M.Sc. City Design and Social Science

London School of Economics and Political Science

Application deadline: None - rolling admissions
Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 90 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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Applicants come from a range of disciplinary and professional backgrounds, reflecting the range of skills involved in urban policy, design and development. Candidates should have a good first degree, or equivalent professional qualifications in any relevant field of architecture, urban design, planning, engineering, social science, law and humanities, management, mathematics, statistics or natural science. Relevant professional experience will also be taken fully into account. Each year, around 40 per cent of our student intake comes from architecture, design or engineering, with around 60 per cent coming from a range of backgrounds in social, economic and management science, law or humanities.

The Cities Programme is an innovative centre for graduate teaching and research on urban issues, and is the graduate component of the LSE Cities research centre|. The MSc programme studies the relations between the physical and social organisation of cities and urban space. We see design as a mode of research and practice that shapes urban environments, responds to urban problems, and connects social, spatial and material forms in the city. This programme, launched in 1998, aims to promote a new generation of interdisciplinary professionals who engage with the city in a holistic manner and have a positive impact on the making of cities and the built environment. Graduates will be able to integrate their skills with the other professions involved in the design, development and implementation of urban projects both within the private and public sector.

The programme combines intensive design research on urban themes in a studio workshop with taught courses on core topics and options from a range of relevant subjects taught across the School, together with an independent design project or research dissertation in the third term, and an international field-trip to support and extend the students' project work.

PhD students in the Cities Programme engage formally - through teaching - and informally with the MSc students. Public lectures, expert seminars and masterclasses on key urban issues complement the programme, and students are linked with the other urban teaching programmes at LSE.


Compulsory courses

(* half unit)

* City Design Research Studio
* Cities by Design*
* Independent Project
* City-making: the Politics of Urban Form*


Choose a total of one full unit:

* The Economics of Urban and Regional Planning*
* Economics of Local and Regional Development*
* Contemporary Urbanism
* Globalisation and Regional Development*
* Planning for Sustainable Cities*
* Economic Appraisal and Valuation*
* Social Exclusion, Inequality and the 'Underclass' Debate*
* Social and Political Aspects of Regional and Urban Planning*
* International Housing and Human Settlements*
* Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities*
* Cities and Social Change in East Asia*
* Cities, Politics and Citizenship*
* Cities, People and Poverty in the South*
* Urban Environment*
* The Urban Revolution*

Not all these options may be available, and additional options may be available.


Good first degree or equivalent professional qualifications/experience in any relevant field of architecture, urban design, planning, engineering, social science, management, mathematics, statistics or natural science

English requirement:

* TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 627 in the paper test or 107 in the internet based test
* IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 7.0

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

200 (Grade A)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 627
TOEFL iBT® test: 107

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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