MA in Urban History and Culture

Our MA in Urban History and Culture provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of two great world cities: Paris and London.

It is offered in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London's School of History, School of Geography and School of English and Drama.

woman walking inside Pompidou Centre. Photo by Kylie Paz on Unsplash
Through site visits and analysis, you will explore how the growth of city living and management shaped the fabric of the world.

Course details

Entry requirements

Students should have an upper second-class honours degree in a relevant Humanities-related subject. A recognised equivalent from an accredited overseas institution is also accepted. 

If English is not your first language, satisfactory evidence of your English language proficiency must be provided. IELTS 7.0 (minimum writing 6.5) is the minimum level for entry to the course. 

The degree is taught entirely in English and there is no French language requirement.

Degree benefits

The MA in Urban History and Culture is a unique opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of the modern city from historical perspectives and through comparative experience of two of the great urban laboratories of the Western world, Paris and London. 

You will explore the development of urban topography and planning through site visits and analysis, using a primarily bifocal approach to the growth of city living and management, and how that has shaped the fabric of the world. 

With faculty expertise drawn from three Schools in the Faculty of the Humanities and Social Science and ULIP, as well as its split-site delivery, the programme enables students to develop both their empirical understanding of and their methodological approaches to what distinguishes and what connects these two cities, while expanding these comparative insights towards a broader engagement with urban history and culture, and the challenges cities face today.  

Key benefits include: 

  • An unparalleled opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of two great world cities: Paris and London. 

  • You can choose between a split-site programme in Paris and London or a full year in Paris. 

  • The programme is offered in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London's School of History, School of English and Drama and School of Geography, and the University of London Institute in Paris. 

  • The opportunity to gain an international perspective and strong inter-cultural understanding as well as an ability to assess the contours of cultural difference. 

  • The unrivalled opportunity to immerse yourself in two of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and benefit from the exposure to the culture and traditions of two major European capitals. 

Degree structure

The programme consists of four content modules plus a dissertation and an assessed research methodology component. Two compulsory modules are delivered in the Autumn semester in Paris at ULIP, and two elective modules taken from a range of options offered in Paris at ULIP and/or in London at Queen Mary University of London in the second semester. You can choose, therefore, between a split-site programme in Paris and London or a full year in Paris.  


Full-time study will be organised as follows*:  

Students may complete all of these modules in Paris at ULIP, with possible short visits to London, or may choose to spend semester 2 in London and complete some modules in London at Queen Mary’s Mile End Campus.  

Semester 1

Teaching will take place in Paris at the University of London Institute in Paris. Students must complete the following two compulsory modules: 

Semester 2

Teaching can either take place in Paris at ULIP, or in London at Queen Mary: 

Paris at ULIP: Students will have to take the compulsory module – Research design and methods (15 credits) - and choose two optional modules: 

London at Queen Mary: Students will have to take the compulsory module – Geographical Thought and Practice, part 2 (15 credits) and suitable electives to the value of 60 credits from the range offered by the School of Geography, School of History and School of English Drama. 

Optional modules are indicative and may change from year to year. 

Students must declare their intention to spend semester 2 in London in the Autumn term. 


You will also be assessed on a supervised 15,000-word dissertation.

Dissertation supervision is available from associated faculty from both ULIP and Queen Mary, and dissertation projects are elaborated through a “Dissertation Day” bringing associated faculty and students together in semester 2.

Examples of previous dissertation topics include:

  • Paris through the Lens of Agnès Varda
  • Here Lived, Here Died, Here remembered: Reading Occupation and Liberation in the Plaques of Paris
  • Multiple Identities of the Contemporary Art Museum: the Pompidou Centre, Paris and the Tate Modern, London
  • Contaminated and contaminating: the female body in relation to space in Zola’s Paris.Paris by Postcard - How the Introduction of Photographic Process and the Influence of Government affected the Postcard Depiction of Paris in the Time of the Third Republic
  • A critique of neo-liberal urban environmental policy: a comparative study of London and Paris and their responses to cycling


Modules are assessed by coursework and a 15,000-word dissertation. Please consult relevant module documentation for details.


The programme is delivered via small-group seminars where you will be encouraged to discuss key issues and participate through seminar presentations. The programme will also be supported by a hands-on approach, including site visits and workshops. 

Seminars will be supplemented by consultations with advisers, option course leaders, and dissertation supervisors, which will include opportunities for one-to-one discussions of course content and plans for written work. 

Faculty/academic staff

Sessions are led by members of faculty from ULIP, and the Schools of History, Geography and English and Drama from Queen Mary in weekly seminars led by staff members with original research qualifications and interests in the area. 

Careers information

Studying the MA in Urban History and Culture will provide you with a deep understanding of the history and contemporary organisation of two capital cities through a multidisciplinary approach as well as develop a range of advanced analytical and research skills.  

Gaining a recognised postgraduate qualification with strong inter-cultural skills and international experience, along with a range of advanced project management skills will prepare you for many career paths or further study.

Previous graduates now work in a range of careers, including academia, NGOs, the travel industry, filmmaking, galleries, auction houses and photography.*

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2022-23

Full-time (September 2022)
  • UK full-time £10,950

  • International full-time £20,750

Part-time (Setpember 2022)
  • UK part-time £5,500

  • International part-time £10,400


There are a number of sources of funding available for the MA in Urban History and Culture. These include University of London scholarships covering tuition fees, external scholarships and government and private loans. We also offer an alumni discount to ULIP and UoL graduates. If you would like to find out more about this opportunity, please contact us.

University of London Scholarships

Thanks to the generosity of the University of London Convocation Trust and the Nathan, Quinn & Esmond funds, ULIP will be offering up to two fee waivers or equivalent tuition fee reductions per academic year for this course. The awards will be made on the basis of academic merit. 

These awards may waive the full tuition fees (at Home level) or offer a significant reduction in fees.

To be eligible for consideration, students must have submitted a complete application for the MA Urban and History and Culture by the deadline given below. 

To apply, students should submit a 300-word statement elaborating why they should be considered, highlighting their academic and professional merit and details of how the award will further their professional development to: 

The application deadline for the awards is 30 June 2022 (23:59)

External Sources of Funding

The level of competition for scholarships is generally very high and prospective students are encouraged to investigate sources of funding early on.

The following websites provide detailed information about sources of postgraduate funding:

The Student Room

UK Government Postgraduate Loan

A new system of postgraduate loans (PG Loan) for UK Masters degrees was introduced in 2016. Loans of up to £10,000 are available for eligible students, paid in three equal instalments across the academic year.

A number of eligibility criteria apply, including previous study, age, residency and location of study. Please note that even if students meet all other requirements, they can only be eligible for a PG Loan if they complete at least 50% of the programme in the UK. This means only students who choose to take the second term options at Queen Mary in London will be eligible for the loan.

Further information on eligibility and application information is available from

Loans for US Students

US students studying at ULIP are not eligible for US Federal Loans but can apply for a private loan from Sallie Mae. Students applying for a private loan need to notify ULIP Student Services for further instructions to ensure their loan can be confirmed.

How to apply

Applications are now open.

You can submit your details via our web form by clicking on the "Apply now" button above. Please note that you will need to submit the application in one go. Once you have completed the web form, you will be asked to email the following documentation:

  • A copy of your university transcript(s) and degree certificate(s). If you have not yet completed your degree, please provide a record of courses taken and grades achieved to date.
  • Two letters of reference. Please provide two references from your previous academic institution. If you have left university you may provide one academic and one employer reference. Letters of reference can be emailed to
  • A photocopy of a statutory identification document such as a passport. 
  • A Statement of Purpose. To be written in English, this should explain your reasons for wanting to study on this programme, and include reference to relevant (academic and/or occupational) experience. It should be no more than one side of A4.
  • A Resume / Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please provide a recent version of no more than two sides of A4.
  • Two samples of written work. These must be written in English and should take the form of short academic essay of approximately 2000 words.
  • Proof of English Language ability (non-native speakers only)

Important UK immigration information

Please note that applicants for the MA in Urban History and Culture cannot be sponsored by Queen Mary or ULIP for a Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission to study in the UK. This means that non-UK students who wish to study modules in London in Semester 2 will need to apply for immigration permission as a Short-Term Student and, if successful, will not be able to stay in the UK more than 6 months. Depending on their nationality, students will need to apply for a Short-Term immigration permission before they enter the UK or on entering the UK. Further information can be found via the Queen Mary University of London website

Earn a distinguished University of London degree in just one year

The programme is developed in partnership with Queen Mary University of London's School of History and School of Geography and the University of London Institute in Paris.

This programme offers an unparalleled opportunity to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of two great world cities: Paris and London.

You can choose a split-site option in London and Paris, or a full year in Paris

Our Urban History and Culture degree can be studied on a split-site basis in London and Paris, or you can choose to study for the full year in Paris.

You will have the unrivalled opportunity to immerse yourself in two of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and benefit from the exposure to the culture and traditions of two major European capitals.

Gain international experience as well as strong intercultural skills

Not only will you gain a global perspective, but you will also gain invaluable international experience while you are studying.

This programme will allow you to assess the contours of cultural difference and acquire strong inter-cultural understanding.

Dr Anna-Louise Milne, Director Graduate Studies and Research at the University of London Institute in Paris

Dr Anna-Louise Milne, Director Graduate Studies and Research at the University of London Institute in Paris

"Our MA in Urban History and Culture gives you Paris and London, with the breadth and expertise of a great research-led university and the intensity and support of a small urban campus."

Discover more reasons why you should choose ULIP.

Request a prospectus

If you would like to receive further information about this programme, register your interest by requesting a prospectus and ticking the 'Email' box.

Request a prospectus and register your interest