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Engineering for International Development - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

There is an international need for professionals who can provide sustainable and resilient infrastructure to help alleviate poverty in low- to middle-income countries. This programme will create future engineers who can work in a global context and with the skills and understanding to address the challenges of poverty worldwide.

Degree information

Students gain understanding of infrastructure design and delivery processes in resource-limited settings, and learn how to mobilise technical expertise to develop solutions with local stakeholders in a global context. The wide range of taught modules also provides opportunity to critically engage with the complexities and ethical dilemmas of working as an engineer internationally.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), a collaborative project (30 credits). three optional modules (45 credits), and a dissertation/report (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), full-time nine months, part-time two years, flexible up to five years is offered

Core modules
-Appropriate Technologies in Practice
-Collaborative Project International Development
-Engineering and International Development
-Conflict, Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction

Optional modules - students choose a minimum of two* and a maximum of three optional modules from the following (subject to availability):
-Environmental GIS
-Environmental Modelling
-Environmental Systems Engineering
-GIS Principles and Technology
-Natural and Environmental Disasters
-Urban Flooding and Drainage
-Water and Wastewater Treatment

*Students who choose two optional modules may choose one elective module in addition from the following:
-Critical Urbanism Studio I – Learning from Informality: Case Studies and Alternatives
-Critical Urbanism Studio II – Learning from Informality: Investigative Design
-Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
-Food and the City
-Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practicies and Alternatives
-Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
-Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
-Clean Energy and Development
-Water and Development in Africa
-Housing as Urbanism
-Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning
This programme will be delivered by a selection of taught modules, collaborative project with overseas clients and practical activities, including a site visit to the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Wales. While most of the field trip costs are met by the department, students are required to pay £300 towards the trip which contributes to accommodation and food. Assessment will range from group project presentations, coursework, and examinations to essays and a compulsory dissertation over the last term.


Graduates can expect to find employment in the following areas:
-The Department for International Development.
-International development agencies and engineering consultancies.
-Organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the European Union.
-Non-governmental agencies worldwide, such as Practical Action, WaterAid, and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor.

MSc Engineering for International Development graduates will be able to pursue a career in the field of engineering, working on projects in low-middle income, developing countries, as well as the broader international development sector in different capacities and within various organisations currently operating in the field, such as the UN, the EU or NGOs such as WaterAid, Practical Action, Habitat for Humanity and more.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering is an energetic and exciting department with well-established research projects and networks in environmental engineering, transportation, urban resilience, wastewater provision, human settlements and renewable energy.

UCL is also home to Engineers Without Borders UCL, the international development organisation's largest UK branch. The programme provides opportunities for students to get hands-on experience in EWB's Know Before You Go course, based on the yearly event run by Engineers without Borders UK. A self-financed summer school can be organized to Ethiopia to gain exposure to the water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme of the UN.

Students benefit from UCL's strong links with industry-leading partners in the heart of London, through collaborative projects with businesses, charities and utility companies who work in low-middle income regions such as Water Aid, and renewable energy start-ups such as BBOXX.

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

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Student Profiles

Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria:
- The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information



Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - 5 Awards

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.Awards are for taught Master's programmes only, subjects must be related to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate's country. UCL expects to be able to allocate five awards this academic year.Applicants must:
- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;
- Be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme;
- Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;
- Not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable);
- Be themselves, or through families, unable to pay for the proposed programme of study in the UK;
- Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The award will cover tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, economy air travel to and from the UK at the beginning and end of the scholar’s degree programme plus additional discretionary allowances.
- Awards are normally tenable for one year.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)


- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;

Application Procedure

- You must separately apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes through the standard admissions procedure.
- You must apply for the scholarship on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online following the procedures described on their website.
- In order to be considered for this scholarship at UCL, you must complete the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online: by the deadline of T23:59 (UCT) Sunday, 21 February 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (such as engineering, architecture, geography, urban planning, mathematics) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Normally, however, only candidates with either a first- or upper second-class degree will be accepted, although applicants with a lower second-class degree supported by extensive relevant work experience will also be considered.

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