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Sustainable Cities MSc

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This Sustainable Cities MSc is an interdisciplinary programme that will develop your critical understanding of how cities are shaped by human and physical processes, so you can look behind the headlines. Our teaching extends beyond just the technical aspects of sustainable urban development to concentrate on people over infrastructure. We'll cover the science, social and economic theories of sustainable cities, with a focus on human geography, not engineering. This Sustainable Cities Masters links to the Urban Futures research group, focusing on ongoing research about the way that urban knowledge might produce more socially and environmentally sustainable cities. You'll be able to follow your own interests in social or environmental sustainability by choosing from a range of optional interdisciplinary modules across the Geography Department and beyond. And if you opt to join our environmental internship programme*, you'll get the chance to supplement your academic prowess with real-life urban policy experience. You'll take an international view of cities while being taught in London, which acts as the perfect laboratory for the world. You'll build your awareness of the historical context and global contemporary ideas and practices relating to sustainable cities, while also studying how London's distinctive post-colonial geographies require particular policy adaptations. You'll get to examine the key challenges of implementing policies that promote sustainable urbanism, and 'learn by doing'. You'll join Sustainable Cities MSc graduates who have gone on to work in sustainability consultancy organisations, local authorities around the world, NGOs focused on urban issues, and private-sector urban development companies. We have a scholarship available for students in their final year of certain relevant undergraduate courses within the School of Global Affairs. We also have the King's China Scholarship Council scholarship as well as UK Research Council studentships. Find out more about our scholarships by clicking on 'Our Faculties' at the top of the page and then 'Social Science & Public Policy'.

Key benefits

  • Get an in-depth understanding of the concepts and practices of the future of cities.
  • Develop your critical understanding of how cities are shaped by both human and physical processes, allowing you to look beyond the technical aspects of sustainable urban development.
  • Draw on a range of international examples to support your understanding
  • Use London as a laboratory to study urban sustainability.
  • Specialise in issues of social or environmental sustainability by choosing from a range of optional modules taught by the Geography Department and beyond.
  • Conduct in-depth research into sustainable cities.
  • Learn from guest practitioner and policy speakers.
  • Combine academic theory and real-world experience with an environmental internship*.
  • Develop your links with the Urban Futures research group and access the ongoing work about the way that urban knowledges might produce more socially and environmentally sustainable cities
  • Develop your critical understanding of the interrelationships between urbanization and human lifestyles, politics, economy, ecology and environment.
  • Enhance your critical understanding of human impacts on physical processes in cities, and the implications for habitation and liveability.
  • Increase your ability to evaluate advanced scholarship relating to policies that promote urban sustainability.
  • Promote initiative and develop your independent critical judgment in identifying, analysing and solving problems at an advanced level.
  • Develop relevant transferable skills that are embedded in our learning and assessment schemes.
  • Enhance your practical skills in data handling, interpretation and use.
  • Strengthen your skills in connecting physical dynamics to social, political and management processes.
  • Identify the challenges of managing cities in an integrated and sustainable manner.
  • Learn to deploy scientific, social and economic theory within a sustainability framework that takes into account the need to address the needs of society, the economy and the protection of environmental resources.

With this Sustainable Cities MSc, you’ll get an advanced understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities, with a specific focus on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments. You’ll learn from a combination of pure and applied research methods from human and physical geography. *Please note that for international students, UK Government guidelines are currently more restrictive for those holding part-time visas than full-time visas. If you hold a student visa for a part-time programme, you will not have the right to undertake any work, paid or unpaid, in the UK. Therefore, the Internship (Environment & Society) module is only available to full-time overseas students but not part-time overseas students, as the UK government considers it unpaid work. The Internship module is also available to full- or part-time home students.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

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Teaching methods - what to expect

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face-to-face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

 
Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study

Per 15-credit taught module

16-30 hours 120-134 hours (some modules may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning).
Dissertation module Usually 5 contact hours of one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors. 595 hours of self-study and project work.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

  • Coursework
  • Written Examinations
  • Practical Examinations
  • Oral Presentations
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation

Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations. Forms of assessment may typically include essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

 

Structure

Required modules

Programmes are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180-190 credits as outlined below. King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change, and not all optional modules given below are offered every year. You are required to take the following modules:

Dissertation (60 Credits)
Governing the Sustainable City (15 credits)
Practising Social Research (15 Credits) OR Environmental Data Analysis (15 credits)
Research Design and Project Management (15 credits)
Understanding the Sustainable City (15 credits)

Optional modules

Please note that for international students, UK Government guidelines are currently more restrictive for those holding part-time visas than full-time visas. If you hold a student visa for a part-time programme, you will not have the right to undertake any work, paid or unpaid, in the UK. Therefore, the Internship (Environment & Society) module is only available to full-time overseas students but not part-time overseas students, as the UK government considers it unpaid work. The Internship module is also available to full- or part-time home students. In addition, you are required to take 60-70 credits from a range of modules which may typically include:

Climate: Science and Society (15 credits)
Environment, Livelihoods and Development in the 'South' (15 credits)
GIS and Spatial Data Science (15 Credits)
Internship (Environment and Society) (15 credits)
Sustainability in Practice (15 credits)
The Right to the City (15 credits)
Tourism and Development (15 credits)

Other Optional Modules Available to Students on this Programme:

  • Any Level 7 (Masters) modules offered in the Department of Geography, including those listed above.
  • Any Level 7 (Masters) modules offered in the King’s Programme MSc China and Globalisation.
  • Up to 20 credits of Level 7 (Masters) modules from any King’s Departments or Institutes outside of Geography, subject to approval.

Part-Time Students

  • Part-time students are advised to take 75-90 credits of taught modules in their first year, including Understanding the Sustainable City and Governing the Sustainable City, thereby allowing enough time to focus on the dissertation in their second year. The modules Practising Social Research or Environmental Data Analysis have different objectives and aims. Therefore, students are normally advised to take Practising Social Research in their second year or if they take Environmental Data Analysis, to take that in their first year. Should students have strong reasons to instead take Practising Social Research in their first year, or Environmental Data Analysis in their second year, they should consult with and have the agreement of their Programme Director. Research Design and Project Management should be taken in the second year.

Part-Time International Students and paid or unpaid work

  • Please note that for international students, UK Government guidelines are currently more restrictive for those holding part-time visas than full-time visas. If you hold a student visa for a part-time programme, you will not have the right to undertake any work, paid or unpaid, in the UK. Therefore, the Internship (Environment and Society) module is only available to full-time overseas students but not part-time overseas students, as the UK government considers it unpaid work. The Internship module is also available to full- or part-time home students.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

On completion of the Sustainable Cities MSc programme, you will have attained a range of knowledge and skills that will allow you to excel in a wide range of careers. Graduates from this programme have gone onto careers in international organisations, agencies, consultancies, national and city governments, charities, research organisations, in addition to many pursuing doctoral degrees in academia.

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £11,040 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £5,520 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £24,660 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £12,330 per year (2022/23)

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

Deposit

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000.

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days 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.

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

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition costs, 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.
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses.
  • Graduation costs.
  • 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.

Funding

With this Sustainable Cities MSc, you’ll get an advanced understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities, with a specific focus on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments. You’ll learn from a combination of pure and applied research methods from human and physical geography. *Please note that for international students, UK Government guidelines are currently more restrictive for those holding part-time visas than full-time visas. If you hold a student visa for a part-time programme, you will not have the right to undertake any work, paid or unpaid, in the UK. Therefore, the Internship (Environment & Society) module is only available to full-time overseas students but not part-time overseas students, as the UK government considers it unpaid work. The Internship module is also available to full- or part-time home students.

Base campuses

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

waterloo-banner
Waterloo Campus

Waterloo campus is home of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery and facilities for other faculties

Regulating bodies

King's is regulated by the Office for Students

Loading...

Teaching methods - what to expect

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face-to-face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.

 
Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study

Per 15-credit taught module

16-30 hours 120-134 hours (some modules may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning).
Dissertation module Usually 5 contact hours of one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors. 595 hours of self-study and project work.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

  • Coursework
  • Written Examinations
  • Practical Examinations
  • Oral Presentations
  • Examinations
  • Dissertation

Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations. Forms of assessment may typically include essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

 

Structure

Required modules

Programmes are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180-190 credits as outlined below. King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change, and not all optional modules given below are offered every year. You are required to take the following modules:

Dissertation (60 Credits)
Governing the Sustainable City (15 credits)
Practising Social Research (15 Credits) OR Environmental Data Analysis (15 credits)
Research Design and Project Management (15 credits)
Understanding the Sustainable City (15 credits)

Optional modules

Please note that for international students, UK Government guidelines are currently more restrictive for those holding part-time visas than full-time visas. If you hold a student visa for a part-time programme, you will not have the right to undertake any work, paid or unpaid, in the UK. Therefore, the Internship (Environment & Society) module is only available to full-time overseas students but not part-time overseas students, as the UK government considers it unpaid work. The Internship module is also available to full- or part-time home students. In addition, you are required to take 60-70 credits from a range of modules which may typically include:

Climate: Science and Society (15 credits)
Environment, Livelihoods and Development in the 'South' (15 credits)
GIS and Spatial Data Science (15 Credits)
Internship (Environment and Society) (15 credits)
Sustainability in Practice (15 credits)
The Right to the City (15 credits)
Tourism and Development (15 credits)

Other Optional Modules Available to Students on this Programme:

  • Any Level 7 (Masters) modules offered in the Department of Geography, including those listed above.
  • Any Level 7 (Masters) modules offered in the King’s Programme MSc China and Globalisation.
  • Up to 20 credits of Level 7 (Masters) modules from any King’s Departments or Institutes outside of Geography, subject to approval.

Part-Time Students

  • Part-time students are advised to take 75-90 credits of taught modules in their first year, including Understanding the Sustainable City and Governing the Sustainable City, thereby allowing enough time to focus on the dissertation in their second year. The modules Practising Social Research or Environmental Data Analysis have different objectives and aims. Therefore, students are normally advised to take Practising Social Research in their second year or if they take Environmental Data Analysis, to take that in their first year. Should students have strong reasons to instead take Practising Social Research in their first year, or Environmental Data Analysis in their second year, they should consult with and have the agreement of their Programme Director. Research Design and Project Management should be taken in the second year.

Part-Time International Students and paid or unpaid work

  • Please note that for international students, UK Government guidelines are currently more restrictive for those holding part-time visas than full-time visas. If you hold a student visa for a part-time programme, you will not have the right to undertake any work, paid or unpaid, in the UK. Therefore, the Internship (Environment and Society) module is only available to full-time overseas students but not part-time overseas students, as the UK government considers it unpaid work. The Internship module is also available to full- or part-time home students.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Employability

On completion of the Sustainable Cities MSc programme, you will have attained a range of knowledge and skills that will allow you to excel in a wide range of careers. Graduates from this programme have gone onto careers in international organisations, agencies, consultancies, national and city governments, charities, research organisations, in addition to many pursuing doctoral degrees in academia.

Tuition Fees

UK:

Full time: £11,040 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £5,520 per year (2022/23)

International:

Full time: £24,660 per year (2022/23)

Part time: £12,330 per year (2022/23)

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

Deposit

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000.

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31 March, payment is due by 25 April 2022.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 April and 30 June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July and 31 July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 August and 21 August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer from 22 August onwards, payment is due within three days 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.

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

Additional Costs

In addition to your tuition costs, 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.
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses.
  • Graduation costs.
  • 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.

Funding

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