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Development Administration and Planning (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

Course Content

Course content

This MSc equips students with the analytical, methodological and practical expertise needed to positively contribute to development in countries where they are actively involved. Students acquire the tools necessary to respond to a diverse range of problems including productive capacity, intersectoral integration, economic and social diversification, and self-sufficiency.

About this degree

Students develop the ability to analyse the development process and to formulate appropriate policies for meeting development goals. The field trip, conducted in a developing country, provides the opportunity to study the problems encountered in development, and the cultural, administrative and institutional context in which decisions are made.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

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

A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.

Core modules

Four core modules 

  • Contemporary Approaches to Development Management
  • Development in Practice
  • Critical Ideas of Development Conceptions and Realities
  • Society and Market: Private Agency for Development

Recommended optional modules include:

  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Cost Benefit Analysis: Theory and Practice
  • 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
  • Land, Food and Agriculture
  • Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental State
  • Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty
  • Social Policy and Citizenship
  • The City and Its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
  • Urbanisation and Development
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South

Or any other open MSc module in The Bartlett School of Planning.

Please note: not all optional modules listed above may be available.

Dissertation/report

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word paper on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic is chosen by the student in dialogue with the Programme Director.

Teaching and learning

The programme consists of reading, essay writing and individual and group project work, in the context of lectures, seminars, workshops, case study analysis, and a field trip abroad. In recent years field trip destinations have included Uganda and Ethiopia. Student performance is assessed through coursework, unseen examinations and a final dissertation report.

Fieldwork

The overseas fieldwork trip is a practical research-based residential that helps draw the various elements of the degree together.

The DPU will cover the following costs of the field trip: return flights, visas, travel insurance, accommodation and fees, and costs of local experts and inputs. However, food, local travel and incidental expenses of a personal nature will not be covered by the DPU.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Development Administration and Planning MSc

Careers

Graduates are engaged in a diversity of professional activities including local, regional and national government, consultancy firms, national and international NGOs, United Nations programmes and international aid agencies. A small proportion of graduates pursue advanced research degrees while several work as academics in leading universities or as independent consultants.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Economic Development Intern, African Development Bank
  • Policy Making Intern, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme)
  • Policy Research Officer, Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Trade Negotiator, Ministry of Commerce of the Kingdom of Thailand
  • Consultant, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

Employability

The central objective of this programme is to equip participants with the analytical, methodological and practical expertise necessary to make a positive contribution to the development effort in countries with which they are engaged. 

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 Development Planning Unit (DPU) at UCL is an international centre concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management of cities and regions, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its programmes are supported by international agencies and by national and provincial governments.

This MSc examines and analyses the theory and practice of development administration at international, national and regional levels to provide participants with an understanding of the processes generating social change and with the skills and abilities to respond.

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.


Visit the Development Administration and Planning (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University College London website for more details!

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