LSE-Sciences Po Double Degree in Urban Policy

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Application code Apply via Sciences Po
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London, Paris

Sciences Po and LSE have come together to offer this distinctive dual degree devoted to urban management and policy, which combines the strengths of two leading international centres of research in city development and urban governance.

The double degree lasts two academic years: the first year is spent at Sciences Po, in the Master Stratégies Territoriales et Urbaines; the second year is spent at LSE, following one of three MSc programmes, in either Local Economic DevelopmentRegional and Urban Planning Studies, or Urbanisation and Development.

Spanning a wide range of disciplines, including public management, economic development, urbanisation, project management, urban social analysis, and planning, this selective bilingual (French and English) programme will enable you to develop an understanding of the political, economic and social issues raised by contemporary urbanisation, at local and international levels, with a curriculum focused on the analytic tools used in the field of urban policy.

On completion, you will be awarded a master's from Sciences Po in Stratégies Territoriales et Urbaines, and an MSc from LSE in Urban Policy. 

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Urban Policy LSE and Sciences Po
Start date August/September 2020 at Sciences Po, Paris (provisional)
Application deadline Apply via Sciences Po - deadline 16 February 2020.
Duration 23 months full-time only
Tuition fee Year one: TBC (2020 entry, at Sciences Po)
Year two: UK/EU: £15,216 (2021 continuing, at LSE) - provisional
Year two: Overseas: £23,520 (2021 continuing, at LSE) - provisional
Financial support Graduate Support Scheme (for year two at LSE – apply in year one). For information on financial support at Sciences Po, please visit their website. Entente Cordiale scholarship for French and British Nationals
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline, and French Language proficiency, equivalent to TCF level 500/DALF C1
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Standard (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Sciences Po, Paris, France (year one), LSE, Houghton Street, London (year two)

 For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for LSE-Sciences Po Double Degree in Urban Policy

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline.

Competition for places on the programme is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

Applications must be made to Sciences Po directly. Applying to Sciences Po.

You may have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. See our English language requirements.

French language competency

You must demonstrate competence in both English and French. If your native language is not English you will need to meet LSE's Standard English requirement (See our English language requirements).

You will also need to demonstrate competence in French, either by passing either one the following tests (no other tests will be accepted):

  • the Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) 500 
  • the Diplôme d'études en langue française (DALF) level C1.

Alternatively, you could meet the requirements in one of the following ways:

  • holding the International Baccalaureate (IB) with French as the language of education (levels A1/A2 only)
  • having gained a high school diploma from school education in French (for example in French Lycées outside of France)
  • having completed an exchange programme with Sciences Po with enrolment in French language classes at levels 4 or 5
  • having gained a recognised university degree with at least two years of study at a Francophone University. You will need to provide the diploma which proves that your language of instruction was French. Please note, this does not apply if you have obtained a diploma in French language or French studies at universities in non-French speaking countries.

If your native language is neither English nor French you will be required to provide proof of ability in both languages.

Supplementary documents

In addition to the application form, you are required to submit:

(* can be submitted as scanned attachments to the online application form. References may be submitted online or by post)

  • a full and official transcript of marks obtained for each year of third-level education including the current year when available*
  • a certified copy of your undergraduate degree (if applicable)*
  • documents written in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation into one of the above languages*
  • a statement of academic purpose to be submitted in either English or French. In no more than 1,000 words, please describe your background, your career objectives in the field of urban policy and how obtaining the LSE/Sciences Po double degree will help you to achieve those objectives
  • two letters of academic recommendation. These can be in either French or English. They must be submitted online or placed in an envelope sealed and signed on the back by the referee before being added to the application file
  • a résumé in both English and French
  • optional -  you may also submit letters of professional recommendation

Programme structure and courses

First year, at Sciences Po

At Sciences Po, the academic year runs from early October to the end of June. You will follow a course of study that covers topics of urban sociology, economics and politics, along with elective courses. Full details of the year at Sciences Po

First year, at LSE

The second year runs from October until September of the following year. It comprises three terms plus a summer period for completion of a dissertation. 

You will follow one of three alternative lines of specialisation, following the teaching programmes (and course options) of: 

MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies
MSc Local Economic Development
MSc Urbanisation and Development

These interdisciplinary courses have international orientations and are provided through formal teaching. The hours vary but on average you should expect 50 hours of contact time for each of the three taught course units. This accounts for 75 per cent of credits for the year. The remaining credits stem from an independent research dissertation, which you will develop with a supervisor and complete in July/August.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

At LSE you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

In addition to the formal teaching hours you should expect seminars, mock examinations, essays, revision sessions and a dissertation of 10,000 words which is due after the summer term.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research. 

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.


A dissertation workshop will be held in order to guide and assist you with the writing, completion and submission of your dissertation. The dissertation may be on any topic within the field of the MSc programme studied but approval for the topic must be obtained from the relevant Programme Director prior to starting work on it.

An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Preliminary reading

Regional and Urban Planning Studies reading 

P Hall Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the 20th Century (Wiley Blackwell, 2002)

J Friedmann Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory London (Routledge, 2011) 

Urbanisation and Development reading

R Centner Microcitizenships: Fractious Forms of Belonging after Argentine Neoliberalism (International Journal of Urban and Regional Research,36:2, 336-62, 2012)

S Chant Women, Girls and World Poverty: Empowerment, Equality or Essentialism? (International Development Planning Review, 38:1, 1-24, 2016)

S Chant and C McIlwaine Cities, Slums and Gender in the Global South:Towards a Feminised Urban Future (Routledge, 2016)

A G Jones and R Sanyal Spectacle and Suffering: The Mumbai Slum as a Worlded Space (Geoforum, 65, 431-9, 2015)

L Lees H B Shin and E López-Morales Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016)

C Lemanski and C Marx The City in Urban Poverty (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

C Mercer,  Landscapes of Extended Ruralisation: Postcolonial Suburbs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, DOI: 10.1111/tran.12150, 2016)

H B Shin Economic Transition and Speculative Urbanisation in China: Gentrification Versus Dispossession (Urban Studies, 53:3,471-89, 2016)

K Ward Researching the City: A Guide for Students (Sage, 2012)

A Zeiderman Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá (Duke University Press, 2016)

Local Economic Development reading 

A Pike A Rodriguez-Pose and Tomaney Local and Regional Development (Routledge, 2016)

M Storper Keys to the City: How Economics, Institutions, Social Interaction, and Politics Shape Development (Princeton University Press 2013)


This programme provides the opportunity to develop a career focused on local and urban policy in the private, public or international sectors at the highest level. Graduates could be expected to go into positions in local/regional government; urban development, property and planning consultancies; community organisations; investment banks; regeneration agencies; central government urban affairs departments and property development.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2020/21 for LSE-Sciences Po Double Degree in Urban Policy

UK/EU students, first year: TBC (2020/21 at Sciences Po)
Overseas students, first year: TBC (2020/21 at Sciences Po)
UK/EU students, second year: £15,216 (2021/22 at LSE) - provisional
Overseas students, second year: £23,520 (2021/22 at LSE) - provisional

Fees at Sciences Po

Fee status

The amount of LSE tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee. As this is a double degree, this applies only to the year spent at LSE. 

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

French and British Nationals should also be aware of the Entente Cordiale Scholarships.

Funding for the first year, at Sciences Po

Funding may be available from Sciences Po. Details on funding opportunities at Sciences Po.

Funding for the second year, at LSE

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships. You must apply for these needs-based awards from LSE, during your first year of study, submitting an application by the funding deadline, normally in April each year.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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