Social Development Practice MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This MSc offers a critical approach to 'people-centred' development, addressing the challenges for promoting well-being and 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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£16,500
£8,250
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£26,600
£13,300
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

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

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

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.

Who this course is for

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.

What this course will give you

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 overseas practice engagement with a city in the Global South. This experience 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.

The foundation of your career

Employability

Graduates of the programme have moved into a range of professions, including work in: international NGOs, in both specialised social NGOs (for example NGOs concerned with gender equality, youth, or disability) and social roles in mainstream development NGOs; international organisations; bilateral development agencies as social development specialists; national and local government in positions related to social policy; and private sector companies engaged in social appraisal, social research, and consultancy.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classroom exercises, and an overseas practice engagement. Student performance is assessed through coursework, examinations, and a dissertation report as well as an assessment of practical work, including reports with a focus on the overseas practice engagement and our work with local partners.

Modules

Full-time

The programme is divided into four key taught components and one independent research project. The four taught components include three compulsory modules which focus on the core of social development as a field, including: the scope and function of social policy; the practice and definition of citizenship in a changing global context; the definition and measurement of poverty, inequality and diversity; different strategies to promote equality and well-being;andengagement with practical approaches to advocating for and contributing to these social development objectives. You also take one 30 credit optional module (or two 15 credit optional modules) which allows you to tailor the programme of study to accommodate your own interest and direct your own learning experience.

You must also undertake an independent research project culminating in the production of a dissertation, with support from a dedicated dissertation tutor. This gives you the opportunity to focus on an area of the programme that most interests you. The research that supports the production of your dissertation should rely on secondary sources of data and/ or primary sources of data that can be accessed without field survey work (e.g. internet or archival data sources). Conducting this independent research builds your skills in planning a research project, reviewing the literature, and using the knowledge acquired during the taught component of the course to review evidence, develop an argument and communicate and justify your findings.

All taught modules on the programme are delivered in terms 1 and 2 and the practice module is delivered in terms 1, 2, and 3. The dissertation is undertaken during terms 2 and 3 with a final submission at the end of the summer (September).

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 modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Social Development Practice.

Fieldwork

The programme incorporates an overseas practice engagement in collaboration with our networks based in the Global South.

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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500 £8,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

Programme fees 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

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.

Funding your studies

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.

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Applications Open: 1 March 2022. Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2021/22
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: Overseas

GREAT Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: £10,000 towards tuition fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021