Urban Design and City Planning MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This programme has a unique focus on urban design as a creative planning tool and the interface between urban design and city planning. It offers a comprehensive understanding and exposure to urban design theory and practice, and also the complexity of its interface with the city planning field.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£18,000
£9,000
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
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

An upper second-class honours Bachelor's degree (or higher) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standing is required. Where candidates fail to meet the standard requirement (i.e. they hold a degree of a lower classification), the department will take into account professional experience in planning or a related field when considering the application. Applicants who do not hold a good second-class degree may, in exceptional cases, be admitted to the programme if able to demonstrate considerable senior-level professional experience in planning or a related field (but in all cases a minimum of a 2:2 is required).

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

The programme equips students theoretically and practically, engaging academically and in practice with urban design and related fields of knowledge. Students will learn how to think critically, creatively and in analytical ways across the different city scales, from strategic to local, and across urban design, city planning, place-making, real estate and sustainability arenas.

Who this course is for

The programme is primarily directed at those with an initial training in planning, architecture or other allied disciplines who wish to complete or expand their professional education. Students will specialise in the area of urban design, exploring the purpose and potential of this subject in great depth, supporting those wanting to work in the urban design, planning and development sector in the UK, Europe or overseas.

What this course will give you

The 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.

The Bartlett School of Planning is situated in the heart of London, which offers unique opportunities to study the complexities of contemporary urban design and planning processes, and engage with practitioners, alumni and academic guests through seminars, site visits and workshops.

The foundation of your career

The Urban Design and City Planning MSc is an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers to specialise in urban design and, within that broad arena, to engage deeply with both the theoretical debates and practice methodologies, with particular research agendas of direct relevance to the future of their professional practice.

Employability

Graduate students from The Bartlett School of Planning have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. There is growing demand for our Master's graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers. On completion of this programme the majority of graduates will work in either the public or private consultancy sectors. Some will continue in higher degree studies and research.

Accreditation

This programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures (including some by visiting practitioners), tutorials, student presentations, seminars, field trips and direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, examinations, project work, other skills-based practical work, and a dissertation or final research project report.

The School of Planning hope to run field trips as part of the programme, however these may be subject to restriction due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, for example it might be possible to offer a UK field trip rather than one to elsewhere in Europe. Students will be kept updated on plans.

In person contact hours with each module coordinator will be between 1.5 and 3 hours per week on average, depending on the module format and other elements of expected work as specified in the modules' outlines. As a note, in person contact time includes a variety of activities such as office hours and lectures.

A Postgraduate Diploma, eight modules (120 credits) full-time nine months and part-time 2-5 years, is offered.

Modules

The programme is structured around four learning areas:

1. City Planning, with a focus on spatial planning;

2. Integrative Thinking, with a focus on place-making (neighbourhood scale masterplanning and open space design) and critical debates, offering you knowledge of forms, practices and theories associated with urban design;

3. Delivering Quality, which integrates the curricula of urban design, real estate, and sustainability;

4. Planning for Quality, with a focus on the understanding of the various types of urban design products and the complexity of their delivery processes, as well as the understanding of urban design tools for guidance, incentive and control.

You will undertake eight compulsory taught modules, and a research dissertation or project.

The research component gives you an opportunity for supported, independent study focusing on a topic that you wish to explore in greater depth. You can choose to pursue a Dissertation or a Major Research Project that integrates design/project work within academic research.

Typically you will take taught modules in terms one and two, with term three devoted to dissertation/project research, and examinations.

Study is generally completed in two years (i.e. double the length of the corresponding full-time programme), with the student enrolled on all modules and attending lectures and seminars on-site at UCL.

Year 1 - Term 1

  • BPLN0035 City Planning
  • BPLN0042 Urban Design: Place Making

Year 1 - Term 2

  • BPLN0033 Collaborative City Planning Strategies
  • BPLN0032 Critical Debates in Urban Design and City Planning

Year 2 - Term 1

BPLN0056 Urban Design: Layout, Density and Typology

Year 2 - Term 2

  • BPLN0034 Sustainable Futures by Design
  • BPLN0057 Urban Design Governance

Year 2 - Term 3

  • Dissertation in Planning or Major Research Project
  • BPLN0031 Design and City Planning (can be taken in either Year 1 or 2)

Study can take a maximum of five years to complete on a module-by-module basis, with the student accumulating credit by selecting which module(s) to complete in any given year. Students do not have to take modules every year.

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 MSc in Urban Design and City Planning. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Urban Design and City Planning.

Accessibility

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.

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) £32,100 £16,050

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Some of the submissions are in hard copy and students are expected to print. Students are given a printing allowance, but they may need to spend around £150 in addition to the printing allowance.

The School of Planning covers the cost of travel and accommodation (breakfast included) in the fieldtrips, but students need to cover the cost of the other meals.

The purchase of books many constitute an additional cost, but there is no requirement to purchase any book as part of the programme. 

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.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and 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 Urban Design and City Planning at graduate level
  • why you want to study Urban Design and City Planning 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.

For this programme, applications are considered in a number of different rounds. Please see the Bartlett website for more information about admissions to this programme.

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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.