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Course content

The Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development MSc is unique in preparing students for the major challenges ahead globally in the infrastructure field. The programme offers a holistic approach to the field offering decision-making and problem-solving that lead to more robust investment outcomes.

About this degree

This MSc provides a critical review of infrastructure planning and appraisal methods and international practice and assesses how 'fit for purpose' these are for current sustainable development challenges. The programme focuses on generic lessons and principles that apply across the different sectors, while also covering the sectoral and context-specific considerations that determine success in different development contexts.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of seven core modules (105 credits), one option (15 credits), dissertation (60 credits) and a field trip (not credit bearing).

A Postgraduate Diploma, seven core modules (105 credits), one elective module (15 credits), full-time nine months and part-time 2 to 5 years is offered.

Core modules

  • Infrastructures as Agents of Change
  • Business Cases for Infrastructure
  • Risk, Uncertainty and Complexity in Decision-making
  • Critical Issues in Infrastructure Funding, Financing and Investment
  • Infrastructure Policy, Planning and Consent
  • Sustainability and Major Infrastructure Investments
  • Major Infrastructure Planning Practice

Optional modules

Students choose one elective module from:

  • UCL Bartlett School of Planning
  • UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit
  • UCL Geography
  • UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering


All MSc students undertake a supervised independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of traditional lectures, tutorials and seminars, a field trip, individual and group project work, and skills-based practical project work, with direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, examination and project work.

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


Students have gone on to take up positions in:

  • fund management
  • government
  • international financial institutions
  • international co-operation agencies
  • investment banking
  • community development
  • academia
  • consulting
  • the construction industry
  • research and academic institutions involved in the transport, energy, retailing and housing sectors, as well as in urban, regional and environmental planning.

Graduates have also undertaken PhD studies at the Bartlett School of Planning.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Consulting Engineer, Atkins
  • Planning Consultant, World Union
  • Quantity Surveyor, Berkeley Group
  • PhD Trust and Transparency in Decision-Making of Infrastructure Projects, UCL


The programme has been conceived to provide enhanced capacity-building opportunities for those currently working in the field of infrastructure development and offers an invaluable qualification for new entrants into the field. With strong links to industry, government and academia on a global scale, a very high percentage of past students have gone on to find placements within the first year after graduation.

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?

Originally based on the work of the OMEGA Centre, the programme still draws on the numerous studies undertaken in this field by the centre and other leading research institutions. 

The programme is interdisciplinary and international, drawing from experiences both in the developed and developing world. It seeks to provide students with insights, knowledge and skills that will assist them in planning, appraising and delivering future infrastructure developments in a manner that is sensitive to the risks, uncertainties and complexities of different contexts.


Completion of the MSc programme leads to eligibility for professional membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The MSc programme is also accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' fourth year for graduate students who have successfully completed an RTPI-accredited three-year undergraduate programme, and by the Joint Board of Moderators as a Further Learning programme for holders of a Chartered Engineer (CEng) accredited first degree.

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: Bartlett School of Planning

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 Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!





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