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MSc/Dip Urban Regeneration


The MSc in Urban Regeneration has been created in response to a great challenge facing Britain and the world: urban decline and the planned renaissance of our cities.

The challenge is greater than restoring and rebuilding the physical fabric of cities and their heritage. We need to provide a new local economic base to replace the one that has been lost, to restore hope to communities that have been shattered, and to provide children and adults alike with a better chance in life.

It is a massive task that requires 'out of the box' thinking, intellectual rigour, collaboration and an understanding of the contributions from disciplines like urban design, urban planning, sociology, economics, finance and management.

This is a programme which uniquely combines inputs from globally distinguished theorists and practitioners delivering hands-on, multidisciplinary education. It draws on the best of UK and international planning and regeneration experience in order to offer you applied skills and knowledge driven by a robust theoretical understanding of the key issues.

Programme Objectives

The aim of the programme is to equip you with three important qualities necessary if you, as an urban professional, wish to engage with the challenges of urban regeneration:

  • the ability to understand and critically analyse complex urban issues
  • the boldness to address those issues in a creative, strategic manner
  • the confidence to propose appropriate and realistic implementation plans

Your colleagues will have a variety of professional and academic backgrounds. Past students have included graduates from urban planning, economics, sociology, anthropology, political science, civil engineering, art studies, history & the humanities, management and architecture as well as professionals with design, property, administrative, business, housing and community experience. They have hailed from more than twenty countries across all five continents.

This diversity will foster your ability to co-operate and negotiate creatively with others irrespective of differences in background. What unifies the diverse group of people attending the course is their passion and enthusiasm to engage with and affect the course of urban transformation.


The MSc in Urban Regeneration is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Thus the MSc in Urban Regeneration offers you a '1-year' conversion route to become eligible for membership of both professional bodies if your first degree is not in planning and you would like to pursue a career in urban regeneration as MRTPI (by choosing specific elective modules) and MRICS. The Diploma and the MSc also offer you RTPI accreditation eligibility via the '3+1 years' route. More information on routes to membership can be obtained from the RTPI and RICS websites. The Institute of Economic Development (IED) also welcomes membership applications from graduates of the programme.

Contact details

Programme Director: Dr Nikos Karadimitriou

Admissions Tutor: Dr Nikos Karadimitriou

Programme Administrator: Vicki Howard

For administrative inquiries about your application (procedures, progress etc.) please contact the Graduate Faculty Office:

The Graduate Faculty Office

Tel: +44 (0)  20 3108 9018 / 9004
Email: bartlett.pgclerk@ucl.ac.uk

For substantive inquiries please contact Anthony by email (anthony.grout@ucl.ac.uk), or by telephone +44 (0)20 3108 9549.


To graduate from the programme you will need to take and pass 180 credits (120 for the Diploma). More specifically, you will take six modules of core studies (6x15=90 credits) and another 30 (2x15) credits of elective courses to develop your own particular interests. You will also write a dissertation (60 credits) supported by a research training module (BENVGPL3, no credits). If you decide to study for the Diploma then you do not need to do a Dissertation.

Depending on which electives you choose you can pursue:

(a) the RTPI stand-alone accreditation route. You will need to take 'BENVGTC1 Planning Practice' and either 'BENVGPL5 Spatial Planning: Concepts and Context' or 'BENVGPL6 Comparative Planning Systems and Cultures' as electives.

(b) the liberal studies route. You can select electives from a wide range of modules taught throughout The Bartlett School of Planning, the Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL and the London Business School. Indicatively, these may include modules on economic development, the Global South, urban sociology, politics, the environment, sustainability and management.

(c) the specialisation route. You can choose a specialism from those offered in The Bartlett School of Planning such as sustainability, real estate, housing, international planning, transport, urban design etc

All 3 routes allow you to apply for RICS and IED membership.

The table below indicates the programme structure for each term. You can get more information about each module by clicking on the module code.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Summer
Urban Problems and Problematics
(15 credits)
Development Projects
(15 credits)
Planning Research Techniques
(0 credits)
Dissertation in Planning
(60 credits)
Urban Design: Place Making
(15 credits)
Preparing Regeneration Projects
(15 credits)
Implementing Regeneration Projects
(15 credits)
Critical Debates in Urban Regeneration
(15 credits)

Elective 1
(15 credits)
Elective 2
(15 credits)


There are a number of different routes to the MSc in Urban Regeneration: one year for full-time students, or two years (and up to five years) for part-time students. Individual modules may also be taken as free-standing training elements and accumulated towards intermediate certificate and diploma qualifications, as well as the master's degree. We make every effort to accommodate modular students, however the MSc UR is not a day release programme (see FAQ section).

Compulsory modules

BENVGUR6 Urban Problems and Problematics
Credits: 15

BENVGPLC Urban Design: Place Making
Credits: 15 credits

BENVGUR5 Implementing Regeneration Projects
Credits: 15

BENVGUR2 Development Projects
Credits: 15

BENVGUR4 Preparing Regeneration Projects
Credits: 15

BENVGUR9 Critical Debates in Urban Regeneration
Credits: 15

BENVGPL3 Planning Research Techniques
Credits: 0


BENVGPL7 Dissertation in Planning
Credits: 60

Field trip

The programme combines rigorous teaching with hands-on experience of regeneration projects. Site visits in the UK and a field trip to mainland Europe combine talks from key stakeholders with visits to local projects. Recent destinations have included Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Hamburg, Madrid and Turin. The trips are an occasion for learning, socialising and networking. For example, the 2009 visit to Athens was combined with a seminar and debate hosted by the Greek UCL alumni group followed by drinks at the Hilton Galaxy Bar. The 2014 trip to Madrid was combined with a Regeneration Workshop with ETSAM and led to a submission for the WSB14 Universities Competition in Barcelona.


Compulsory Modules

BENVGUR2 Development Projects provides an understanding of the development process, with emphasis on urban regeneration projects. The module looks at the different thought processes, the considerations of risk and return, and the variety of risk management strategies employed by those engaged in the development process.

BENVGUR4 Preparing Regeneration Projects addresses specific localities, developing the students’ skills in diagnostic analysis of local conditions, the elaboration of strategies and negotiation between conflicting interests, and the presentation of project scenarios and budgets.

BENVGUR5 Implementing Regeneration Projects requires students to understand the issues surrounding the implementation of urban regeneration policies and proposals. The module explores the complexity involved in putting into practice concepts and ideas such as purchasing power parity (PPP), private finance initiative (PFI), community participation, joint ventures and programme evaluation. The first half of the module focuses on community participation, the second looks into funding, finance, project management mechanisms and evaluation with particular emphasis on regeneration projects.

BENVGUR6 Urban Problems and Problematics introduces some of the key theoretical perspectives on urban regeneration and local economic development with examples of how these theories have come to bear directly on or relate to practice in the UK and internationally.

BENVGPLC Urban Design: Place Making draws on the extensive theoretical underpinning of urban design as a means to explore approaches appraising the character of the built environment. As a result, the module focuses on putting forward practical proposals aimed at beneficially influencing the overall quality and liveability of urban space.

BENVGUR9 Critical Debates in Urban Regeneration offers structured reading and reflection around key themes in urban regeneration. It develops themes introduced and knowledge gained in other core modules, drawing on theory and practice from the UK and around the world.

Dissertation Modules

BENVGPL3 Planning Research Techniques provides an understanding of the way in which successful research is undertaken. It introduces a range of methods employed in both quantitative and qualitative analysis and assists students in the development of the skills that are required to complete a self-contained piece of original research, such as a dissertation.

BENVGPL7 Dissertation in Planning aids students to develop their research skills and critical thinking. It involves finding out about, understanding, theorising and reporting creatively on an issue of the student's own choice, whether at international level, or through the study of small-scale national projects, from the sub-region to the individual estate or locality.

Elective Modules

You can select electives from a wide range of modules taught in the Bartlett School of Planning, in the Faculty of the Built Environment or throughout UCL. Common sets of options have included an additional specialism from those offered in the Bartlett School of Planning, such as:

  • modules on urban sociology and economics, politics and policy theory, from the http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/
  • modules on European planning and institutions, urban development and urban projects
  • modules on property markets and property development
  • economic development modules from the Development Planning Unit

If you want to seek RTPI accreditation you can not take any elective module you want, but instead you have to take and pass two extra core courses:

And a choice of one of the following two modules:


Programme Director

Dr Nikos Karadimitriou 
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Staff teaching on the programme currently include

Diane Burridge

Professor Matthew Carmona
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Dr Jim Coleman
View Jim's profile

Dr Claudio de Magalhães
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Send Claudio an email

Professor Nick Phelps
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Professor Mike Raco
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Professor Fulong Wu
View Fulong's profile
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For general information about application procedures, fees, funding and scholarships, please see the faculty admissions information page.

For additional programme-specific information, please read below. 

Entry Qualifications

We invite applicants with a keen interest in urban issues who would like to make a difference for themselves, their employers and the communities they engage with as professionals. Other than UCL 's  standard academic and language requirements, we attach significant importance to how you can combine evidence in order to paint an accurate picture of yourself in relation to your intended programme of study.

It is important that in your application you are able to demonstrate your capacity to perform well in intellectually demanding environments. Evidence to this could be provided by a combination of a good academic qualification, relevant professional experience, your references, etc.

We also need a high level of competence in both spoken and written English. If you are an applicant whose first language is not English you will be asked to provide evidence of competence in English. Skills in other languages are an advantage but are not essential. For further information about language qualifications please visit the faculty admissions information page.

When to apply

Before applying, it is advisable to read the information contained in the MSc Urban Regeneration website, the programme brochure and the faculty admissions information. You are also encouraged to contact the programme admissions tutor who can discuss with you any questions regarding the academic content of the programme.

Applications are considered and decisions on offers of admission are arrived at in the order that applications are received. Nominations for grants and sponsorships from various sources usually close in the Spring. Therefore, applicants are advised to apply earlier rather than later. If you have not yet met the academic or English language proficiency requirements then you can still apply. But if you are made an offer of a place, then it will be conditional on you meeting these requirements before the start of the academic year.

Please bear in mind that depending on the circumstances of your case it can take several weeks for UCL to process your application. In order to be informed about application timelines, especially relevant to applicants requiring a study Visa please visit the faculty admissions information page.

The deadline for all applications is 31 July 2015.

We regret that we are not able to consider any applications received after this deadline.

Fees and Scholarships

Programme fees are fixed annually by UCL and are therefore subject to modification. Students taking the course part-time or those taking individual modules on a CPD basis are charged fees on a pro-rata scale. Most scholarships and bursaries are managed by UCL's central administrative services.

The MSc Urban Regeneration also offers a Land Securities scholarship. The scholarship (worth £5000) is open to EU nationals who hold an offer of admission (conditional or unconditional) to study full-time. Eligible candidates are selected by the Bartlett School of Planning from applications for admission in May. If you are interested in this scholarship you need to ensure that your application has reached UCL at least a month before the May decision date since the scholarship can only be awarded to offer holders.

The programme also lends itself to sponsorship from employers in public, privateand partnership organisations active in local andregional regeneration and economic development. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their options with their employers or other potential fundingbodies.

For further information on fees, the cost of living in London and on financial matters including scholarships, bursaries, awards and student hardship grants please visit the faculty admissions information page.


Additional activities

The programme places great emphasis in fostering creativity and in promoting alternative means of expression. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of additional activities:

  • Seminars on making films about the built environment. These are usually combined with the field trip and/or the BENVGUR4 module, thus enabling students to exercise their film-making skills in practice. View samples of student films here.
  • Workshops with academic and professional partner organisations in the UK and overseas. Qualifying students spend time working with local stakeholders, academics and other postgraduate students on addressing real-life regeneration issues. In the last few years students and staff from the MSc Urban Regeneration have participated in the UCL Just Space Network, the Gardens of Art workshop, the Ateliers Cergy 2009 and the UN Habitat EUSS Workshop.
  • Collaborations with the private sector. In 2011 students of the Msc taking the BENVGUR4 module, worked together with Buro Happold on two case study projects aiming at answering the questions "Do the benefits of Crossrail go to those that need them?" The outcomes were presented in a workshop attended by UCL staff, students and Buro Happold staff.

  • The CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Graduate Exchange Programme (supported by the RICS). This offers a unique opportunity for up to five selected UK-based students in real estate to gain overseas work experience in the fastest growing regions of the world. The successful candidates spend six to twelve weeks during the summer gaining general practice work experience in a CBRE office. Air fares, accommodation and basic expenses will be covered by CBRE.


Graduates who are not already employed are expected to take jobs in a wide variety of public and private offices in the UK and around the world, especially in consultancy firms, voluntary sector organisations and local, regional or national agencies.

First destinations of recent graduates include

  • Foster & Partners: Urban Strategist
  • Regeneris Consulting: Research Consultant
  • Colombian Green Building Council: Technical Director
  • Mott McDonald: Graduate Planner
  • Fudan University Urban Planning and Architectural Design Institute (Shanghai): Planner
  • Santiago (Chile): Freelance Planning and Regeneration Consultant
  • The Glass House: Senior Project Manager
  • Circle Anglia Housing Association: Business Growth Communications Manager


UCL boasts a very dynamic alumni network of more than 150000 members. In addition to the UCL network, once you graduate from the MSc programme you will have the opportunity to join the MSc Urban Regeneration alumni networks on LinkedIn and Facebook. These platforms allow previous students to stay in touch, exchange information, network and attend events specially organised for the MSc Urban Regeneration alumni.

Programme Experiences


dd-student-thumb Daniela Godoy (2008/09)- Freelance Planning and Regeneration Consultant, Chile.
"My studies at the Bartlett allowed me to explore my personal interests with a fresh perspective. The experience showed me a range of new alternative paths to follow in the future in order to advance my career."
gt-student-thumb Ge Tang (2008/09)- Fudan Univ. Urban Planning and Architectural Design Institute, China. "I would recommend this programme to Chinese Government officers who find themselves trapped in the increasingly fierce Government-Citizen clash.''
CH-PIC  Caroline Huett (2009/10)- Planner, Indigo Planning, UK. "I would recommend the course to anyone who wants to explore the social, economic and environmental issues confronting our cities. I enjoyed the quality of discussions and debates – being able to effectively construct a clear and convincing argument has been invaluable as a planning consultant."
Magnani Giacomo Magnani (2013/14)- BuroHappold Engineering/Cities, UK. "The projects I am involved in at work have a high degree of complexity, dealing with economic development, infrastructure, logistics and spatial planning. Thanks to what I have learned during the MSc I can understand how the different dimensions of such projects relate to each other and I can actively contribute to the team, helping to address the clients' briefs effectively."

Student work

"MSc Urban Regeneration student a finalist in Mayor of London's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition"

2015 Mayor of London's Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize

MSc Urban Regeneration student Louis Rutherford's off-grid barge project was chosen as one of the top three finalists in the 2015 Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition.

Reflecting on the experience, Louis remarked: "it was great to achieve the recognition from the Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize and to hear from such visionary members of the panel as Dame Ellen MacArthur. At university, you’ve got the perfect platform to start a community, entrepreneurial initiative with plenty of resources and support." 

Read more about Louis' Gaia Gallery project and the Mayor of London's Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize here.

"MSc Urban Regeneration student work shortlisted in RIBA 'Forgotten Spaces' competition"

The submission by PTE Architects for the RIBA 'Forgotten Spaces' competition was initiated by Alan Green (MSc UR, 2011) and Caroline Pillay (MSc UR, 2011) and was one of the shortlisted entries currently being exhibited at Somerset House. See [ here ] The submission was based on project work done by Alan and Caroline as part of the BENVGUR4: Preparing Regeneration Projects' module.

"Although the competition was aimed at architectural concepts the stimulus for our submission was the MSc project. We used the idea developed during the project for the regeneration of Peckham Rye Lane as the basis for the design we submitted" says Alan.
RIBA London's Forgotten Spaces competition, sponsored by Ordnance Survey, Qatari Diar and Design for London, invited proposals for overlooked pockets of land in London and attracted more than 140 entries.

The shortlisted entries, including a model of the PTE entry are on exhibition at Somerset House until 29 January 2012. More info available from architecture.com


·    Can I study for the MSc in Urban Regeneration on a part-time basis or as part of my CPD?

We offer a number of different routes to the MSc in Urban Regeneration: one-year full time or two years (and up to five years) for part-time students. Individual modules may be taken as free-standing CPD training elements, and accumulated towards intermediate Certificate and Diploma qualifications, as well as the Masters degree. Students taking the course part-time or those taking individual modules on a CPD basis are charged fees on a pro-rata scale.

·    How big a time commitment does studying for the MSc in Urban Regeneration involve?

If you wish to study on a full time basis you should count on dedicating at least 1800 hours for lectures and self-guided study. If you wish to study on a part-time basis then your time commitment will vary depending on the number of credits you choose per year. You need to keep in mind a rough equivalence of at least 150 hours of committed per 15-credit module.

·    Is the MSc in Urban Regeneration a 'day-release' programme?

We make every effort to bundle teaching for the core modules on two days per week (usually on Mondays or Tuesdays and Fridays) and have been able to do so since the beginning of the programme. This would mean that students studying on a part time basis could attend lectures on one day per week. Due to timetabling and venue availability restrictions no guarantee can be given that we will be able to offer this every year. There is also no guarantee that the electives you may wish to choose will be offered on the same day as the rest of your classes. Your coursework may require you to dedicate more than one slot per week on fieldwork or study.

·    Does UCL offer financial support to MSc students?

 Yes, several. Please visit the ‘Admissions’ tab on this webpage for more detailed info.

·    What professional accreditations does the MSc in Urban Regeneration offer?
Please visit the 'Overview' tab on this webpage for more detailed info.

·    What do I need to do in order to study abroad?

Studying abroad depends on possessing appropriate language skills, satisfying the host institution’s admissions criteria for exchange students and on a host institution having staff available to supervise visiting students between May and September. If you wish to study abroad you should notify your course director as soon as you join the programme.

·    What type of tutorial and personal support is offered to students of the MSc Urban Regeneration?

UCL operates a very helpful student support service. In addition each student of the MSc Urban Regeneration programme is allocated a personal tutor whom they can meet both in regular intervals and upon request in order to discuss academic progress and personal issues. Especially for Overseas students the Bartlett School of Planning has appointed an Overseas Student Advisor (Dr Jung Won Sonn).