UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Urban Innovation and Policy MPA

Our Urban Innovation and policy MPA is designed for professionals in the public, private and third sectors seeking to lead change in urban development and city leadership.

Course overview

Cities are now recognised as critical levers for social, economic and environmental change. They are home to more than half the world’s population and account for nearly seventy per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. Increasingly, cities are seeking new innovations and policy strategies to solve urban challenges and tackle pressing issues such as growth, climate change and social inequality. However, the practice of enabling change and deploying innovation is challenging. Urban policy professionals need specific skills and expertise on how change happens, and the processes by which innovations or experiments can be piloted, evaluated and scaled.

This MPA helps students to develop the skills and expertise required to work in the public, private or third sectors, helping to find solutions to major urban challenges. 

Course information

Candidates undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight 15 credit modules (four of which are common across the MPA suite of programmes, two are route specific and two are elective choices from any other STEaPP module). Candidates may choose either the MPA Group Project or the MPA Individual Project as their final 60 credit module.

If you would like to find out more about any of the modules or course structure, please contact our admissions team: steapp.admissions@ucl.ac.uk.

Compulsory modules

Candidates undertake four core modules together with students from sister MPA programmes, two route/specialist modules which focus on their MPA degree topic, and either the MPA group project or the MPA individual project.

MPA group project and individual project

In the MPA Group and Individual Projects candidates work with an external client on a relevant policy challenge. The group project gives candidates the chance to apply their learnt skills and knowledge to a real-world policy challenge, while working constructively in an interdisciplinary team with the support of UCL STEaPP faculty. The group project is the default major component of UCL STEaPP’s MPA programme and offers candidates the full MPA experience. Candidates can submit their preferences for which group project they would like to work on depending on their specific areas of interest. 

The individual project can be selected as an option with prior project approval from the department. Similar to the group project, the individual project is a major component of UCL STEaPP’s MPA programme, enabling students to work individually on a real-world policy challenge with the support of UCL STEaPP faculty. This option may specifically suit candidates who already have a partner organisation to work with, do not need a project partner for their project or are working towards doctoral studies.

Visit the UCL prospectus