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Course content

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.


Visit the Urban Economic Development (MSc/PGDip) page on the University College London website for more details!

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