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Masters Degrees (Urban Development)

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The Urban Development Planning MSc explores international practices in urban development policy, planning and management that address contemporary spatial, socio-economic and political transformations in cities of the Global South. Read more

The Urban Development Planning MSc explores international practices in urban development policy, planning and management that address contemporary spatial, socio-economic and political transformations in cities of the Global South.

About this degree

This MSc aims to equip participants to work effectively as development practitioners in urban contexts through a deeper understanding of the processes that generate urban change. The programme aims to enhance their diagnostic and strategic capacities to respond to such change within the framework of socially just urban governance.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), either one or two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules

  • The City and its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice
  • Practice in Urban Development Planning

Optional modules

Please note, not all optional modules may be available.

  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • An Introduction to Public Economics and Public Policy
  • Critical Urbanism Studio I - Learning from Informality: Case studies and alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio II - Investigative Design Strategies for Contested Spaces
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Food and the City
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Industrialisation and Infrastructure
  • Knowledge Systems and Sustainable Food Production
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental State
  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Participatory Processes: Building for Development
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility

Dissertation/report

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, group work, workshops and field trips. Field trips so far have taken place in Egypt, Ghana, India, Thailand, and Tanzania. Student performance is assessed through essays, coursework, team project reports, written examinations, the overseas field trip and a 10,000-word dissertation.

Careers

This MSc is widely recognised by international organisations and agencies (such as UN agencies and the World Bank) and bilateral aid organisations from different countries. 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. Graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and aid and development agencies. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in the practice, teaching or research of urban development practice; other graduates have successfully sought employment in international development organisations away from their own countries.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Shelter Delegate, CARE
  • Town Planner, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development
  • Urban Governance Assistant, World Resources Institute
  • Development Manager, NAS Properties
  • Housing Development Consultant, Unspecified NGO

Employability

The programme aims to help students:

  • prepare balanced, critical and comparative analysis and argument based on theory and empirical evidence
  • undertake a comprehensive diagnosis of the problems and opportunities in urban development in specific contexts
  • formulate systematic and reasoned proposals that address the multi-dimensional complexity of various urban development situations, including organisational and institutional development
  • build presentation, advocacy and negotiation skills
  • develop research skills including interviewing, conceptual framework formulation, and the abilitiy to analyse a range of information sources
  • enhance their teamwork skills
  • operate professionally in an unfamiliar environment within the context of a developing country.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme argues that planning is key to dealing with urban problems and opportunities presented by rapid urbanisation in the Global South, but that its potential cannot be harnessed without a critical understanding of the processes that generate urban change in specific contexts.

The programme seeks to equip students with the capacity to develop critical diagnoses of urban issues, as a basis for developing propositional responses within the framework of socially, spatially and environmentally just urban governance.

The programme promotes a deeper understanding of community-led and partnership-based urban development planning. Students also benefit from the Development Planning Unit's longstanding and geographically exhaustive alumni and partner network.



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Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America struggle with growth, and urban communities in the developing world are increasingly faced with problems relating to poverty, informality and inequality, climate change, insecurity and lack of social cohesion. Read more

Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America struggle with growth, and urban communities in the developing world are increasingly faced with problems relating to poverty, informality and inequality, climate change, insecurity and lack of social cohesion. Sustainable urban development planning in the global South is thus a complex task with many dimensions.

This interdisciplinary course, offered by the Global Urban Research Group (GURG/Manchester Urban Institute) draws on the advanced expertise of staff from the Global Development Institute (GDI), Planning and Environmental Management (PE&M), Geography and Architecture, from within the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) as well as Alliance Manchester Business School. It is suitable for students wishing to improve their understanding of urban development in cities of the global South in general, as well as development professionals seeking to acquire new expertise in dealing with urban issues, and social development specialists working in the voluntary, private or public sector. We particularly encourage applications from Latin American, African and Asian students.

For more information contact the programme director Dr Alfredo Stein ( ) or the programme co-director Nicola Banks ( ).

Aims

  • An understanding of the cutting edge conceptual debates in global urban development theory and practice, by exploring analytical approaches and relating these to operational frameworks for policy, planning and programming to promote more equitable and sustainable urban development in cities and towns of the global South.
  • Analytical and practical skills to deepen your knowledge of global urban development and planning theories, as well as the ability to identify, investigate and justify possible solutions to problems arising out of theory and practice (including competency in developing reasoned arguments, finding commonalities and differences, and defending different approaches).
  • Skills necessary to gather, organise and employ evidence and information from a wide variety of sources, complemented by guidance on how best to manage workloads and obtain research materials, and support to develop your area of expertise through relevant research culminating in a dissertation.

Special features

Students will have an optional core fieldcourse of either the International Planning field trip or the Development Fieldwork module. All students will be automatically enrolled on the International Planning fieldcourse and the cost of this field trip is incorporated into the programme fees. Those students who wish to attend the Development Fieldwork module will have to express their preference by 1 October and pay the difference in cost by Christmas.

Teaching and learning

The programme requires students to pass a total of eight course units totalling 120 credits of postgraduate study and to undertake a dissertation of 12000 -15000 words which provides a further 60 credits. You must normally complete 4 core course units compulsory for all students, and 4 optional course units selected from those available both within PE&M, GDI and in other relevant disciplines within SEED and the Faculty of Humanities.

Part-time Study

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months.  There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director first and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during Welcome Week with the Programme Directors.

Coursework and assessment

Most courses are assessed by essays, class presentations and examinations or a combination of these (depending on the course units selected). A dissertation of between 12,000-15,000 words provides an opportunity to obtain an advanced level of expertise in a particular subject area through supervised individual research.

Facilities

The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

You will develop an advanced knowledge and skill base that can be applied to professional activities relating to a variety of urban-related fields. Past students have gone on to work as consultants for international development cooperation agencies; planners for national and local governments and private companies; and as practitioners in slum upgrading programmes, or international networks and national NGOs in cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Accrediting organisations

This course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). After completion of relevant work experience, you may be able in due course to proceed to full RTPI membership. Those students wishing to obtain full RTPI accreditation will need to take, in addition to the core courses of the MSc programme, a specific combination of relevant core and optional courses.



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The two-year MSc in Sustainable Urban Development will provide you with a rigorous and critical introduction to the policy and practice of sustainable urban development. Read more
The two-year MSc in Sustainable Urban Development will provide you with a rigorous and critical introduction to the policy and practice of sustainable urban development. The course exposes students to sustainable urbanism as both an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary subject at global and local scales across cities of the Global North and South.

Description

The programme attracts a lively and engaged group of students, who combine postgraduate study with their professional lives, and an active alumni network. Students on the course typically come from a wide international background and share a variety of work experiences in urban development and the built environment. The MSc is designed for those operating in a range of urban contexts worldwide - public, private or third sector organisations - and fosters collaboration, creativity, perspective-sharing and effective networking skills. The programme runs in partnership with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, and is an accredited course within the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors University Partnership.

The course is delivered by tutors from institutes and departments across the University of Oxford, and in collaboration with comprehensive range of commercial, governmental and non-government organisations specialising in sustainable urban development.

Programme details

The course is delivered through a mix of tailored teaching and learning methods, including seminars, site visits, peer-review, research workshops and individual tutorials. Classes are seminar-based, encouraging active participation and enabling students to learn from each other. You will prepare for sessions by reading a selection of recommended books, book chapters and articles. Typically, there are six to eight weeks between each teaching week, during which time you should expect to spend an average of 15 hours per week of independent study.

The course comprises four elements:

- core themes
- urban theory
- research methods
- the dissertation

You will attend eight intensive residential teaching weeks during the two years of study. Two of these eight teaching weeks are held at the offices of the Prince's Foundation for Building Community in London. The remaining six are held in Oxford at the Department for Continuing Education. Each teaching week addresses a core theme of the course.

During teaching weeks, you will also follow foundation courses in urban theory and research methods tailored to sustainable urban development, comprising sessions on the intellectual history of sustainable urbanism, paradigm shifts and challenges in sustainable development, urban economics, research design, research ethics and preparation, bibliography and library resources.

For each teaching week, you will complete an essay of up to 3,000 words on that theme. The first essay is formative and will provide you with valuable feedback at the start of your studies. The remaining seven essay assignments are summative.
You will spend the latter half of the second year working on a 15,000-word dissertation. You will choose the topic, with the guidance of your supervisor, and, in most cases, spend time doing fieldwork and gathering data during this period.

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The challenges surrounding urban growth require theoretical approaches and operational tools that are properly geared to the specific social, economic and institutional conditions of a specific region. Read more
The challenges surrounding urban growth require theoretical approaches and operational tools that are properly geared to the specific social, economic and institutional conditions of a specific region. In addition, urban low carbon concepts in recognition of local resources, know-how and management capacities are essential elements of an effective planning strategy for the future.

The central concern of the master’s program is to equip the participants with a critical understanding of the development of urban areas, unveiling the political, economic and social forces underlying the different types of urban conflict and exploring concrete approaches to address their causes. The program takes an interdisciplinary and international comparative perspective - with a special focus on the MENA region – exploring the specific conditions for interventions in differing urban contexts.

The Urban Development program is divided into a three semester study period along with a 4th semester in which students write their Master’s thesis. The first and third semesters will be in El Gouna, Egypt, while the second semester will be in Berlin, Germany. The location of the 4th semester is open to selection.

The courses consist of lectures, seminars, workshops, exercises and integrated projects. The integrated projects form the backbone of the study program: on the basis of real cases, interdisciplinary teams will be put together to find solutions for the development of complex topics in the field of urban development. The project work will include site viewings (excursions), enquiry sessions, moderated group discussions, teamwork and study and mediation workshops. The participants will gain professional experience through studying while developing their social and intercultural skills at the same time. The students' performance is assessed through course work, examinations and a final dissertation report (Master’s thesis).

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The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. Read more

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.

About this degree

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), either one or two optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
  • Participatory Process: Building for Development
  • The BUDD Studio: Building and Urban Design Practice

Optional modules

  • Critical Urbanism Studio I. Learning from Informality: Case studies and alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio II: Investigative Design Strategies for Contested Spaces
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Social Policy and Citizenship
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • The City and its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
  • Industrialisation and Infrastructure
  • Food and the City
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South
  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Contemporary Approaches to Development Management

Please note, the availability of some modules may be dependent on student numbers

Dissertation/report

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of weekly lectures, seminar presentations, group exercises and workshops. The BUDD studio includes a fieldwork project in an urban reality of the Global South, developed in partnership with local organisations, networks of communities, slum dweller federations, universities and governments alike. Students are encouraged to explore different tools, concepts and ideas throughout the programme and test these during the field project. Assessment is through coursework, design work, written examinations and the 10,000-word report.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Building and Urban Design in Development MSc

Careers

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.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Architectural Assistant, Callison
  • PhD in Housing Policy, Sapienza University of Rome
  • Project Manager, Home Office
  • Urban Designer / Visual Designer, Nanjing Yangtze River Urban Architectural Design Co., Ltd
  • Construction Manager, Protemus

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary faculty of the built environment, bringing together dozens of scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

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.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Development Planning Unit

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The programme offers you the broad theoretical perspectives of urban studies on cities and regions. It aims towards you who are genuinely interested in cities, urban life and all expressions of urbanity. Read more

The programme offers you the broad theoretical perspectives of urban studies on cities and regions. It aims towards you who are genuinely interested in cities, urban life and all expressions of urbanity.


What is Urban Studies?

Malmö_urbanity_200pxThe subject of urban studies involves interdisciplinary studies of urban areas content, form, planning and development. Urban Studies offers theoretical and academic perspectives on the developments in cities and the environmental changes that surrounds us.


What will I learn?

You will learn about cities both as stable and slow-changing structures of buildings, streets, cables and pipelines, and as dynamically crossing flows of people and goods. You will also learn about urban visions, programmes and plans and the various processes and projects that shape them. In addition, you will learn that the city is largely expressed through its everyday life and through the unplanned and spontaneous actions that contribute to its atmosphere and attraction.

Theoretical studies are combined with independent case studies about complex urban phenomena. The case studies are organised with agencies, organisations and companies. You will have plenty of opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge in case studies dealing with urban situations and problems. The education takes place in the midst of the Öresund region, which offers an abundance of examples and issues reflecting global urban development.


The necessity of Urban Studies

Understanding contemporary urban development, planning and management strategies requires a broad and advanced expertise in social and spatial processes.

Working with urban development has increasingly come to require understanding forms of mobility and shifts over time, a perspective quite different from viewing the city as a static physical entity. Projects that consciously deal with time, experiments and development processes question results of planning in the form of specific products and thus leave more space for spontaneity and initiated processes. Participatory processes involving wider and alternate groups in society open up possibilities for deepening democracy and increasing equality, not least by making use of everyday users' experience. The programme emphasises boundary-crossing work methods, answering to the need for intersectoral and interdisciplinary competence in the field of urban studies.


Forms of teaching and academic structure

The programme is based on student-active learning which expects you to contribute actively and enthusiastically. Your experience of urbanity – ranging from everyday practicalities to academic studies – forms an important starting point for the programme.

You will present, comment and discuss your work and be the critic of your fellow students work. You will – independently and in groups – carry out studies of environments and contexts in the city and the region. You will also present the results of your studies in the form of texts and illustrations, oral presentations as well as sketches for solving problems in the form of schedules and suggestions for concrete designs.

The Urban Studies research field comprises a set of methods that you as a student will face from the very beginning. Theoretical studies will alternate with empirical field studies, made independently or in groups. Basic knowledge about the complex processes involved in the organisation, planning and administration of cities and urban regions form an important part of the programme.

The teaching also covers several geographical levels – from the local to the global – and their mutual influence. Urban actors' varying power and possibilities to influence the development are emphasised.

During the first two terms, the focus is on discovering and understanding the city as a range of phenomena where humanities and social science perspectives – with a strong emphasis on space, flow and rhythm – play an important role. During the second year, you will be offered in-depth and specialisation studies. The third semester you can spend either on an elective international programme with relevance to urban studies or attend one of the elective courses at Malmö University. The fourth term will be devoted to essay-writing and seminars focusing on the essay topics chosen by yourself and your fellow students.


Career opportunities

After completing your education you can work across organisation boundaries with management and coordination of city development. This may involve working in projects and processes with tasks spanning across different sectors in public authorities and in companies, for instance as researcher, coordinator and project leader. Your future employers may be found in businesses, public authorities and organisations working with aspects of buildings, cities and regions.

The master’s programme also provides a solid basis for PhD studies.


Organisation

The aim of the programme is that students should deepen their knowledge of Urban Studies to be able to participate in research or qualified urban development reports. 

In the first year students will acquire an overview of the field of Urban Studies and its development. Students will then deepen their knowledge about current urban challenges in a global perspective as well as the growth of different urban conditions and forms. After this, students will deepen their abililty to critically examine and describe the encounter between people's everyday life and the physical forms of the city. At the end of the first year an independent project is conducted. 

During the second year students take elective courses of 30 credits. To complete this part of the programme they can choose to do international studies at one of Malmö University's/Urban Studies' partner universities or take elective courses at the Department of Urban Studies and Malmo University. The second year concludes with a Master's Thesis of 30 credits.


Content

Course list:


Degree

Master's Degree (120 credits).

Degree of Master of Science (120 Credits) with a Major in Urban Studies



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This programme responds to the growing demands made on the humanitarian and development sectors by intensive urbanisation. This course has been established by the research and consultancy group on International Development, Emergencies and Refugees (IDEARS) - part of the Weeks Centre at LSBU. Read more
This programme responds to the growing demands made on the humanitarian and development sectors by intensive urbanisation. This course has been established by the research and consultancy group on International Development, Emergencies and Refugees (IDEARS) - part of the Weeks Centre at LSBU. If you wish to pursue a career with government, non-governmental organisations, international agencies, public and private organisations and enterprises, this course is for you.

Rapidly urbanising world

Ours is a rapidly urbanising world: by 2010 over half the world's population lived in cities. Urbanization is fastest in the developing world, where both primary and secondary cities are rapidly expanding. It is predicted that by 2020 more Africans will live in urban than in rural areas, and in China, by 2023. Except in countries emerging from war, urbanisation is closely linked to economic growth, although urban poverty levels continue to rise.

This rapid growth, particularly in the light of its links to the flight from rural poverty and the development of a massive informal sector, has posed immense challenges to all urban systems. In many Asian, Latin American and African cities 30-70% of the population lives in slums and more than 90% of new jobs are in the informal sector. In transition countries, already highly urbanised, the changing political and economic framework has led to widespread poverty. Everywhere, urban roads, utilities, education and health services, and governance processes are heavily strained. While cities experience high levels of investment, it is often uneven.

This context is now widely recognised among all major actors, with policy and programmes targeting the urban sector now a growth area. The challenge for development professionals, whether working in donor agencies, NGOs, governments or private practice, is to understand the broad economic and political context of urbanization, develop analyses of complex urban trends, opportunities and problems, and be able to draw on a range of appropriate interventions. People seeking work or progression in development practice will be moving into a growth area if they can demonstrate familiarity with urban issues and policies in developing countries.

Modules

You'll explore urban issues, strongly linked to analyses of broader development issues, which will prepare them for roles in development agencies, NGOs, urban management or community work. It provides a thorough grounding in the broad agendas of poverty reduction and its global context. At the same time it provides a thorough understanding of rapidly changing urban settings and enables students to acquire practical development planning skills for an urban setting. An emphasis on research as well as practical skills allows students to specialise in their particular areas of interest.

Economies in transition
Human development in a globalised world
Urban challenges
Urban project
Research methods
Dissertation

Dissertation and voluntary work placement

Part of the dissertation may be replaced with a voluntary work placement in one of our partner organisations. Through the use of case studies you will analyse a comprehensive range of development issues, such as: markets, trade and the global economy; the role of international institutions and agencies; human development; poverty and poverty reduction; social provision in developing countries; rural development and urbanisation; environmental policies and sustainable development; empowerment and participation; migration.

Through a specialist theoretical module you'll also acquire a thorough grounding in urban development issues and their links to a broad development agenda; and this will be followed by a project module which will enable you to apply the theory and understand the necessary skills to plan, execute and monitor an urban development project. The course also develops the skills required to undertake development research, focusing on appropriate methodologies, data collection, policy design and implementation.

Professional links

The MSc has excellent relations with practicing development urbanists around the country, who provide the course with strong links to current thinking and practice; as well as with Development Agencies and NGO working in the development field. Students from these organisations are regularly enrolled on the course and members of these organisations give regular presentations to MSc students.

Employability

Students on our MSc Development and Urbanisation course will benefit from the renewed international interest in the urban sphere. Previous graduates have entered careers with a wide range of employers, working for international organisations, such as, the United Nations and its constituent organisations, the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation.

Many take up important posts in their home countries within government, non-government and civil society organisations or non-governmental development organisations in the UK, such as Christian Aid and Oxfam, in addition to teaching posts in universities and colleges specialising in Development research and practice.

For students interested in further academic development or mid-career progression, successful completion of the MSc provides eligibility for our large and lively Mphil/PhD programme.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

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About the course. Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute. The largest and fastest-growing cities in the world are in low and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Read more

About the course

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute

The largest and fastest-growing cities in the world are in low and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This new course explores the urban development and planning challenges faced by governments and people in these regions and provides you with the analytical and practical tools to address them.

The MA uses cutting-edge theories in both urban and development studies to engage with changes in the global south, including: the globalisation of production and consumption, rapid urbanisation, environmental change, and the spread

of new forms of governance.

Optional modules include a team-based student consultancy project for an external client in the field of international urban development. There’s also a field class in the global south.

The course is suitable for recent graduates and those with professional experience.

It’s excellent preparation for careers (or further research) in international development, urban governance, planning and environmental policy focused on the global south.

Where your masters can take you

Our graduates work in planning, real estate and related professions with private sector planning and real estate consultants, local authorities, policy analysts and international development and design agencies.

How we rate

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) says we’re the best RTPI-accredited planning school in the UK. 85 per cent of our research is classed as ‘world-leading’ ‘internationally excellent’ with ‘outstanding impacts’.

How we teach

Nothing is more important to us than your career. We work closely with industry to make sure our courses are up-to-the-minute and relevant so you’ll learn the skills you need to make it to the top in your chosen profession.

You’ll go on site visits and and take part in exercises that simulate real global challenges. Past field trips have included trips to London, Seoul, Cairo and Istanbul. We also organise work placements with planning agencies.

There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials. You’re assessed on your coursework and a dissertation.

Autumn semester

Core modules:

  • Theorising the City in the Global South
  • Urban Development in the Global South
  • Ideas and Practice in International Development
  • Research Methods

Spring semester

Core modules

  • Urban Design in the Global South
  • International Field Class

Examples of optional modules

  • International Urban Development Consultancy Project
  • Sustainable Development: A Critical Perspective
  • Managing Cities: The Seoul Case Study
  • Public Participation
  • Governance and Participation in the Global South


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In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. These courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Read more

In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. These courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Urban design involves shaping the physical setting for life in cities. The pace of urban change, and the challenge of making cities efficient, sustainable and meaningful, demands creative solutions to design and management. The Urban Design courses at Westminster provide a coherent approach to issues that face our cities, combining structured academic study with live design projects, allowing you to develop practical skills, a theoretical understanding and an informed approach to sustainable urban development.

Our Urban Design programme is one of the largest and longest established in the UK. It enjoys an excellent reputation and our graduates are highly respected in the profession. Our students are from a variety of professions and backgrounds, including architecture, landscape architecture and planning, from the UK, Europe, and across the globe. They range from recent graduates seeking to expand their skill base before commencing their career or those considering a shift from an allied profession, to established professionals seeking to specialise or develop a more informed critical approach. Our central London location allows you to interact with a huge variety of practitioners and organisations, as well as drawing on the city's huge range of resources; you will be at the heart of the debate over the future of cities.

The course places a strong emphasis on design, practical outputs and a multidisciplinary approach. While focusing on UK examples, the lessons from the courses are applicable to a wide range of international and economic contexts. This flexible and student-centred approach is highly valued by former graduates and their employers. The course is delivered by staff with many years' experience in practice, education, training, research, and consultancy in the UK and overseas. Outputs from the course combine into a portfolio demonstrating your ability to deal with the complexities of urban design in a practical and informed manner.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

Optional modules

Career path

Graduates of this course typically find employment as urban designers in private consultancy or local authorities. Many find the course useful when developing careers in architecture, planning or landscape architecture.



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The regeneration and development of cities provides the focus for this MSc. Read more

The regeneration and development of cities provides the focus for this MSc. We provide you with a range of intellectual and professional skills or practice in urban regeneration and development in both public and private sectors, including local authorities and central government bodies, local regeneration partnerships, regeneration consultancies and private developers.

Informal enquiries, prior to applications, are welcomed. Please contact: Iain Deas (Programme Director) | Tel: +44(0)161 306 6689 | Email: 

Aims

You will gain:

  • A framework for knowledge in the field of urban development and regeneration, preparing you for professional practice or further research activity.
  • An understanding of the principal academic discourse relating to processes of urban development and change, enabling you to engage in professional and inter-professional debate on the nature, purpose and methods of implementing successful urban regeneration programmes and projects.
  • An understanding of the relationship between critical awareness of theory relating to the process of urban development, and its application to specific practice settings.
  • The ability to analyse, synthesise and evaluate both established and emerging policy and practice ideas, and to appreciate alternative methodologies associated with delivering successful urban regeneration programmes and projects.
  • The ability to identify and define urban problems at a variety of scales, and the knowledge base necessary to enable you to devise appropriate solutions using a ange of professional skills and methodologies.
  • Transferable skills and the confidence necessary to engage in collaborative problem-solving.

Special features

An overseas field visit is an optional part of the programme if students choose to undertake the relevant optional course unit: International Planning (Field Visit). The cost of the visit is partly covered by the course fee but there is a student contribution towards the cost of the trip, depending on the venue. Recent fieldtrip locations have included Barcelona, Amsterdam, Belfast, Dublin and Toronto.

Fieldcourses may be scheduled at any point during the twelve-month period of the degree programme and this may include time during University vacations. Successful applicants are expected to be available to attend. Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted. The School will ensure that, in the unlikely event that a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

The programme also includes a module that introduces students to the excitement of working within a professional, `real world' context on a 'live' consultancy project. Working with industrial partners, students will be asked to complete a piece of work on an area of planning, urban regeneration, or environmental management - depending on their chosen specialism - to a standard that is expected and demanded in the planning, environmental management or development professions. This core module is highly regarded by employers and students alike.

Teaching and learning

Part-time Study

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment methods are largely individually-based, but may also involve some elements of group-working and submission. Overall, you are continuously assessed via a range of methods, including essays and report writing, topic papers and critical reviews, project portfolios and assessed workshop presentations.

A 15,000-word dissertation on an approved topic is discussed and chosen at the beginning of the second semester and a suitable supervisor allocated. Initial work focuses upon an overview of the chosen topic, a literature review and the design of the methodology to be adopted. During the latter part of Semester 2 and over the summer you undertake the necessary research and analysis, culminating in the writing of your dissertation.

Facilities

The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Tackling skills deficiencies in the field, identified by various papers and reviews, and by the Academy for Sustainable Communities (2007) and the Audit Commission (2008), our course meets the needs of a job market in central and local government, regeneration partnerships, consultancies and non-governmental organisations. It can lead to a professional career as a chartered surveyor or (with an appropriate undergraduate degree) planning professional.

Accrediting organisations

The course fulfils the criteria for full dual accreditation from both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is under the Planning and Development (P&D) specialism.



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The cities of today are complex with interrelated economic, social, environmental and physical challenges which need to be balanced in the ever-changing urban environment. Read more

The cities of today are complex with interrelated economic, social, environmental and physical challenges which need to be balanced in the ever-changing urban environment.

The intensive 12-month MSc in Urban Management and Development is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to become competent urban managers by offering an in-depth insight into urban issues, policies and trends around the world through a blend of lectures with case studies, discussions, working groups, group assignments and field visits and field work. More specifically, you will be looking into questions like (but not limited to):

What are the dynamics of urban growth? How do you manage a city in a holistic way? What about creating urban land and space use policies that reflect the “New Urban Agenda” goals? What are the theories that underpin good urban governance? Under what conditions are Public Private Partnerships (PPP) successful vehicles for urban development? How can local governments finance urban infrastructure? What is the right way to assess a social policy in the view of a paradigm shift?

The master programme is divided into three main periods: a core period, a specialization period and a thesis period. Visit our website or download the brochure to find more information about the programme structure and the knowledge you will gain during each period.

Training methodology

Throughout the course, students participate in interactive lectures, workshops and discussions, engage in group and individual exercises, analyse cases, give presentations and write papers and essays which aim to deepen their knowledge about the concepts and theory. The training methodology of the programme includes field visits, fieldwork, simulation games, discussions, best practices and case studies.

Why this programme?

  • Get your degree from a top 100 university.
  • Study in a international environment with people from over 45 different countries.
  • Follow courses and guest lectures offered by leading scholars from various disciplines in the field urban management.
  • Benefit from a unique methodology of interactive role-playing games where use your theoretical knowledge to solve real-life examples of urban issues.
  • Tailor your study with one of six different specialisations.

IHS, the Insitute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam was honoured in 2007 with the UN-HABITAT Award for ‘leading the way as a global center of excellence and knowledge through its high quality teaching programmes in urban management and planning’ and over 60 years of experience in educating and training local and national governments officials.



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This MSc explores how urban economies can contribute to urban sustainability, social justice and wellbeing. Bringing economic analysis to city planning and management, it aims to nurture future professionals who are equipped to engage in city management and development programmes. Read more

This MSc explores how urban economies can contribute to urban sustainability, social justice and wellbeing. Bringing economic analysis to city planning and management, it aims to nurture future professionals who are equipped to engage in city management and development programmes. A unique focus on the city economy and an extensive alumni network make graduates of this programme highly employable.

About this degree

The programme focuses on identifying methods of enhancing urban productivity and structural change while promoting sustainability and equity through public intervention at the city level. Students gain a critical understanding of the political economy of urban development and urban policy-making, the ability to analyse a city economy and its performance, and numerous opportunities to learn from policy experiences across the world.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning report (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Theory and Practice
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Practice in Urban Economic Development
  • Either An Introduction to Public Economics and Public Policy or Urbanisation and Development

Optional modules

  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • The City and its Relations
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Socially Sensitive Development in Practice
  • Social Development and Poverty Reduction
  • Urban Environmental Planning and Management in Development
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Management and Planning for Development
  • The Urban Informal Economy
  • Public Economics

Dissertation/report

Guided by individual supervisors, all MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies and fieldwork related to cities in different parts of the world, and includes an overseas field trip. Students are assessed through unseen examinations, individual essays, coursework, team work reports, oral presentations and a dissertation.

Careers

Graduates pursue a variety of careers, predominantly: private consultancies and think tanks; public sector (including government careers at different levels and international organisations); academia and research.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Administrator and Research Associate, Al-Khoei Foundation
  • Economic Research Consultant, Regeneris Consulting
  • Government Economist, Greater London Authority
  • Economic Research Consultant, Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
  • Policy Research Analyst, PRS Legislative Research

Employability

Graduates of this programme enjoy a high level of employability. Students develop an integrated approach towards efficiency, sustainability, social justice and wellbeing and acquire crucial skills in tackling the significant task of economic management of cities. They also have the opportunity to strengthen their CV while on the programme by participating in numerous practice-oriented assignments, both in the UK and abroad. Past graduates have found employment in a variety of fields, ranging from working with UK-based organisations in public, private and community sectors that focus on either local or international development, to employment with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental agencies in the Global South.

Why study this degree at UCL?

In addition to strong theoretical teaching, this MSc involves practical fieldwork abroad 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.



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At its core, the programme aims to promote the social scientific understanding of cities. You will be taught to understand. ◾the economic underpinnings of urban and regional development. Read more

Programme structure

At its core, the programme aims to promote the social scientific understanding of cities.

You will be taught to understand:
◾the economic underpinnings of urban and regional development
◾the processes and institutions of urban governance
◾the relationships between places and urban society.

You will also learn to demonstrate the value of research-based urban analysis and understanding. In this process, you will improve your own research skills.

You will develop an understanding of cities, property markets, institutions and governance. This provides an essential foundation to effective action in the development and management of cities.

To promote effective work across professional boundaries, you will critically appreciate the roles of a range of urban professionals and other stakeholders.

You will understand the importance of research and reflection as a route to successful urban planning innovation.

Graduate attributes

This degree programme equips you for a wide range of opportunities by providing the knowledge and understanding to:
◾Critically identify cities as dynamic spaces in the local, national and global economic and political system
◾Evaluate the main theories about the uniqueness of cities, their development in time and space, and their particular assets from a social, economic, cultural and environmental perspective
◾Contrast and compare urban trends in different regions of the world, together with the drivers of these changes
◾Demonstrate a sound understanding of the current urban problems faced by different professions in urban planning and management; as well as city dwellers themselves
◾Evaluate environmental sustainability as a concept, with particular reference to the demands and pressures cities place on the natural environment in different regions
◾Assess the underpinnings of urban planning theory and how it has shaped urban interventions
◾Critique the roles and functions of planning in cities areas with a view to shaping urban change
◾Compare the rationale for, and assess the effectiveness of, different forms of partnership between the public, private and voluntary sectors in implementing urban development and regeneration, and understand the political variations in the urban development processes in different countries.
◾Evaluate the relationship between market processes, built form, private and public realm, different development models and patterns of movement
◾Assess the economic and financial implications of alternative development strategies and evaluate how best to create high quality places and generate and capture added value for both particular interests and the wider community.

Courses

The Programme is taken over two years of full-time study and includes required courses offered by both universities.

Nankai University courses may include:
◾Intermediate Microeconomics
◾Intermediate Macroeconomics
◾Intermediate Econometrics
◾Regional Economics
◾Urban Economics
◾Regional Economic Issues in China
◾English Language training.

University of Glasgow courses may include:
◾Global Cities
◾City Planning Theory and Practice
◾Urban Design and Development
◾Real Estate Institutions and Markets
◾Research Methods.

You will also be required to submit a dissertation in both languages.

Career prospects

Graduates will find that opportunities exist in planning and development agencies, consultancies, property developers, local and regional authorities, regeneration and development agencies and government; and further study at PhD level.

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In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Read more

In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Urban design involves shaping the physical setting for life in cities. The pace of urban change, and the challenge of making cities efficient, sustainable and meaningful, demands creative solutions to design and management. The Urban Design courses at Westminster provide a coherent approach to issues that face our cities, combining structured academic study with live design projects, allowing you to develop practical skills, a theoretical understanding and an informed approach to sustainable urban development.

Our Urban Design course is one of the largest and longest established in the UK. It enjoys an excellent reputation and our graduates are highly respected in the profession. Our students are from a variety of professions and backgrounds, including architecture, landscape architecture and planning, from the UK, Europe, and across the globe. They range from recent graduates seeking to expand their skill base before commencing their career or those considering a shift from an allied profession, to established professionals seeking to specialise or develop a more informed critical approach. Our central London location allows you to interact with a huge variety of practitioners and organisations, as well as drawing on the city’s huge range of resources; you will be at the heart of the debate over the future of cities.

The course places a strong emphasis on design, practical outputs and a multidisciplinary approach. While focusing on UK examples, the lessons from the courses are applicable to a wide range of international and economic contexts. This flexible and student-centred approach is highly valued by former graduates and their employers. The course is delivered by staff with many years' experience in practice, education, training, research, and consultancy in the UK and overseas. Outputs from the course combine into a portfolio demonstrating your ability to deal with the complexities of urban design in a practical and informed manner.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you study on this course.

Core modules

Optional modules

Career path

Graduates of this course typically find employment as urban designers in private consultancy or local authorities. Many find the course useful when developing careers in architecture, planning or landscape architecture.



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This course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant background who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of planning and sustainable development, whether to improve career prospects in their country or enter international practice. Read more

This course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant background who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of planning and sustainable development, whether to improve career prospects in their country or enter international practice. Through the course you will examine the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities, regions and communities in a rapidly urbanising world, subject to growing climate change and other environmental, economic and social pressures and risks.

Based in London, you will have access to internationally recognised experience of spatial planning for sustainable development, and explore contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning in both the developed and developing worlds. The University of Westminster is the UK's first Habitat Partner University. We work with UN-HABITAT and like-minded institutions to promote the socially and environmentally sustainable development of towns, cities and regions, in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

This course addresses the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities and communities in a rapidly urbanising world. It explores contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning that spans both developed and developing world contexts, and offers you the opportunity to explore one area of specialism in a related field in some depth.

Course pathways

There are two Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)-accredited pathways through the course. The Spatial Planning Pathway has a strong urban design component and an emphasis on the development planning process. The Urban Resilience Pathway provides a sustainable development-focused route with a core emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. Both pathways cover all these aspects to some degree.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. Other modules with course-related learning outcomes may be taken subject to timetabling constraints and the agreement of the Course and Module Leaders.

Core modules – both pathways

Core module for Spatial Planning Pathway

Core module for Urban Resilience Pathway

Optional modules

Course accreditation

The course is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a "combined planning programme". 

Career path

Students on the course are most likely to be working in a relevant built environment or sustainable development-related profession. Overseas students may be receiving a government bursary. Graduates from the course may secure promotion within their existing or a new related area of work, or move onto more responsible positions within 18 months of completing their studies. This may include management posts or the responsibility for project or policy development. It is expected that graduates will enhance their potential to be considered for development positions outside their home country.

Graduates from this course can expect to find employment as planners or urban designers, urban regeneration or environmental management specialists in private consultancy, local and national government, and non-governmental sectors in their own country or internationally, including international development agencies.



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