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This MSc offers a critical approach to 'people-centred' development, addressing the challenges for equitable citizenship in the context of social diversity and globalisation, particularly in urban contexts. Participants engage in a critical analysis of the theory and practice of social development alongside gaining the skills required to be a reflective social development practitioner.

About this degree

This programme provides a solid grounding in social analysis skills and perspectives, rooted in social theory around identity, inequality, and social change processes. Students learn how development interventions can best support the citizenship claims of diverse groups living in the Global South, and consider the role of the social development practitioner in this endeavour.

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

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

Compulsory modules

All three of the following:

  • Social Policy and Citizenship
  • Social Diversity, Inequality, and Poverty
  • Social Development in Practice

Optional modules

One or two optional modules, totalling 30 credits, usually including the following, among others:

  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Communication, Technologies and Social Power
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Participatory Processes: Building for Development
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio I and II
  • Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental State
  • Political Economy of Development: Land, Food and Agriculture
  • Political Economy of Development: Industrialisation and Infrastructure
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South
  • The City and Its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Health, Social Justice and the City

Or any other open MSc module on offer at UCL, with Programme Leader approval.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project related to the main themes of the programme, culminating in a dissertation report of 10,000 words (60 credits). Topics may be chosen to enhance career development or for their inherent interest.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classroom exercises, and fieldwork within the UK and abroad. Student performance is assessed through coursework, examinations, and a dissertation report as well as an assessment of practical work, including the international fieldwork group report.

Fieldwork

The programme incorporates group fieldwork in London and in a selected country of the Global South.

Additional costs

The cost of flights, visas, necessary vaccinations, accommodation, and fieldwork-related travel and facilitations costs, are incorporated within the programme fees. Meals and other expenditure must be covered by the student.

Funding

Find out about different sources of funding available for Master's study on the UCL Student Funding website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme are likely to find employment as officers for local and international NGOs, international organisations, in local or national government departments or as consultants. Some graduates pursue an academic career, either through doctoral studies or through teaching and research.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme introduces students to critical, analytical and practical skills that will be of use in their future careers, whether as academics, social development practitioners or advocates for the need to place the 'social' at the centre of development. Students have an opportunity to critically examine relevant bodies of knowledge, current debates and field experience in primarily urban contexts, and to consider the challenges of making development policy, planning and practice more socially responsive.

Students on this MSc benefit from the strong practical component, which includes fieldwork assignments in London and an international field trip to a city in the Global South. This trip provides the opportunity to develop practical skills, use tools for participatory action research, and reflect on the roles and responsibilities of social development practitioners.

The practice-based components of the programme also provide students with the opportunity to network with organisations and professionals working in the social development sector. In a complementary series of careers sessions, students can network with Development Planning Unit alumni and partners who are working in relevant fields.

Department: Development Planning Unit

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc attracts participants from a wide variety of disciplines including sociology, economics, anthropology, international studies, history, communication studies, geography and psychology. It provides the critical, analytical and practical skills necessary for their future careers as academics or social development practitioners.

Application deadlines

Full-time applicants

26 July 2019

Flexible/Modular applicants

30 August 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn about:

  • your understanding of what social development constitutes
  • any experience you have of working in social development or related sectors
  • why you want to study Social Development Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Social Development Practice at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • what do you think you will bring to the programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the distinctive features of this MSc programme and tell us about your expectations.


Visit the Social Development Practice MSc/PG Dip page on the University College London website for more details!

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