Urban Economic Development MSc
This programme offers our students the skills, tools and critical thinking to design and engage in state of the art research and develop sound and creative approaches and partnership in pursuit of inclusive, prosperous and sustainable urban and regional development
The normal minimum qualification is an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
A second acceptable qualification is a degree of lower second-class Bachelor's standard, or an equivalent overseas qualification, in a subject appropriate to the programme, plus excellent work experience.
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.
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
Urban Economic Development MSc is designed to train development practitioners to better understand the dynamics of the city economy and encourage them to develop their own theoretically-sound perspectives and world views on how to tackle urban challenges through state of the art research and creative policy formulation.
The programme is strongly interdisciplinary, attracting participants from a range of academic backgrounds - economists, architects, urban studies, among others, who share common values around social equity and environmental sustainability.
Who this course is for
The programme is aimed at economists or non-economists who are either currently working in or intend to work in multilateral or bilateral aid agencies, government bodies, private consultancies, think tanks, non-governmental organisations, universities and research institutes concerned with analysing, formulating and implementing economic policies related to the urban sector or particular cities.
Potential 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.
What this course will give you
In addition to strong theoretical teaching, this MSc involves practice engagements with partners overseas and in the UK that allows students to put into practice the tools and techniques acquired in the classroom. Characterised by a strong emphasis on international experiences and analytical approaches, this programme will be of benefit to students from both developed and developing countries.
The UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit is an international centre of excellence promoting sustainable development and encouraging innovative policy, planning and management of urban, regional and international development. Cross-departmental career networking sessions are held throughout the year where current students can socialise with alumni and external professionals.
Moreover, the programme offers a unique and well-calibrated curriculum that aims to prepare the participants for a professional career in the urban sector.
The foundation of your career
Graduates of this programme pursue a variety of careers, predominantly in private consultancies, think tanks, public sector (including government careers at different levels and international organisations), international development organisations, academia and research.
There is also diversity in the geographic location of UED alumni: some return to their home countries with the additional MSc qualification and engage in the practice, teaching or research of urban development there; others find employment in development organisations (from grassroots to multilateral tiers) away from their own countries.
The Bartlett Development Planning Unit boasts a global network of alumni spread across many continents, countries and organisations, often facilitating that essential first introduction of an Urban Economic Development MSc graduate into employment.
Our Urban Economic Development MSc (UED) is widely recognised by international organisations, including UN agencies and the World Bank.
It is also recognised by bilateral aid organisations from different countries, including the UK's Department for International Development, as well as other government aid programmes; and by many national organisations.
The UED programme has been offered by the Development Planning Unit for more than two decades. Its alumni benefit from the international reputation enjoyed by both DPU and the programme itself.
There is enormous variety in the careers UED graduates pursue, ranging from working with UK-based organisations in the public, private and community sectors that focus on local as well as international development, to employment with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations operating in a development capacity in the South.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies and practice engagements related to cities in different parts of the world, and includes an overseas practice engagement. Students are assessed through unseen examinations, individual essays, coursework, team work reports, oral presentations and a dissertation.
Approximately 30% of students’ time is spent in lectures, seminars and tutorials, 17% on coursework preparation and exams, and the remainder in independent study. Every 15-credit taught module equates to 150 hours of workload.
The MSc Urban Economic Development is structured so that 75 per cent of the taught components (90 credits) is devoted to the core subjects of urban economic development and managing the city economy, and 25 per cent (30 credits) to an option from a range of modules on offer.
The compulsory modules provide the theoretical and methodological components of the programme while the optional modules allow students to examine different approaches and issues in accordance with their own particular interests.
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies, client-facing projects and involves reading, essay writing and individual and group project work and presentations. Student performance is assessed through course work, examinations, and an individual dissertation report undertaken under expert supervision and guidance during the summer on a topic selected 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 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 Urban Economic Development.
The programme involves overseas practice engagements. In recent years in the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico; Tarapoto, Peru; Mek'ele, Ethiopia; Mbarara, Uganda. Allowing students to put into practice some of the tools and techniques acquired during the programme. We also offer a `live' client project with leading public and private development organisations in London. In the London Project you will leverage to co-create and communicate innovative approaches to major urban challenges.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2023/24)||£18,000||£9,000|
|Tuition fees (2023/24)||£29,000||£14,500|
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.
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.
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.
Deadline: 31 May 2023Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)Criteria Based on financial needEligibility: UKDeadline: 31 March 2023Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)Criteria Based on financial needEligibility: EU, OverseasDeadline: 8 June 2023Value: £15,000 (1 year)Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial needEligibility: UKDeadline: 13 December 2022Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial needEligibility: EU, OverseasDeadline: 23 May 2023Value: £10,000 towards tuition fees (1 year)Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial needEligibility: EU, Overseas
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 Economic Development at graduate level
- why you want to study Urban Economic Development at UCL
- what considerations particularly attract 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 aims to deliver.
Our students come from dozens of countries, speak many different languages and have a mix of experiences and skills. However, they all have something in common:
- They have worked or intend to work professionally in the field of policy-making, implementation and consultancy that focus on the city economy and economic development in urban areas.
- They want to acquire a critical understanding of the city economy and the capability to develop and formulate well-grounded sectoral and city development strategies
- They are interested in exploring interdisciplinary approaches to achieving prosperity, equity and sustainability at the same time.
- They are keen to learn from development experiences elsewhere and feel comfortable in engaging in theoretical and policy debates.
If they sound like you, you are strongly encouraged to apply.
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.