Executive MSc in Cities

  • Executive
  • School of Public Policy
  • Application code K4U1
  • Starting 2024
  • Home part-time: Open
  • Overseas part-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The Executive MSc in Cities is designed for public, private and third sector leaders who want to deliver large-scale change in cities. Based at LSE Cities, a leading international centre that has informed global urban practice for the last 16 years, we deploy the Centre’s global network of city leaders and the School’s leading urban specialty faculty to put the latest ground-breaking research into business and public action.

The executive programme provides specially-designed interdisciplinary courses focused on applied research and methods, and a modular teaching programme, designed to meet the needs of leading professionals from international, national and metropolitan organisations as well as companies and corporations involved in shaping the urban world.

It delivers an integrated set of executive-level courses that work across complex and connected issues helping you to analyse urban projects and policies from rigorous economic, social and environmental perspectives. You will have the opportunity to interact with highly experienced practitioners from city governments and planning and transport departments, as well as experts from research centres and institutions, development and design professions, urban consultancies and infrastructure providers from the UK and abroad.

Teaching and learning in 2024The 2024/25 Executive MSc in Cities will be taught on a ‘hybrid-flex’ basis, allowing students to attend teaching in-person in London or remotely via Zoom as they prefer (subject to LSE and UK government guidance). Further information about hybrid-flex can be found on our website.

Programme details

Key facts

Executive MSc in Cities 
Start date 16 September 2024
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However, please note the funding deadline
Duration 18 months (five modular teaching blocks over 12 months, followed by six month consultancy project)
Applications 2022 58
Intake 2022 23
Financial support Tuition fee support is available via the LSE Cities Scholarships
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline or equivalent professional qualification, plus, typically, a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in an urban related public/private/third sector, or another sector
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London
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 Executive MSc in Cities

Upper second class honours (2.1) degree or equivalent in any discipline or equivalent professional qualification, plus, typically, a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in an urban related public/private/third sector, or another sector.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the 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.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two references
- CV or résumé

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however, to be considered for a scholarship, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Programme structure and courses

The Executive MSc in Cities comprises five modules followed by an urban consultancy project. Each teaching module includes collaborative work, online learning activities completed in your own time and live teaching weeks. Modules also include assessment for each specific course. You will attend LSE for five one-week live teaching weeks, over a 12-month period, either in-person or remotely. The compulsory six-month urban consultancy project will be undertaken in your own organisation or for an external organisation.

Live teaching week dates

Week 1: 30 September - 4 October 2024
Week 2: 25-29 November 2024
Week 3: 24-28 February 2025
Week 4: 28 April - 2 May 2025
Week 5: 16-20 June 2025

First year

(* denotes a half unit)

Cities in an Urban Age: Challenges and Opportunities*
Provides an intensive exploration of the global urbanisation and the state of cities. The course introduces different stages of urban development in cities and regions across the world. It provides an understanding of the key challenges facing both mature and rapidly developing metropolitan areas.

Cities and Society: Design and Social Cohesion*
Focuses on some of the major drivers of urban inequality and poverty and the key actions that cities are taking to reduce urban inequalities through urban design, infrastructure and policy. This is a heavily applied course providing you with tools to analyse the socio-demographic profile of households and neighbourhoods and their relation to spatial distribution and clustering in cities of the developing and developed world.

Cities and the Economy: Urban Economic Development and Finance*
An applied course looking at how cities position themselves in a competitive global economy and at the roles of city, government and firms in driving local economic development. The course introduces key methodologies to measure and analyse the city economy as well as policies and tools available to attract investment and finance and improve growth and competitiveness. The course uses case-based challenges, futures and foresight techniques to put economic strategies to the test.

Cities and the Environment: Urban Environmental Transitions* 
Explores critical aspects of environmental sustainability in relation to both urbanisation globally and urban change in individual cities. The applied components of the course provide relevant tools to measure, analyse and assess environmental impact and develop environmental strategies. The course introduces debates on different green-city paradigms and focuses specifically on approaches to urban climate change mitigation and adaptation. The course further examines implications for urban planning, governance and management.

Urban Infrastructure and Strategic Planning
A workshop-based course providing practical insights on infrastructure development and strategic planning for cities. The course combines a series of lectures with studio-based group work on a case study city. Students are introduced to all key components of urban infrastructure, cutting across transport, energy, water, waste and digital network systems. 
Urban Development and Master Planning
Urban Development and Master Planning is an applied group project based on a major regeneration site. Groups will be introduced to one of the regeneration sites' project teams which will include: local planning officers, developers, planners, designers and financing teams.

Second year

Urban Consultancy Project
A six-month individual consultation undertaken in your own organisation or for an external organisation. Through the consultancy project, you will apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the first six courses of the programme to craft policy or programme improvements for public or private agencies and non-profit organisations. Through in-depth interviews with the organisation’s leaders as well as the relevant stakeholders, you need to focus on a specific project and offer advice on one or more of its design and implementation phases.

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 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

Teaching methods and assessment

The programme is designed to be suitable for participants in full-time employment so it consists of five modular teaching blocks over 12 months, followed by a six-month consultancy project.

Teaching will be undertaken through a mix of seminars, case challenges, workshops, group work, site visits, presentations and pitches. This is supplemented with blended learning materials to be completed by programme participants prior to live teaching. The modules are assessed by a combination of individual essays / reports, individual and group presentations and the individual consultancy report.

You can view indicative details of hours, teaching staff, and assessment in the Calendar within each 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.


Quick Careers Facts for the School of Public Policy

Median salary of our PG students 15 months after graduating: £64,500

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Government, Public Sector and Policy   
  • Financial and Professional Services              
  • Education, Teaching and Research            
  • Consultancy      
  • International Organisations

The data was collected as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is administered by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Graduates from 2020-21 were the fourth group to be asked to respond to Graduate Outcomes. Median salaries are calculated for respondents who are paid in UK pounds sterling and who were working in full-time employment.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

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 2024/25 Executive MSc in Cities

Home students: £40,617
Overseas students: £40,617

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. 

Scholarships and other funding

Tuition fee support is available via the LSE Cities Scholarships. Further information is available on the Executive MSc in Cities Scholarships page.

Please note this programme is not eligible for the Graduate Support Scheme (GSS) or other centrally-run LSE support schemes.

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

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