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Development Administration and Planning - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

This MSc equips students with the analytical, methodological and practical expertise needed to positively contribute to development in countries where they are actively involved. Students acquire the tools necessary to respond to a diverse range of problems including productive capacity, intersectoral integration, economic and social diversification, and self-sufficiency.

Degree information

Students develop the ability to analyse the development process and to formulate appropriate policies for meeting development goals. The field trip, conducted in a developing country, provides the opportunity to study the problems encountered in development, and the cultural, administrative and institutional context in which decisions are made.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (90 credits), optional modules (30 credits) and dissertation (60). A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (90 credits), optional modules (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, four optional modules (60 credits), full-time 15 weeks or flexible study over a period of up to two years, is offered.

Core modules - four core modules
-Contemporary Approaches to Development Management
-Development in Practice
-Critical Ideas of Development Conceptions and Realities
-Society and Market: Private Agency for Development

Recommended optional modules include:
-Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
-Cost Benefit Analysis: Theory and Practice
-Critical Urbanism Studio I - Learning from Informality: Case Studies and Alternatives
-Critical Urbanism Studio II - Investigative Design Strategies for Contested Spaces
-Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
-Food and the City
-Gender in Policy and Planning
-Housing as urbanism: housing policy and the search for scale
-Housing policies: practical dimensions and alternative options
-Industrialisation and Infrastructure
-Land, Food and Agriculture
-Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental State
-Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty
-Social Policy and Citizenship
-The City and Its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
-The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
-Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
-Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
-Urbanisation and Development
-Or any other open MSc module in The Bartlett School of Planning.

Please note: not all optional modules listed above may be available.

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word paper on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic is chosen by the student in dialogue with the Programme Director.

Teaching and learning
The programme consists of reading, essay writing and individual and group project work, in the context of lectures, seminars, workshops, case study analysis, and a field trip abroad. In recent years field trip destinations have included Uganda and Ethiopia. Student performance is assessed through coursework, unseen examinations and a final dissertation report.

The overseas fieldwork trip is a practical research-based residential that helps draw the various elements of the degree together.
The DPU will cover the following costs of the field trip: return flights, visas, travel insurance, accommodation and fees, and costs of local experts and inputs. However, food, local travel and incidental expenses of a personal nature will not be covered by the DPU.


Graduates are engaged in a diversity of professional activities including local, regional and national government, consultancy firms, national and international NGOs, United Nations programmes and international aid agencies. A small proportion of graduates pursue advanced research degrees while several work as academics in leading universities or as independent consultants.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Project Manager, London Borough of Camden
-Administration Officer, Pakistani Government
-Coordinator, Department of Development Administration and Planning
-Campaigning Researcher, Gaia Foundation
-Consultant, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

The central objective of this programme is to equip participants with the analytical, methodological and practical expertise necessary to make a positive contribution to the development effort in countries with which they are engaged.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Development Planning Unit (DPU) at UCL is an international centre concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management of cities and regions, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its programmes are supported by international agencies and by national and provincial governments.

This MSc examines and analyses the theory and practice of development administration at international, national and regional levels to provide participants with an understanding of the processes generating social change and with the skills and abilities to respond.

Visit the Development Administration and Planning - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

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(Student Profile)

Julia Tinkov

"I applied to UCL as it is one of the top universities in the world and the programme I took was extremely appealing to me."


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.
- Apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes below: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



Bartlett Masters Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, offers 20 scholarships for MSc, MRes, MA and MArch students, each worth £5,000, to be used as partial fee remittance for study. Applications have been closed for the 2015/2016 scheme. Please check this page for announcements about the 2016/2017 Masters Scholarship Scheme.All postgraduate students, including continuing students, can be considered for this scholarship, regardless of study mode or fee status. The Bartlett, through this award, hopes to encourage students from under-represented groups to embark on a postgraduate qualification at UCL. The application form has an Equal Opportunities Monitoring section which asks for details on your ethnicity. Eligibility will be means-tested and will take into account total funds available to the applicant.Please note, scholarship applicants do not necessarily require an offer of admission by the deadline date, but will need to have submitted a complete application for study.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- BME applicants
- International students
- Those who commenced their undergraduate studies (in a UK university) pre-2012
- Successful applicants will need to meet two core criteria:
- Applicants must hold an offer of study to commence study in September 2015 (or be continuing, if following a modular/flexible course of study)
- Applicants must be able to pay the remainder of their fees and all living expenses

Application Procedure

To apply, please complete the Masters Scholarship Scheme application form and send it to [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree, or an equivalent overseas qualification, in a subject appropriate to the programme, plus relevant work experience. In rare cases, applicants with degrees below this standard will be considered if they have significant relevant professional experience. In all cases, successful applicants are expected to provide good references and a strong personal statement, which adequately demonstrate the applicant’s interest in the topics addressed by this programme.

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