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Smart Cities & Urban Analytics - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

This programme is unique in its focus on the core challenges facing our increasingly 'smart' cities, from their operational functions and planning through to management and control. The programme reflects the changes that technology is making to the operation of, and our understanding of, the city, and gives students the technical and theoretical skills needed to make a difference to the cities of today and tomorrow.

Degree information

Students are equipped with key quantitative practical skills such as mathematical and statistical modelling, computer programming, spatial analysis and cartographic visualisation, underpinned by broad theoretical perspectives on the demographics, economics, form, function, network interactions, governance, policy, planning and crucially science of cities across the world.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits), is offered.

Core modules
-Geographic Information Systems and Science
-Quantitative Methods
-Smart Cities: Context, Policy and Government
-Urban Systems Theory
-Spatial Data Capture, Storage and Analysis
-Urban Simulation

Optional modules
-Introduction to Programming
-Or any other open 15-credit module from across UCL

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The technical aspects of the programme will be delivered through traditional workshops, lectures and practicals, but we will seek to incorporate novel assessment methods such as blog posts, and shared outputs such as visualisations/maps and web apps. Assessment is through a variety of written coursework assignments and final dissertation, presentation of researched material and practical investigations, and participation in dedicated skills modules.


This programme gives students the skillset and knowledge base to embark on a professional or academic path through the highly interdisciplinary field of spatial science.

Students will graduate with an extremely broad range of new transferable practical skills including computer programming, database management, (big) data mining and web-visualistation, along with an understanding of mathematical and statistical analysis methods, geographic information science, spatial analysis and urban modelling. All of these skills are developed in parallel with a wider appreciation of the problems and challenges facing contemporary cities and how the latest data and analysis methods can help address them.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) is one of the leading research centres in the science of cities, generating new knowledge and insights for use in city planning, policy and design, and drawing on the latest geospatial methods and ideas in computer-based visualisation and modelling.

Smart Cities is a key area of future innovation and investment in the UK, and Smart Cities and Urban Analytics is currently the only UK-based Master’s programme available.

Companies such as Intel, IBM, ARUP and CISCO all have strategies around smart city development, creating a demand for skilled personnel. CASA has well-established links with these companies and the Head of Department sits on the newly-created Smart Cities Board at the Greater London Authority to advise the Mayor on developments.

Visit the Smart Cities & Urban Analytics - 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


Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates who hold a professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations and approved by UCL together with at least three years of appropriate professional experience may also be admitted.

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