Skip to main content

Sustainable Cities MA/MSc

Apply now

As the only programme to explicitly address the topic of sustainable cities, our Sustainable Cities MA/MSc is unique in the UK. It is an interdisciplinary programme that focuses on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments. We also offer the opportunity to gain practical experience through an internship.

Key benefits

  • Unique in the UK as the only MA/MSc to address sustainable cities explicitly.
  • Programme is interdisciplinary.
  • Internships are available.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake Approximately 20 FT/PT.

Course leaders Dr Ayona Datta (

Further details

Course contact for further information

 Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7171

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

DepartmentDepartment of Geography



Explore campuses

Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Course detail


Our Sustainable Cities MA/MSc programme will give you advanced understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities, with a specific focus on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments.

We aim to:

  • Develop your critical understanding of the interrelationships between urbanization and human lifestyles, politics, economy, ecology and environment.
  • Develop your critical understanding of human impacts on physical processes in cities, and the implications for habitation and liveability. 
  • Develop your ability to evaluate advanced scholarship in the field of urban policy critically, with reference to sustainable environmental management. 
  • Promote initiative and develop your independent critical judgment in identifying, analysing and solving problems at an advanced level. 
  • Develop your relevant transferable skills which are embedded in our learning and assessment schemes. 
  • Develop your practical skills in data handling, interpretation and use, and develop your skills in connecting physical dynamics to social, political and management processes. 
  • Enable you to focus on the challenges of managing cities in an integrated and sustainable manner, regardless of your first degree discipline.
  • Enable you to deploy scientific, social and economic theory within a sustainability framework which takes into account the need to address the needs of society, the economy and the protection of environmental services.

The course combines pure and applied research methods from human and physical geography, giving you an advanced level understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities. We focus on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies, environments and social structure and process.

Course purpose

The degree combines pure and applied research methods from human and physical geography leading to an advanced level understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities. Specific foci will be the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies, environments and social structure and process.

Further literature

Course format and assessment

Specialist taught modules assessed by essay, presentation, lab work and occasionally by examination. 


Year 1

Required Modules
Core module (both pathways) (60 credits):
  • 7SSG5142 Dissertation in Sustainable Cities (60 credits) (must Take and Pass)

Compulsory modules (Combined Sciences Pathway, leading to an MSc) (80 credits):

  • EITHER 7SSG5002 Practising Social Research OR 7SSG5110 Methods for Environmental Research (both modules 20 credits)
  • EITHER 7SSG5146 Understanding and Managing Urban Aquatic and Terrestrial Systems OR 7SSG5150 Advanced Quantitative and Spatial Methods in Human Geography (both modules 20 credits)
  • 7SSG5179 Understanding the Sustainable City (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5180 Governing the Sustainable City (20 credits)

Compulsory modules (Social Science Pathway, leading to an MA) (60 credits):

  • 7SSG5002 Practising Social Research (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5179 Understanding the Sustainable City (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5180 Governing the Sustainable City (20 credits)


Optional Modules
Optional modules (Combined Sciences Pathway: 40–70 credits):
  • Any Level 7 (Masters) modules offered in the Geography Department.
  • Up to 20 credits of Level 7 modules from any KCL Departments or Institutes outside of Geography.

Optional modules (Social Science Pathway: 60-90 credits):
Students on the Social Science pathway must take 60 credits of optional modules, with at least 40 credits from the list of “prescribed optional modules” given below, and the other credits may come from the “Other Optional Modules for the Social Sciences Pathway” (including those on the prescribed optional modules).

List of Prescribed Optional Modules Specific to the SOCIAL SCIENCE MA pathway:

  • 7SSG5051 Social Change in Global Cities (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5061 Conceptualising Cities (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5064 Urban Studies Internship (20 credits) OR 7SSG5070 Environmental Internship (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5073 Environmental Actors and Politics (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5100 Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Livelihoods and Patterns of Growth (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5115 Gentrification and Urban Regeneration (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5147 Globalisation and the Environment (40 credits)
  • 7SSG5148 Consumption, Globalisation and Sustainability (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5152 Health, Lifestyles and Cities (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5165 Environmental Science and Policymaking (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5208 Understanding Climate Change in Society (20 credits)
  • 7SSG5209 The Right to the City (20 credits)

Other Optional Modules Available to Students on the SOCIAL SCIENCES MA pathway:

  • Any Level 7 (Masters) modules offered in the Geography Department, including from the lists of prescribed optional modules given above.
  • Up to 20 credits of Level 7 modules from any KCL Departments or Institutes outside of Geography.

Please note that the above programme structure is subject to formal approval.
Required modules - MA only
Required modules - MSc only

Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) e.g. GPA of 3.3 from a US University. Candidates who do not achieve a 2:1 but have professional or voluntary experience will also be considered. Mature candidates will be considered favourably.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £50 applies.

We run a rolling admissions system. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process. There is no set deadline.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide a personal statement that shows how your own interests are linked to the programme. In this statement please describe your academic background, your reasons for applying for this programme and what you hope to gain from it, including any relevant experience, strengths, ambitions or research interests.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline was the 31st March 2017.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £9,450 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Full time overseas fees: £18,420 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time UK fees: £4,725 p.a. (2017/18)*
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,210 p.a. (2017/18)*

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Some optional modules include the option to undertake other short day-trip fieldwork. These fieldwork options will enhance the modules, but they are not assessed as part of the module. The additional costs for short day-trip fieldwork would typically not exceed £50 per year.
  • Costs may be incurred for dissertation work if fieldwork and/or laboratory materials are needed for the chosen study topic, but such work is not mandatory and would not impact academic success if an alternative approach to dissertation research is taken.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Further information coming soon.

Career destinations

Programme graduates work in a wide variety of areas including: international organisations, agencies and consultancies, national and city governments, charities, research organisations (governmental and non-governmental) and academia.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

View online

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

AccommodationTake a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student lifeArt, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricularDiscover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London livingWith four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.

Page last modified on 17 May 2017.