UCL (University College London)

Course Introduction

The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. This MSc combines cultural, social, economic, political and spatial analysis to recalibrate the urban design project, presenting a holistic response in which informality and marginality are central features. The programme will equip students with a political economy understanding of space; a comprehension of the needs, abilities, aspirations and forms of resistance of urban dwellers; the ability to respond with strategically co-ordinated proposals to leverage local abilities to meet local needs; and an ability to critically engage with the practice of urban design and architecture in developmental processes ? particularly in the Global South.

The Development Planning Unit is an international centre concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management responses to the economic, social and environmental development of cities and regions, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its programmes are supported by international agencies as well as by national and provincial governments. The Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD) programme in particular reflects on the necessity of design practices to contribute to changing the mainstream paradigm of working with the urban poor, with communities and the city itself.

The programme enables graduates to work in NGOs and local government ? facilitating community organisations and households to improve their living conditions. Graduate destinations range from UK-based organisations in the public, private and community sectors, to governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, which operate in a development capacity in the South. Recent graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and aid and development agencies and architectural and design practices. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in urban design and architecture practice, teaching, or research of urban development there; others have successfully sought employment away from their own countries. Students will take this course in flexible study mode also.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MSc £14,960 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
MSc £14,960 European Fees
1 year
Full Time
MSc £24,250 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc £7,480 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc £7,480 European Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc £12,110 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Domestic entry requirements: Students need to have a good second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Consideration will also be given if the qualification is a degree of lower than second-class Honours standard, or an equivalent overseas qualification, in a subject appropriate to the programme, plus relevant work experience. Applicants who do not hold a first 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.
  • International entry requirements: Students need to have: IELTS overall grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests; overall score of 92 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening in Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT; overall score of 176 with 169 in all subtests in Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English; overall score of 176 with 169 in all subtests in Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English; pass at Mastery level when achieved with a pass at Mastery level in the Pitman International Spoken test (ISESOL) in City & Guilds (Pitman Examination in International ESOL); 62 overall, with a minimum of 59 in each Communicative Skill in Pearson Test of English (Academic); successful completion of ISE III with a ?pass? in all components; overall mark of 65%, with at least 60% in each of the four subtests in UCL Diploma in English for Academic Purposes; overall mark of 65% with at least 60% in each of the four elements of the examination in UCL International Pre-Master's Courses; mark of 65%, with at least 60% in each of the subtests in UCL Pre-sessional English Courses.