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MPhil/PhD Planning Studies


The MPhil/PhD in Planning Studies is designed for graduates of any discipline who wish to make a career in planning (for example in central and local government, private consultancy, voluntary bodies) or in related fields (such as housing, urban regeneration, transport planning, urban design), in teaching or research.

A PhD is awarded for the most advanced level of study available, and is considered proof of competence in devising and carrying out a programme of research that demonstrates originality in thought and critical judgement. The final product of the programme of study is a thesis of 100,000 words, and successful completion of the programme is determined by an oral examination of the thesis. 

Contact Details

Programme Director: Professor Mike Raco

Admissions Tutor: Professor Mike Raco

Programme Administrator: Lisa Fernand

For queries relating to administrative details of applications (e.g. submission of forms, eligibility, fees, language requirements) please contact: Dr Steve Ridge (+44 (0) 20 3108 9854)


In common with a number of other UK Universities, UCL does not admit students directly onto a PhD programme in the first instance, but requires all research students to first enrol for an MPhil degree.

After having completed the first year, the majority of students do not complete the MPhil and instead go through a process of transferring (upgrading) to the PhD programme.

Providing satisfactory progress has been made in the first year, the transfer of registration from MPhil to PhD is usually approved. The normal time allocated for doing this MPhil/PhD programme is three years full time and five years part time.

Activities and Events for Research Students

There are many regular seminar series held at the Bartlett School of Planning which are open to all research students (see BSP seminar series; the London Planning seminar series; the Omega Centre seminars; and the China Planning Research Group seminars).

In addition, there are a number of initiatives instigated by, or run especially for, research students. Details of these activities for research students can be found on our website. All this contributes to a lively research environment in the Bartlett School of Planning.

Current Research Students

Details of current (and past) research students and their areas of research can be found here.


Prospective applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposed research with a potential supervisor before submitting their formal application. Details of academic members of staff with links to their profile and research interests.


Application procedures, fees, funding and scholarships

For information, please see the faculty admissions information here.


Students completing a research degree have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. Graduates are expected to take jobs with a wide variety of public and private employers in the UK and abroad, including:

  • universities
  • research institutes
  • consultants
  • government organisations

Postgraduate Teaching Assistants

Bartlett PGTAs

The Bartlett is committed to offering teaching experience to its research students through a postgraduate teaching assistant (PGTA) programme. For the 2014–2015 academic session the faculty has funded a number of posts spread across The Bartlett, this is on top of posts already funded at the school level.

Learn more about the current Bartlett PGTAs.