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Thread: MSc in Environmental Science, Policy and Management vs. MSc in Sustainable Development Planing

  1. #1
    Mar 2010
    Atlanta, Ga

    MSc in Environmental Science, Policy and Management vs. MSc in Sustainable Development Planing

    I am having trouble deciding between a 2 year Erasmus Mundus program in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, a degree from UCL in Environment and Sustainable Development in the Bartlett (arch), Development Planning Unit & a MSc in Environment and Development at LSE.

    I kind of know where I want to go..I want to practice sustainable development in developing countries, specifically in slum settlements and with my background in architecture and my work experience in certifying 'green communities' through LEED I thought I would focus on urban planing issues.....

    What is the best way to get there? I love the UCL program, but I'm afraid after talking to some alumni that the job prospects with this degree is not ideal.....same with LSE, the university name is flashy but a lot of people with this degree seem to still have trouble finding jobs after graduation...the MESPOM Erasmus program does not seem to have this problem, although it may be too technical for me and I am worried it will not allow me to focus on the urban/social issues that interest me.......

    Anyone who has been in the international job market have an idea of which degree area is better? Is the Erasmus program well respected?

    An ideal out of college job would be to work for the UN development/environment or habitat programs......

  2. #2
    Mar 2008
    London, England
    I have actually been on a similar process, I have been accepted into both the MSc in International Planning (UCL) and the MSc in Regional and Urban Planning (LSE). I'm American, have a bachelors of landscape architecture and have worked for over three years as a physical planner and landscape architect. Currently I am in London to feel out the city, facilities, and faculty.

    I kept hearing from others that ultimately the decision is yours, but whenever you visit with the departments you'll get a better feeling of which one is "for you". Ultimately I'm going to decide on LSE for a few reasons. I came from a public university and loved it, but I got the same feeling about UCL that I did from my undergraduate program - housed in an architecture college, typical late night atmosphere (which I personally loved), underfunded, great design / lack policy education. So for me, since I come from a design background and public university degree, I thought LSE was a better fit in that the course is more policy and economic driven (what I lack) and I wanted to get away from the public university atmosphere and go to a more prestigious school for my masters (again, not saying UCL doesn't have the reputation, the Bartlett is amazing internationally for architecture). All the classes are very internationally focused at LSE, there is more room in the facilities, more one on one faculty involvement, and the campus is very urban (comparatively).

    Really, I've heard both arguments saying that both are great fits if you want to study in London with a degree from an internationally recognized program. Be aware of a few things. Do you want to work in the US after graduation? UCL might be more aimed to EU students. Do you want a large study body or small? Large UCL might be the choice, LSE is smaller. Talk to the faculty and if you can visit, I highly recommend it, a light went off in my head once I visited LSE over UCL. Lastly, what is the degree going to do for you?!?! Like all the other advice I got, the decision is ultimately yours

    Hope this helps, pm me if you have more questions, I know it isn't an easy decision.

  3. #3
    May 2016
    Ann Arbor

    LSE experience

    Hi Archdav,

    I'm an american currently deciding btwn MSc City Design and Social Science (LSE) and MSc urban regeneration (UCL), and wanted to hear about your time at LSE. I'm kicking myself for not putting the LSE RUPS program as my first choice, since it is RICS accredited. Other option is to wait for next cycle and apply for MSc RUPS. Let me know!


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