Research course

Development Planning

UCL - University College London · Development Planning Unit

Entry requirements

A UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant work experience is highly desirable.

Months of entry


Course content

The Development Planning Unit (DPU) is concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management responses to the economic, social and environmental development of cities and regions, in the global south. Its programmes are supported by international agencies and national and provincial governments.

Department specialisms

Research is an important part of the learning that the DPU seeks to promote between theory, methodology and practice in the field of international development. Currently the DPU has four research clusters, each with sub-clusters which reflect the development of different strands of their work: Urban transformations: this cluster explores the multiplex urban transformation processes and its aim is to explicitly increase the room for manoeuvre or a variety of city actors to harness key levers of transformatory change. The cluster focuses on the following arenas: local governance and democracy, social mobilisation, resistance and collective action and design and planning for the just city Environmental justice, urbanisation and resilience: this cluster explores so-called ‘urban transitions’ faced by the Global South, by unearthing emergency relationships and contradictions between resilience and environmental justice in the contemporary geographies of capitalist urbanisation and accumulation Diversity, social complexity and planned intervention: this research cluster comprises two overlapping sub-clusters, dealing in different ways with the relationship between social diversity, development processes, and planned interventions. It explores the ways in which multiple social identities have (or have not) been addressed through the policies, plans and practices of development institutions, and the associated social and development consequences State and market: Governance and policy in development: this cluster provides a forum for discussion and the development of collaborative research ideas on long-term approaches to the governance of development transitions. The cluster analyses the ethical implications to the competing frameworks that underpin these approaches, an promotes progressive interactions between state, society and market actors and institutions.

Information for international students

Please see:

Fees and funding

UK students
£7,985 (FT) £3,965 (PT)
International students
£16,690 (FT) £8,500 (PT)

Funding opportunities available for students is provided by the UCL Graduate School.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months


full time
36 months

Course contact details

Mr Casey Gillman
+44 (0)20 7679 1089