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London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jan 
International :15 Jan 
EU :15 Jan 

MSc City Design and Social Science (Part-Time)

 Course Level
Masters / PG
 Type
Part Time

 Duration
2 Years
 Start month
September

 Tuition fee

International
12720 GBP
National
12468 GBP
EU
12468 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
Department
Sociology
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)107
TOEFL-PBT (min)627

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About this course

This innovative, interdisciplinary programme sets the complex challenges of city design and development in their social, economic, environmental and political contexts. It is unique as a studio-based master’s with a strong orientation to practice located within a world-leading social science institution. The programme draws students from different academic and professional backgrounds, reflecting the range of skills involved in urban policy, design and development today: architecture, engineering, planning and transport studies; economic, social and policy sciences; geography and environmental science; law and humanities; business and management; real estate and finance.

The MSc City Design and Social Science focuses on the relations between the physical and social organisation of cities and urban environments. We see design as a field of research, knowledge and practice that shapes urban environments, responds to urban problems, and integrates social, spatial and physical approaches to the city.

This ground-breaking programme, launched in 1998, aims to support the development of interdisciplinary professionals who can work across professional divides to have a positive impact on cities as both social and built environments. Graduates leave the programme with a well-rounded set of research, analytical and practical skills for the design, development and implementation of urban projects across the public, private and community sectors, and the ability to work creatively and effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates should have a good first degree, or equivalent professional qualifications in a relevant field; professional and voluntary experience will also be taken fully into account. Each year, around 40 per cent of our student intake comes from architecture, urban design, planning or engineering, with around 60 per cent coming from backgrounds in social, economic and management science, law, humanities and the natural sciences.

2:1 degree or equivalent professional qualifications/experience in any relevant field of architecture, urban design, planning, engineering, social science, law and humanities, management, mathematics, statistics or natural science

English requirement:

If an applicant is offering IGCSE in English as a First Language without the optional component (as above), and has been educated in the medium of English during their five most recent years of study (prior to 1 October 2015), then we will accept the qualification as sufficient evidence of English language proficiency.

You can meet our language requirements in the following ways:

  • Your first language is English, or
  • Your current or previous degree is taught/assessed entirely in English (we will need official confirmation of this if it is not stated on your transcript), or
  • You have passed a recognised Standardised English Language Test (SELT) at an appropriate level.

For degree programmes outside the UK you will need to obtain at least 70 per cent of the available marks in your final year examinations. If your institution uses the cumulative grade point average (GPA) system you should normally have a GPA of at least 3.5 (out of 4) or above.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

The programme combines intensive design research on practical urban contexts in the core studio workshop, with taught courses on critical urban theories and issues, and options chosen from the suite of urban courses taught across LSE. Students undertake an independent project under faculty supervision. An international field-trip supports and extends the students' intensive teaching programme in London.

Guest practitioners from industry, expert speakers and masterclasses on key urban issues complement the core academic programme, and students are linked into the wealth of urban expertise across LSE.

Compulsory courses
(* half unit)

  • City Design Research Studio promotes an understanding of the city as a social and built environment and provides students with an appreciation of the complexities of urban design and development processes through in-depth research and project work on a critical site in London.
  • Cities by Design* examines the relationship between built form and its social, political and cultural impacts in the changing city.
  • City-making: the Politics of Urban Form* provides a critical understanding of the political underpinnings of major urban development projects and practices across international city contexts.
  • Independent Project allows students to work on an extended research or design project in consultation with a faculty supervisor.  

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of one unit from a range of options.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

You must apply early, as competition for programmes at LSE is intense. Your application will not be considered until we have received all your supporting documents. Wherever possible you should submit all of your documents with your online application. You should expect to wait an average of 8 weeks for a decision when applying for a taught programme, decisions for a research programme may take longer than this.

Important: LSE expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents, credentials services, or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

You should also upload your supporting documents with your application. You should scan and upload your transcripts and request references to be submitted online. The online application allows you to submit your complete application securely and quickly. Your application will not be processed until we have received all the required documents.

Supporting documents

All applications must be accompanied by supporting documents. Some of these are required by all applicants, others are only needed for specific programmes. Details of specific requirements are given on the programme pages.

  • Use common sense when reading this information. We are being as clear as we can about our requirements and there are no trick questions or hidden traps.
  • We ask you to provide the documents as requested (or as close to them as you can manage) so that we can make a good decision on your application.
  • Don't overload your application with extra documents - the selectors won't have time to read them and we really don't need them.
  • Don't panic about the length of your personal statement or research proposal - just be sensible about what you want to write and how much a selector might want to read.
  • We offer guidance to help you. Read it and act sensibly on it.
  • Please do not send supporting documents directly to departments as this will delay your application.

Check further details on University website

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