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Course content

This MSc explores how economic solutions 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 manage cities. A unique focus on the city economy and an extensive alumni network make graduates of this programme highly employable.

Degree information

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 Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
-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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Researcher, Centre for Cities
-Research Consultant, Regeneris Consulting
-Investment Officer, Ministry of Finance
-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.

The UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit is an international centre of excellence promoting sustainable development and encouraging innovative policy, planning and management of urban, regional and international development. Cross-departmental career networking sessions are held throughout the year where current students can socialise with alumni and external professionals.

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

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