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Social Development Practice MSc

This MSc offers a critical approach to 'people-centred' development, addressing the challenges for equitable citizenship in the context of social diversity and globalisation, particularly in urban contexts. Participants engage in a critical analysis of the theory and practice of social development to develop their capacities as reflexive social development practitioners.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 2-5 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 mode students normally attend half this amount.

Application dates

Full-time applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Flexible/Modular applicants
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£15,050 (FT)
Overseas:
£24,000 (FT)


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

The normal minimum qualifications are a good second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard; and a demonstrable interest in the subject matter of the programme.

Candidates who do not meet the above requirements may be considered if they are able to demonstrate relevant work experience and an ability to engage academically with the subject matter of the degree. Applicants who do not hold a recognised undergraduate degree may, in exceptional cases, be admitted to the programme if they are able to demonstrate considerable senior-level professional experience in planning or a related field.

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

This programme provides a solid grounding in social analysis skills and perspectives, rooted in social theory around identity, inequality, and social change processes. Students learn how development interventions can best support the citizenship claims of diverse groups living in the Global South, and consider the role of the social development practitioner in this endeavour.

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) and a dissertation (60 credits).

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

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

  • Social Policy and Citizenship (30 credits)
  • Social Diversity, Inequality, and Poverty (30 credits)
  • Social Development in Practice (30 credits)

Optional modules

One or two optional modules, totalling 30 credits, from the below:

  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Communication, Technologies and Social Power
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Participatory Processes: Building for Development
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio I and II
  • Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental State
  • Political Economy of Development: Land, Food and Agriculture
  • Political Economy of Development: Industrialisation and Infrastructure
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South
  • The City and Its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Health, Social Justice and the City

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

Please note:optional modules are subject to availability.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project related to the main themes of the programme, culminating in a dissertation report of 10,000 words (60 credits). This module is Development and Planning Dissertation. Topics may be chosen to enhance career development or for their inherent interest. 

Fieldwork

The programme incorporates group fieldwork in a selected country of the Global South.


Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classroom exercises, and fieldwork abroad. Student performance is assessed through coursework, examinations, and a dissertation report as well as an assessment of practical work, including the international fieldwork group report.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

The cost of group fieldwork 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.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

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.

Funding

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

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.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

DPU Health in Urban Development Scholarship

Note:
1 July 2020
Value:
£10,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
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.

Careers

Graduates of this programme are likely to find employment as officers for local and international NGOs, international organisations, in local or national government departments or as consultants. Some graduates pursue an academic career, either through doctoral studies or through teaching and research.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme introduces students to critical, analytical and practical skills that will be of use in their future careers – whether as academics, social development practitioners or advocates – based on the need to place the 'social' at the centre of development. Students have an opportunity to critically examine relevant bodies of knowledge, current debates and field experience in primarily urban contexts, and to consider the challenges of making development policy, planning and practice more socially responsive.

Students on this MSc benefit from the strong practical component, which includes an international field trip to a city in the Global South. This trip provides the opportunity to develop practical skills, use tools for participatory action research, and reflect on the roles and responsibilities of social development practitioners.

The practice-based components of the programme also provide students with the opportunity to network with organisations and professionals working in the social development sector. In a complementary series of careers sessions, students can network with Development Planning Unit alumni and partners who are working in relevant fields.

Department: Development Planning Unit

Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc attracts participants from a wide variety of disciplines including sociology, economics, anthropology, international studies, history, communication studies, geography and psychology. It provides the critical, analytical and practical skills necessary for their future careers as academics or social development practitioners.

Application deadlines

Full-time applicants
11 August 2020
Flexible/Modular applicants
11 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn about:

  • your understanding of what social development constitutes
  • any experience you have of working in social development or related sectors
  • why you want to study Social Development Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Social Development Practice at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • what do you think you will bring to the 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 demonstrate your interest in the distinctive features of this MSc programme and tell us about your expectations.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020