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Thread: City Design and Social Policy MSc at LSE

  1. #1

    City Design and Social Policy MSc at LSE

    Hi guys,

    I was just accepted to the MSc in City Design and Social Policy at the LSE. Does anyone have any experience with this program? I think it's under the Cities program. I have a friend who did it and said she enjoyed it, but it was a lot to pack into one year. Would love to hear thoughts. I've heard from other people that these degrees are cashcows for the school...

  2. #2
    Oct 2012
    Across the pond
    I have not done the program, but I was VERY interested in applying. I decided not, because I knew the chances of me getting funding were so small. I also currently live overseas and I wanted to be back in the US. From the students and faculty that I talked with, it does not seem to be a "cash cow" as these types of programs can be. I think a good indication of that is the large amount of external funding that the program has from a bank. Also, LSE Cities is doing some pretty cool stuff like the Urban Age conference, which I was able to go to in 2010 in Chicago.

    I think you will get a great education if you choose to go. I think a perhaps more real question is, do you want AICP certification? Do you want a US degree so that people will understand it. Do you want to be a city planner or deal more with policy?

    Just my 2cents (or 2 pents...since we are talking about the UK).

  3. #3
    Mar 2008
    London, England
    Hi there, I studied at the LSE, but not the Cities programme. I did however take many option courses with the Cities Programme so maybe I could chime in.

    As mentioned above, Cites at LSE has a great network of academics and professionals (due to the Urban Age Network). I loved the courses I took in the Cities Programme. The staff were amazing and it was very stimulating academically. Many of the alumni go on to work in UN organisations and usually get great recommendations from the professors. As an American studying in the UK, I think there are limitations if you want to (a) return to the US or (b) work in the UK. You can still receive your AICP, but you'll need more experience in planning, as opposed to a US accredited degree. In the UK, as a planner, you'll need to be RTPI accredited. No programme at LSE is accredited by those. The Regional and Urban Planning Studies programme at LSE is RICS accredited... but not RTPI.

    Anyway, all that said, LSE is a top university in the UK (and the world for that matter). It holds a lot of weight if returning to the US or wanting to work internationally. No doubt it will open door and it is an attraction to finish your masters in one-year. Be prepared for a very tough year though. It was not easy and you'll have to devote lots of time to reap the full benefits of the one-year course.

    Hope this helps! Good luck with your decision.

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