This Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) is designed for professionals in the public, private or third sector who would like to lead change in urban development and city leadership. Students undertake a major live project with a real client and have the opportunity to engage with leading urban scholars and practitioners across UCL.
Modes and duration
Applicants electing to study the MPA Routes on a part-time basis must be available to study on a full-time basis for the initial term of the MPA (from the end of September to Mid-December).
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Students are encouraged (but are not required) to have work experience prior to enrolling on this programme.
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: Good
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.
Select your country:
About this degree
Graduates are equipped with key skills for a role in urban policy, including strategic engagement, city leadership and experimentation. Students study conceptual frameworks for innovation and urban planning, and master policy tools and analytical methods to implement, evaluate, and revise urban policies. They are taught how to bridge gaps within government and in the public and private sector, and how to gather evidence to support decision making.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), an elective module (15 credits), and a Major Group Project module (45 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MPA in Urban Innovation and Policy.
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.
Students undertake three core modules with students from sister MPA programmes, and a specialist module focusing on their degree topic.
- Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy
- Analytic Methods for Policy
- Urban Innovation and Policy
- Ethics, Institutions and Power
Students select one optional STEaPP module from the following:
- Science Advice for Policy
- Risk Assessment and Governance
- Clean Energy and Development
- Science Funding and Governance
- Development, Technology and Innovation Policy
- Energy, Technology and Climate Policy
- Digital Technologies and Policy
- Sustainable Infrastructure and Public Policy
Students will then also select one further 15-credit graduate module which is relevant to their degree of study. This module can be selected from any UCL department.
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
MPA Group Policy Project
In the Group Project, students work with an external client on a relevant policy challenge. With the support of STEaPP academic staff, the multidisciplinary student groups work together to produce an analysis that meets their clients' needs.
Teaching and learning
The programme combines innovative classroom teaching methods with unique scenario-based learning, enabling students to dynamically engage with real-world policy challenges. Scenarios are designed to help students consolidate knowledge and develop essential practical skills and their understanding of principles. During the programme, students acquire a comprehensive range of relevant skills.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The degree is suitable for professionals or graduates currently working in (or who want to work in) urban policy and planning, as well as future city leaders from a wide range of organisations including non-governmental organisations, the private sector, consultancies and the third sector.
The MPA is also suitable for academics, engineers, scientists and technologists who would like to shape the policies for future sustainable urban development.
MPA graduates can go on to work in a range of organisations, including: national and local government; government offices of innovation and development; transportation agencies; planning agencies; corporate and institutional sustainability offices; city network organisations (such as C40 Cities); public water and energy utilities.
Throughout the MPA programme, students will:
- gain a greater awareness of current issues and developments in urban innovation, science, technology and engineering
- develop an understanding of the knowledge systems underpinning successful policy making processes
- learn how to communicate with scientists and engineers, policymakers and industry experts
- develop the skills to mobilise urban and innovation policy, and science and engineering knowledge and expertise, to address societal challenges.
Why study this degree at UCL?
More than half of the world's population are city dwellers, making cities a key pathway to sustainable change. Getting cities right today will lay the foundation for sustainable prosperity globally and shape the lives of future generations. This practical programme offers experiential learning for the skills needed in 21st century urban innovation policy making.
Students undertake a week-long scenario activity on the policy making process where they engage with external experts and UCL academics. During the programme, students undertake a nine-month major project on urban policy for a real-world client. Example policy problems include congestion, water or energy infrastructure, waste management, transport or safety.
Students will gain the opportunity to network with UCL STEaPP's broad range of international partners, expert staff and a diverse range of academics and professionals from across the department's MPA and doctoral programmes.
Department: Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy
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.
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 is a professional programme with practical learning activities that will appeal to students who want to master the policy processes that underpin technical, innovative change in cities. Although no technical background is required, students should be interested in and willing to engage with ideas from science and engineering.
- All applicants
- 24 July 2020
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When assessing your application, the MPA Admissions Panel are particularly looking to understand;
- why you want to study Urban Innovation and Policy at graduate level
- what particularly attracts you to the programme at UCL
- how your academic and professional background and interests meet the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree and how the MPA fits with your career goals
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