backgrounds underrepresented in the built environment to pursue master's studies. Please see the UK Master's scholarship and Sub-Saharan Africa Master's scholarship pages for more information on eligibility criteria, selection process and FAQs.

Any additional funding available from The Bartlett School of Planning and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

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

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 3 April 2024
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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 Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and 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.

International students who require a Tier 4 visa are strongly advised to submit their application before June.

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: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.