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Masters Degrees (Urban Geography)

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A NEW PROGRAMME WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION. Human Geography is a new Master’s programme that starts in September 2017. It stems from the former Economic Geography and Urban Geography programmes. Read more

A NEW PROGRAMME WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION

Human Geography is a new Master’s programme that starts in September 2017. It stems from the former Economic Geography and Urban Geography programmes. You can specialise in one of the two fields by choosing a track:

 

CITIES AND URBAN REGIONS: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONCERNS

Urban regions are bubbling, dynamic places where people get together and generate new ideas. They are breeding grounds for innovation and economic growth. Many people still move to the city, chasing their dreams: for a challenging career, a pleasant living environment, all the amenities within easy reach. And besides the local residents, large numbers of tourists visit the city seeking an entertaining stay.

The continuous urban growth in an increasingly global economy has both winners and losers. On the one hand, there are start-ups that expand to become large companies. While on the other hand, there are traditional companies that succumb to global competition. How can we explain success and failure?

Urban growth also leads to a great diversity of people and lifestyles, which ensure thriving communities. Yet there are also places where spatial and social inequalities reveal themselves between communities. This results in unpleasant living environments and neighbourhoods in decline. How do you breathe new life into those communities?

In the Human Geography Master's programme you learn how urban and economic issues are interwoven. As a student of the Human Geography Master’s, you will study the city and its economic developments from various academic perspectives and thematic angles, with an interdisciplinary approach.

AN INTERNATIONAL FOCUS

This Master’s programme has an international character. We welcome students from around the world onto the programme. This way you are provided with the opportunity to come into contact with other cultures and national contexts. You will go on an international fieldtrip and can complete your Master's thesis project and/or internship abroad. You will be able to find work in many fields, positions, and locations following graduation.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE AND WORKING METHODS

This Master’s programme gives you a thorough understanding of important urban and economic issues. You will receive comprehensive training in the methodological and critical analytical skills needed to find possible solutions for challenges in urban regions. Working from a scientific and theoretical foundation, you come into contact with the daily practice. Through guest lectures and practical assignments (active learning), you will learn what graduates do and be able to determine where you would be most at home.

Your choice of graduation subject and the accompanying research internship provides the best way for you to present yourself to future employers. The programme has made arrangements with various companies, research agencies and government organisations regarding internships and interesting research projects.



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RESEARCHING DIVERSITY IN CITIES AND REGIONS. Cities and regions throughout the world face challenges that require integrated knowledge of urban geography, economic geography, international development studies, and planning. Read more

RESEARCHING DIVERSITY IN CITIES AND REGIONS

Cities and regions throughout the world face challenges that require integrated knowledge of urban geography, economic geography, international development studies, and planning. In this Research Master’s programme in Urban and Economic Geography (previously known as Human Geography and Planning), you will gain a broad theoretical and methodological background that will allow you to become an academic or professional researcher of ongoing social, spatial, and economic developments in cities and regions. You can specialise in your preferred geographic sub-discipline while maintaining a broader perspective on the functioning of cities and regions, as well as the relevant theories and methods.

Diverse developments

Globalisation is subjecting cities and regions to continuous challenges such as increasing urbanisation and growing economic and social interdependences. Complex and dynamic relationships have developed between inhabitants, migrants, businesses, and institutions, and these relationships can foster innovation, creativity, and economic growth.

However, increasing urbanisation can also lead to social and economic inequalities, tensions between groups with different lifestyles, and threats to health and well-being. In addition, globalisation can reinforce economic disparities within regions and cities in both developed and developing countries. Environmental changes can also generate unhealthy living conditions and lead to a displacement of people and businesses. In general, regional and urban areas worldwide experience disparate development due to differences in their position in globalised systems; their location in a developed or developing country or region; and specific cultural, social, political, and economic characteristics.

As a student in this two-year Master’s programme, you will focus on research questions such as:

  • Why do regions and cities differ in terms of economic and innovative performance, creativity, and quality of life?
  • How do social and economic inequality and tensions arise within and between cities and regions?
  • How do individuals and businesses experience changes in their urban and regional conditions, and how do they respond to these changes?
  • Which governance systems and policies are most effective in addressing the social, economic, cultural, and mobility issues of the globalised and urbanised world?
  • How can we use and develop scientific theories and methodologies to investigate these issues?

Research skills and ethics

The course content includes various courses on research skills and philosophy in order for you to acquire both advanced research skills and an ethical framework. You will also participate in research, carry out your own research, and discuss your research with peers and advanced researchers throughout the programme. You will form an integral part of the research community at the Urban Future research centre (UF) of Utrecht during your studies. 

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

In Urban and Economic Geography, you will study the reasons behind the diverse developments in the globalised and urbanised world, and you will learn to translate up-to-date theoretical and methodological developments into empirical research. You will also formulate effective policy recommendations to make cities and regions more viable and sustainable.

As a graduate, you will have an excellent basis for completing a PhD in the fields of urban geography, economic geography, development studies, and urban and regional planning. You will also qualify for senior research functions within international and national organisations, such as the United Nations, Dutch ministries, regional and local bodies, NGOs, and multinational companies. You will be able to perform advanced scientific research within the fields of human geography and spatial planning. 



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Applicants are eligible for the Master in Urban Studies if they have completed a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, planning, architecture, history, criminology, political science, sociology, demography, media and communication studies, cultural studies, or a similar discipline. Read more

About

Applicants are eligible for the Master in Urban Studies if they have completed a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, planning, architecture, history, criminology, political science, sociology, demography, media and communication studies, cultural studies, or a similar discipline. Additionally, proof of fluency in English is required and should be sought well in advance of the application window.

Programme structure

The 120 ECTS curriculum combines the attractiveness of a flexible, modular and interdisciplinary programme that allows you to focus on your own interests within the domain of urban studies with a common core of compulsory courses to ensure that you develop the necessary urban skills and competences.

Common core

The common core contains a course on Brussels, one on the European dimension of cities and urbanisation, and a number of theoretical courses introducing you to the field of urban studies. By using Brussels as a unique case study in the programme and by organising various site visits in and around Brussels and excursions to cities in Europe, we benefit from our location in the centre of Europe. The common core also contains two modules introducing you to various urban methods and research approaches.

The core consists of the following courses:

Geographies of a Globalizing Europe (VUB, 6 ECTS, Bas van Heur)
Urban Social Geography (VUB, 6 ECTS, David Bassens)
Urban Economic Geography (ULB, 5 ECTS, Mathieu Van Criekingen)
Urban Sociology (ULB, 5 ECTS, Martin Rosenfeld)
Urban Sustainability and Circular Economy (ULB, 5 ECTS, Ahmed Khan)
Global City-Region Brussels (VUB, 6 ECTS, Joost Vaesen)
Urban Analysis I (VUB, 3 ECTS, Eva Swyngedouw)
Urban Analysis II (ULB, 5 ECTS, Corentin Debailleul)
Excursion I (VUB/ULB, 3 ECTS)
Excursion II (VUB/ULB, 3 ECTS)

Elective modules and courses

Before starting with the Master in Urban Studies, you are expected to choose two elective modules. The elective modules have a disciplinary and/or thematic orientation: this will allow you to specialise within subdomains of urban studies, while at the same time ensuring interdisciplinary training on the level of the overall programme.

We currently offer six elective modules, incorporating a large variety of disciplines from across the social sciences and humanities:

Urban History (18 ECTS)
Urban Criminology (15 ECTS)
Urban Geography (12 ECTS)
Urban Architecture (15 ECTS)
Urban Planning and Mobility (14 ECTS)
Urban Design (16/18 ECTS)
Besides the elective modules, we also offer a wide range of individual elective courses.

Internship

You can also choose to replace one elective module with an internship (15 ECTS), allowing you to gain experience in a working environment that is relevant to urban studies, such as an NGO, local government administration, consultancy firm or European network or institution. If you want to pursue a PhD following your Master education, you can also choose to do a research-oriented internship by working in a university department or another research institution.

Semester abroad

In the second year of your studies, it is possible to go abroad for a semester and study at one of our partner universities.

Master thesis

30 ECTS of your 120 ECTS programme is dedicated to the Master thesis. In the first year of your studies, you will choose a topic and develop your research design, whereas in the second year you will conduct most of the empirical research and write the actual thesis. Throughout the two-year process, there will be various moments of collective and individual supervision.

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The MA Cultural Geography (Research) is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2015-2016. The course was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography. Read more
The MA Cultural Geography (Research) is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2015-2016. The course was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography.

Twenty years later and Cultural Geography is one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines in contemporary geography. Our course reflects this dynamism. We combine core concepts with research methods training and interdisciplinary scholarship and practice. We develop this alongside innovative placements and research engagements with some of world’s top cultural institution, located on our doorstep in London.

Thematically cultural geography focuses on the interconnections between place,landscape, environment, mobilities and identity, and thus has profound relevance for the contemporary world. Our graduates go onto work in a range of sectors, including the arts and cultural sector, publishing, planning and urban policy, private and public sector research work as well as many carrying on to further doctoral study.

As profiles of our recent students (https://landscapesurgery.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/maculturalgeography/) show, the course attracts a diverse range of students from a range of backgrounds, not just those with geography degrees.

To see more about the activities around the MA Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, please look at our research group blog Landscape Surgery - https://landscapesurgery.wordpress.com/ .

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/maculturalgeography.aspx

Why choose this course?

- This well established course aims to provide research training and practice at Master’s level in Human Geography, with a particular emphasis on Cultural Geography; to prepare you for independent research at doctoral level in Human Geography; and to develop specialised knowledge and understanding of research, particularly involving cultural analysis, interpretation and practice.

- The course has a strong track record in gaining Research Council Funding for students. This includes ESRC 1+3 funding as well as funding from AHRC TECHNE. Please see the funding opportunities page for further details.

- The MA in Cultural Geography (Research) combines the vibrant research of the outstanding Social and Cultural Geography group with cutting edge teaching. The quality of our course was recognised by our external examiner as offering a gold-standard for the sector. Our teaching was nationally recognised by the student nominated award for “Best Teaching Team” (Arts and Humanities) at the National Prospects Post-Graduate Awards (2013).

- The programme includes cutting-edge conceptual teaching in themes such as theories of place and space, postcolonial geographies, geographies of knowledge, mapping and exploration, landscape, memory and heritage, geographies of consumption, material geographies, geographies of embodiment, practice and performance, critical urbanisms and creative geographies.

- At RHUL we are known for our commitment to collaborative research, offering you the chance to develop your seminar and tutorial-based learning alongside world leading cultural institutions. These include the Science Museum, V&A Museum, Museum of London, British Library, Natural History Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Institute for International Visual Arts, and the Royal Geographical Society.

- You will be well prepared to continue to a PhD, building on the research you have completed on this course.

Department research and industry highlights

Social and Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway emphasises the cultural politics of place, space and landscape. The Group's research stresses theoretically informed and informative work, values equally contemporary and historical scholarship, and engages with diverse geographical locations within and beyond the UK.

SCG is home to a large and intellectually vibrant postgraduate community. There are around 40-50 postgraduates in the Group at any time. Many of the past graduates of the MA and SCG PhDs are now established academics in their own right.

SCG is well-known for its collaboration with a range of cultural institutions beyond the academy; recent partners include the the Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Maritime Museum, British Library, British Museum, Museum of London and the Royal Geographical Society. The Group also has a tradition of including creative practitioners within its activities, as artists in residence, as research fellows and through participation in major research projects.

Many leading journals are edited by group staff, including Cultural Geographies, the Journal of Historical Geography, Geoforum, History Workshop Journal and GeoHumanities. Please see the Landscape Surgery blog for further information on Social and Cultural Geography activities at RHUL.

Course content and structure

The programme consists of four elements, all assessed by coursework.

- Element 1: Contemporary Cultural Geographies
This is a programme of seminars on current ideas, theory and practice in Cultural and Human Geography. It includes the following themes: theories of place; colonial and postcolonial geographies; biographies of material culture; embodiment, practice and place; geographies of consumption; culture, nature and landscape; space, politics and democracy; cultures of politics.

- Element 2: Methods and Techniques in Cultural Geography
This consists of a programme of workshops devoted to research methodologies and techniques in Cultural Geography. It includes research strategies and project design; reflexivity and ethics; ethnographic research; social survey; qualitative data analysis and computing; visual methodologies; interpreting texts; interpreting things; interpreting movement; negotiating the archives; the arts of cultural geography.

- Element 3: Research Training
You will be introduced to the culture of research in Human Geography and provided with a broad training for independent research within contemporary cultural geography. This element supplements the more specialised research training in research techniques in Element 2, and culminates in a 5,000 word research proposal for the Dissertation.

- Element 4: Dissertation
You will produce a substantial (15-18,000 word) research dissertation, under supervision.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- advanced knowledge and expertise in the field of Cultural Geography and its current research questions
- advanced knowledge in the ideas, approaches and substantive themes of contemporary Cultural Geographies
- advanced knowledge of the research methods and techniques of Cultural Geography
- knowledge of the culture of research.

Assessment

Assessment is by coursework only. Formative feedback and detailed ongoing discussion of work before final submission is a central part of the teaching ethos of the course. Students also have significant autonomy in the selection of topics for coursework and dissertation allowing them to develop particular interests and specialisms.

Contemporary Cultural Geographies (Element 1)
Assessed by two course essays of up to 5,000 words (25% of final mark).

Methods and Techniques in Cultural Geography (Element 2)
Assessed by two workshop reports of up to 5,000 words (25% of final mark).

Research Training (Element 3)
Assessed by a 5,000-word dissertation proposal and satisfactory completion of modules taken in the element (Pass required).

Dissertation (Element 4)
Assessed by submission of a completed dissertation of 15-18,000 words. (50% of final mark).

Employability & career opportunities

Throughout the MA we spend time exploring possible career trajectories with our students.

This includes working on PhD applications – over 50% of our students go onto do PhDs and many go into academic position thereafter.

We also run a series of placement days with key cultural institutions in and around London including, British Library, Royal Geographical Society and Kew that help students develop skills, experience and contacts.

In recent years our graduates have entered a range of sectors, including the creative industries (advertising and marketing), the museum and research sectors (British Library, National Archive, and research assistantships in various academic projects).

We offer a series of course and activities to support career development:

1) Transferable Skills sessions

During the course staff on the MA not only teach key ideas and research methods, but also help students hone a series of transferable skills. As well as writing and presentation skills, activities on Element three enable the development of team-working and delegation skills. We also hold a series of dedicated skills sessions during the course including social media skills and networking skills run both by staff and by specialists from the careers office.

2) Career Development sessions and workshops

Both staff on the MA and the specialist staff at RHUL career centre offer tailored career development sessions. These might involve talking about developing an academic career, exploring careers in the cultural sector, as well as generic skills such as preparing your CV and developing a Linkedin profile.

3) Cultural Engagements and Placements

Staff on the MA course make the most of their research links with arts and cultural organisations to help students develop placement based work during their course.

Element three activities are designed to help students build up their CVs but also their contacts, and we are happy to help arrange shorter placements during element 1 and 2 pieces or longer-term placements for dissertation work. Past placements have seen students working with a range of key cultural institutions in and around London including the Royal Geographical Society, Kew Gardens, Furtherfield Digital Media and The British Museum.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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APPLY BY 3 MAY 2018!. As events and transformations of the recent decades have forcefully shown, the urban question permeates all major social, economic and political developments of today. Read more

APPLY BY 3 MAY 2018!

As events and transformations of the recent decades have forcefully shown, the urban question permeates all major social, economic and political developments of today. The two-year Master’s programme in Urban Studies critically engages with the wide-ranging manifestation of contemporary urbanity. What shapes have the processes of urbanisation assumed today? How are urban spaces produced?

The programme foregrounds the unitary perspective of the city as a physical space, a social space and a space of design. It combines rigorous academic research with intensive fieldwork. The programme is situated at the trans-disciplinary crossroad of urban studies, urbanism and urban planning, architecture theory, sociology, urban ethnography and geography. Our students have academic backgrounds in architecture, social sciences or humanities. Integrating critical interrogation and experimental practice, the programme has a triple focus on social uses, spatial programmes and urban forms.

The form of assignments includes term-long research studios, intensive workshops, lectures, seminars and field trips. The distinctive mark of the Urban Studies programme is its reliance on theoretically-informed action in the field. We take students’ efforts seriously: the programme engages ‘real’ actors and create opportunities for public presentation, discussion and publication of the best works.

The Master’s programme is fully in English and has a strong international orientation. We cooperate with a network of partner institutions in Europe, and we are connected to regional partners in Finland, the Baltic countries and Russia. The curriculum includes a number of workshops and lecture courses by international scholars, architects, urban planners and activists.

The education prepares students to engage with urban issues at the intersection between design practice, political practice and theoretical knowledge (urban design, urban and spatial planning, state and municipal policy making, public expertise, community advocacy, social activism, academic and practice-based research). Our graduates work in public administrations, urbanism-focused NGOs, architecture design offices, private consultancies and advocacy organisations. The programme also prepares graduates for further study at the PhD level.

Programme structure

Knowledge and skills

The broad themes of the first three semesters are: 1) key concepts in urban studies, urban history; 2) urban scenarios and urban agenda setting; and 3) urban regeneration, the logic of urban interventions. The fourth semester is reserved for the Master’s Thesis project and Master Studio.

Structure of the Curriculum

Pedagogically, the curriculum consists of:

  • lectures courses, in which key debates in contemporary urban and architectural theory is presented;
  • reading seminars, where students are engaged in critical discussion of these debates;
  • projects (the core element of the programme), in which students learn how to deal with real situations, engage in them, analyse and propose solutions; a wide range of methods is introduced, including interventions, research, creative planning, urban design, urban management, and scenario planning; 
  • invited guest lecturers, in which bring the projects are complemented with the up-to-date knowledge from the field of urban design practice;
  • annually changing intensive modules on topical themes; these modules are shared between first and second year MA students, helping the two groups integrate;
  • excursions to cities in the Baltic Sea Region and Europe, where studied theoretical and design problems can be grasped in situ and in transnational perspective.

In many courses, Urban Studies students work in collaboration with students of architecture and urban landscapes. The student groups are small, and there are more contact hours per credit than in most comparable programmes.



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Goal of the pro­gramme. Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. The education in geography offers a broad understanding in current social and environmental issues. Our students can work as experts in their field, both independently and as members of multi-professional teams.

The teaching within the programme is connected with the work of the geography research groups. It is often possible to write the final thesis as part of work in a research group or a research institute in a related field. 

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into three study tracks (described in section 4).  Our students have been very successful in the job market after completing our programme.

The strengths of students who have completed our Master’s programme when it comes to research and expertise are:

  • their ability to apply theoretical knowledge 
  • a broad understanding of multi-layered regional issues 
  • strong interaction skills within multi-disciplinary groups of specialists
  • their ability to communicate in writing, orally, and graphically about geographical phenomena and research findings
  • their ability to utilise and interpret various kinds of research data
  • their versatile knowledge of methodology in geography
  • their ability to apply the newest methods in geoinformatics and cartography
  • their embracing of responsible and ethical scientifc practices

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The first year of the advanced module of the Master’s programme contains the method courses of your chosen study track, elective courses, and advanced literature. During this year you will start planning your Master’s thesis.

In the autumn of the second year, you will join a Master’s seminar and take exams on literature related to the MSc thesis. In the spring, you should be ready to present your finished MSc thesis (Pro gradu). In addition, you can take optional courses in both years that support your study track. If you are studying to be a teacher, you will take courses in pedagogy during your second year.

Studying takes many forms. A large part of the instruction is contact teaching. Method and specialisation courses are usually implemented in groups of 10-20 students, where it is easy to discuss professional issues and gain deeper insights. Independent study is supported through workshops supervised by older students, and reading circles. The Master’s programme also includes extensive exams on literature in the field.

Se­lec­tion of the study track

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into study tracks. The study tracks offer students the opportunity to specialise in different areas of geography. The Master’s programme contains both general and study track-specific courses. The teaching within the Master’s programme in geography is seamlessly connected with the Master’s programme in urban studies and planning, which is jointly implemented with Aalto University. 

The study tracks in the Master’s programme for geography are:

  • physical geography
  • human & urban geography and spatial planning
  • geoinformatics


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This MSc will provide you with a broad education in international planning and a specialism in urban design, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the management and design control processes of cities. Read more

This MSc will provide you with a broad education in international planning and a specialism in urban design, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the management and design control processes of cities.

Overview

We live in a rapidly urbanising world. Over 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities and this trend predicted to increase over the next 30 years.

The most rapid growth has been within cities in Asia and the Global South and these cities now face critical urban problems and challenges related to over-crowding, congestion, pollution and environmental damage, poor and failing infrastructure, sharpening inequalities in wealth, health and well-being, and issues associated with privatised governance and non-democratic control. Increasingly, national governments and municipal authorities are turning to professionals and practitioners in urban planning and design to help understand, tackle and address these major problems and challenges.

Urban planning and design is fascinating and tackles the challenges of change in a rapidly urbanising world. Our MSc International Planning and Urban Design explores the major problems and dilemmas of global cities within the context of planning and urban design and presents potential solutions through planning and design interventions. There is strong emphasis upon theoretical, methodological and empirical ways of understanding these problems as well as developing the practical and professional skills and competencies necessary to develop and achieve solution.

You will be provided with a broad education in international planning and a specialism in urban design, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the management and design control processes of cities, helping you shape your future career in professional practice.

The course is aimed at those wanting a career in the planning or urban design sector or policy environment (for instance, in the public and private sectors, Third Sector or non-governmental organisations) working on urban problems and solutions in an international context. It is also aimed at those wanting to move onto further academic research in planning and urban design.

Distinctive features

  • An international focus, specifically concerned with the major planning challenges faced by cities in Asia and the Global South
  • An introduction to key urban design skills and competencies. This will not only include practical design skills but also the knowledge and understanding of the often complex interaction between urban planning, regulation, policy and urban design, which urban practitioners have to negotiate.
  • An emphasis on the different spatial scales at which urban designers work, from small plots within the existing built fabric, to large planned neighbourhoods on underdeveloped land at the edge of cities.
  • An opportunity to learn not only how to plan and design a site but also how to work within the planning system to ensure that your plans and designs meet the needs of the city and conform to planning regulations.
  • A chance to engage with a range of stakeholders and apply multiple analytical and interpretative approaches to urban problems, as well as collaborate with organisations, governments and socio-economic sectors in different parts of the world.

Learning and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, computer lab and studio work where relevant.

Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information. In seminars you’ll have the opportunity to discuss particular themes or topics, to consolidate and get feedback on your individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation. In computer lab you will have the opportunity to learn various planning and research methods such as mapping, spatial analysis and statistics depending on the modules you take.

Studio work gives you the opportunity to learn various urban design skills such as site planning, street and neighbourhood level design, preparation and presentation of design boards and the use of urban design software.

You will practise and develop intellectual and presentational skills by participating in diverse learning activities, such as, small-group discussions, debates, oral presentations, independent research tasks and written assignments. You will also enhance your team-working skills.

Career prospects

After the completion of the programme, you will be able to work in a wide range of planning and urban design careers, including jobs in public, private and Third Sector organisations. It can involve policy-making (for instance, on urban and regional planning, urban design, sustainable urban development, housing, transport), consultancy on local and international development, project management, as well as further studies towards an academic career in planning and urban design studies.



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The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers you the space to explore your creative potential and understand how its application in design can interact with, adapt and change the landscape of cities and urban spaces and our experience within them. Read more
The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers you the space to explore your creative potential and understand how its application in design can interact with, adapt and change the landscape of cities and urban spaces and our experience within them.

•Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
•A new programme open to applicants from a wide range of first degree disciplines such as architecture, spatial design, landscape design, environmental art, geography and planning
•Join a strong research-focused academic community
•Prestigious Susan Cotton Travel bursary and the Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy postgraduate study awards available
•Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building

In a world of rapidly rising and migrating urban populations, there is a palpable need for smarter, more inclusive approaches to city planning, adaptation and spatial design.

Liverpool is a creative hub with a heritage of high quality civic design and creative urban engagement. The study of Urban Design is perfectly suited to the rich infrastructure of this truly global city. Read more about the outputs from the programme by visiting the Urban Design blog.

This programme has strong links with the RIBA North and the Liverpool Biennial which, every two years, delivers an international programme of exhibitions and projects that lead to a rediscovery of the city.

Based within the School’s Architecture and Urban Design subject area, this studio-based programme is nourished by the School’s burgeoning research in Urbanism and close association with the University's European Institute for Urban Affairs.

The curriculum has creative place-making at its core and we welcome applicants from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds such as architecture, planning, landscape architecture, art and spatial design.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Research & Practice 1

An introduction to some of the common principles of research in Art and Design, tailored to help you develop the skills required to become an effective independent researcher / practitioner.

Studio Practice (Urban Design)

Upon successful completion of an urban design project, you will acquire skills to analyse contemporary urban design themes through in-depth research and the intelligent development of a critical argument. You will also be able to evaluate innovative and visionary urban design theories and precedents in the context of the project work and synthesize knowledge and skills in the production of an urban design strategy for the redevelopment of a substantial piece of cityscape.

Research & Practice 2 (Urban Design)

You will be presented with an overview of urban scale sustainable design principles and objectives. You will then explore a range of contemporary sustainable best practice case studies. These principles will then be applied in practical project work, exploring urban design sustainability benchmarks and audit methodologies. You will thereby be provided with a range of theoretical tools to support independent conceptual and critical evaluation of sustainable urban design. Tools will be explored such as to enable students to understand and evaluate the environmental impact and ecology of urban design proposals

Collaborative Practice

Here you will be given the opportunity to think through, re-situate and re-imagine how the term ‘collaboration’ can affect and develop your own developing art and design practice in the broadest sense. A framework of teaching, study and assessment that will allow the student to develop a realizable collaborative project proposal that has the capacity to be developed into a fundable/sustainable project/collaboration.

Final Major Project (Urban Design)

Through a major project you will explore and apply a contemporary urban design theme through in-depth research and intelligent development of a critical argument or creative piece of work.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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Jointly delivered by Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society at Heriot-Watt University, this programme builds upon the expertise and knowledge developed in both institutions. Read more

Jointly delivered by Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society at Heriot-Watt University, this programme builds upon the expertise and knowledge developed in both institutions.

The MSc in Urban Strategies & Design is taught by academic researchers with international research experience, links and interests, in a range of urban areas. This wealth of knowledge and the use of contemporary pedagogies is integrated into the programme’s delivery.

The programme encourages the adoption of a comprehensive approach towards the delivery of socially sustainable urban transformation, from local-specific to global-regional interventions. You will study the wide and diverse range of social, economic and political processes that influence the development of the contemporary urban environment. The course also seeks to enable you to acquire the tools and skills to propose urban projects of diverse scales and specificities.

Students on the programme come from a range of multidisciplinary backgrounds and work collaboratively to understand how urban design approaches respond to contemporary urban transformations. This analysis is framed not only from a Western perspective but acknowledges that urban transformations in the urban north are increasing interlinked with activities in the urban south. Course pedagogy involves traditional lectures, seminars, excursions and other relevant group activities.

The city of Edinburgh offers a unique laboratory for exploration of current urban design issues. The city’s renaissance to ‘Geddesian’ planning history, and more contemporary international planning pedagogy and consultancy links to urban institutions and bodies, particularly in the global south, provides a good platform from which to support student-led, location-based dissertations.

The programme seeks to address the gap between architecturally driven urban design and higher-level, spatial planning-driven, urban design;, bringing together a range of approaches relevant to urban design that are currently being developed within different professional and disciplinary practices, ranging from engineering to human geography.

Programme structure

You will study four compulsory courses at Heriot-Watt University in semester one, then study one compulsory course and one option course at the University of Edinburgh in semester two.

Should you wish to write an Africa or Latin America focused dissertation, you will choose African Cities or Latin American Cities options within the USD programme. Otherwise you can select any option course being offered at Edinburgh University which fits with your second semester timetable.

Once all coursework is completed, you will go on to write your USD dissertation, over a ten-week period, on an urban theme topic of your choice. Defined dissertation support will be provided, and submission formats discussed.

Career opportunities

An MSc in Urban Strategies & Design enables you consider career opportunities from local to international contexts in a range of disciplines: architecture, planning, landscape architecture, urban planning strategies and development planning. These career opportunities exist in the formal, (public and private) voluntary, and international development sector. There are also opportunities to proceed to further academic research at masters or doctoral level.



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Our program introduces students to independent research while broadening and deepening their contact with a selected aspect of Geography. Read more

Our program introduces students to independent research while broadening and deepening their contact with a selected aspect of Geography. Research can be conducted in these general thematic sub-disciplines: Economic Geography; Feminist Geography; Historical Geography; Indigenous Geographies; Political Geography; Social and Cultural Geography; Urban Geography; Environment and Sustainability; and Geographic Information Science.

What makes the program unique?

Our program is flexible. Students can complete our MA program on a full-time or part-time basis. You will be mentored by outstanding scholars in geography.

Career options

Our program gets you started on track – Graduates of our M.A./ M.Sc. program have been hired as professionals in government, consulting agencies, non-governmental organizations, business and as instructors at colleges and universities. Many have gone on to continue their doctoral study.



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Explore the creative interplay between urban theory and the visual representation of urban cultures and places. . This programme has been developed by the . Read more

Explore the creative interplay between urban theory and the visual representation of urban cultures and places. 

This programme has been developed by the Centre for Urban and Community Research to encourage creative interplay between practice and theory. You'll have the chance to consider cutting-edge debates in cultural and social theory in a research setting that actively encourages the development of photographic practice.

The programme offers working photographers, visual artists and media practitioners space to reflect critically on their practice.

It also offers those with a background in sociology, urban and cultural geography, cultural studies or anthropology the opportunity to combine visual forms of representation with standard forms of research techniques in investigating urban life and the physical environments of the city.

Modules & structure

Core modules

As well as these modules, you will complete a Dissertation and Major Visual Project (60 credits).

The Dissertation can comprise two parts: a portfolio and a 5-6,000-word Dissertation, or you may submit a 10-12,000-word written Dissertation. The Dissertation will consist of: an account of the rationale of the photographic project; a critical evaluation of photographic practice and issues of reflectivity and knowledge production. In combination with the written part you will be expected to provide evidence of a sustained and coherent body of photographic work focusing on an aspect of urban culture for assessment. Previously, work from Final Visual Projects has been shown on a virtual gallery space linked to the CUCR website.

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills

This MA develops skills in urban photography, visual ethnography and urban research, communications for urban planning, community arts and visual arts practice.

Careers

Graduates of the programme have progressed to the following areas and careers:

  • Doctoral studies
  • curating
  • public relations
  • urban planning
  • advertising
  • community artseducation
  • social research
  • journalism

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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Cities are now a critical focus for research, policy-making and public debate. According to the United Nations, three-quarters of the global population will live in cities by 2050. Read more

Cities are now a critical focus for research, policy-making and public debate. According to the United Nations, three-quarters of the global population will live in cities by 2050. This MSc develops innovative, comparative and interdisciplinary modes of analysis and research that can address the scale and complexity of contemporary urbanism.

About this degree

Students develop an advanced understanding of urban theory, and explore the main urban developments shaping the contemporary world. The programme focuses on the interface between theory and practice across a diverse range of topics, from historic patterns of urban change to large-scale challenges such as slums, poverty and access to basic services, and current developments in urban design and the visual arts.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme offers two pathways, standard and research.

The standard pathway consists of three core modules (45 credits), five options (75 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). Research consists of four core modules (75 credits), three options (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Urban Imaginations
  • Cities, Space and Power
  • Urban Practices
  • Research route only:
  • Social Science Research Methodologies (30 credits)

Optional modules

Options may include the following: 

  • Asian Cities in a Globalising South
  • London: Aspects of Change
  • Creative Cities
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Community Participation in City Strategies
  • Comparative Urbanism
  • Spatial Planning
  • Migration and Urban Multicultures
  • Anthropology of Architecture
  • Planning Practices in Europe
  • Thinking Space
  • Transforming Local Areas
  • Representation of Cities

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an individual research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, field trips, tutorials, discussion groups, presentations and group work. Assessment is through coursework in the form of essays, and the dissertation.

Careers

Since the launch of the Urban Studies MSc in 2008/2009, graduates from the programme have found employment in a variety of sectors such as municipal and local government, urban political organisations, art consultancies, communications companies, financial services, social enterprise initiatives, cultural institutions, community development organisations and think tanks.

Urban Studies graduates have an impressive record of continuing their research as PhD students - in geography, development planning, and architectural design - in the UK as well as in Europe and North America: at the University of Zurich; the Open University; UCL; LSE; Universidade do Porto; TU Berlin; and the University of Minnesota.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Market Business Analyst, Transport for London (TfL)
  • Secondary School Teacher (Geography and Mathematics), Ministry of Education - Singapore
  • Research Administrator, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • PhD in Geography, UCL
  • Academic, İzmir Kâtip Çelebi Üniversitesi (Izmir Kâtip Çelebi Universite)

Employability

This programme will significantly improve the knowledge and skills necessary for careers in academia, public and private research, and other commercial and professional fields where an advanced understanding of cities and urban change is required. Through this programme students will meet leading practitioners from the fields of architecture, journalism, transport planning, environmental management, art and urban activism. You will become part of a growing international network of graduates who are a valuable source of advice, information and guidance for current students.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Urban Laboratory is the result of a unique collaboration between four faculties: Arts & Humanities, the UCL Bartlett, Engineering Sciences, and Social & Historical Sciences. It brings together the best urban teaching and research at UCL and this range of expertise will make this programme unparalleled in scope both within the UK and internationally.

Urban research at UCL draws on a rich heritage of ideas including the groundbreaking insights of figures such as Patrick Abercrombie, Peter Hall, Ruth Glass and Reyner Banham.

UCL's engagement in wider public debates in London and internationally regarding the future design and planning of cities is a distinctive feature of our research.



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Master's specialisation in Urban and Cultural Geography. Cities are the vibrant and dynamic focal points of today’s society. These diverse agglomerations of people, companies and organisations are both locations for innovation and for conflict. Read more

Master's specialisation in Urban and Cultural Geography

Cities are the vibrant and dynamic focal points of today’s society. These diverse agglomerations of people, companies and organisations are both locations for innovation and for conflict. Cities are regarded as creative places as well as conflictual places for divergent communities. In this Master's specialisation you will study how different actors influence the physical form of cities but also the way in which they present and understand the character and identity of cities and how they make use of the typical urban environment in their daily activities. They create and make cities.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ucg

Entry Requirements (Additional)

The requirements for admission include:

- a bachelor degree in Human Geography received from Radboud University or another relevant bachelor degree with at least 24 EC in conflict studies and/or political geography

- Having successfully completed a course in social scientific research methods is highly recommended and will increase your chance of getting selected for this specialisation

- excellent proficiency in English

- a letter of motivation

- two letters of recommendation

- list of your grades obtained during previous training

Career prospects

The Master's specialisation Urban and Cultural Geography prepares students for a professional career in government, semi-government, and business. It also provides a stepping stone towards a research career in academia or consultancy. You will be able to apply the scientific insights and the practical skills you have acquired to topics including the development and marketing of cities, multi-culturality and integration, innovative and creative urban milieus, urban identities, cultural industries.

This would qualify you for a whole range of different jobs. Some of you might find a job in a government agency, e.g. as city-manager, city marketeer, city planner, integration agent, city-network manager, PR- manager, etc. Others will end up in semi-government agencies such as development agencies, cultural planning agencies, but also research institutes, etc. Finally also private industry offers a number of opportunities for urban and cultural specialists. One might think of jobs such as event manager, museum director, city marketeer, consultant, journalist, innovation consultant, communication manager or media specialist.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ucg



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In 2010 the UN estimated that more than half of the planet’s population live in cities and projected that this will increase to 66% by the middle of the century. Read more

In 2010 the UN estimated that more than half of the planet’s population live in cities and projected that this will increase to 66% by the middle of the century. Cities have become the nodes of a global economic network and are the foci for flows of people, goods, energy, food etc. In addition, although occupying less than 1% of the Earth’s surface they transform the natural environment radically and are the main geographical drivers of environmental change at local, regional and global scales. At the same time, cities are social constructions that can be changed and managed through human intervention to enhance well-being and liveability.

This MSc looks at urban environments holistically by integrating the perspectives of human and physical geography to explore urban environments. Exploration is complemented by developing fieldwork and geospatial skills. The key objective of the course is to address the challenge of achieving global sustainability by making resource efficient, smart and liveable cities.

The use of the vibrant, dynamic city of Dublin as an urban laboratory will provide an opportunity for collaboration on external projects with a range of urban stakeholder groups, developing professional networks and skillsets accordingly. This is complemented within the School of Geography, a top-100 department in QS subject rankings, by dedicated geospatial facilities for research students.

Programme Outcomes

The MSc Urban Environment focuses on how we might progress towards global sustainability by focusing on the development of more resource efficient, smart and liveable cities. The programme integrates the perspectives of human and physical geography to explore urban environments as complex physical and social systems. The vibrant, dynamic city of Dublin is an ideal urban laboratory within which we can develop and engage in collaborative projects. We value holistic approaches to learning and active, sustained engagement with issues of societal importance. We challenge our students to develop as spatially-sensitive global citizens and encourage them to be reflective and critical thinkers. In this programme, we particularly value the application of academic learning to the urban environment of Dublin in particular through collaborative engagement with external stakeholders. The School of Geography provides a high quality learning and research environment for graduate students and has pioneered innovative teaching and learning methodologies in the online and face-to-face environment. As well as small-group seminars, project-based learning and teamwork, fieldwork is a core element of the MSc Urban Environment programme.

  • Focussed on integrating technical skills (e.g. GIS) with fieldwork and lectures to provide a comprehensive understanding of dynamic urban environments.
  • International perspective on global cities but uses Dublin (a multi-cultural city that is undergoing transformation) as a testbed for exploring urban environments.
  • Draws upon expertise at UCD across a range of disciplines. Provides freedom to specialise in areas of interest.

Careers & Employability

The MSc Urban Environment is designed to provide students with the key knowledge and practical transferable skillsets that will be a benefit in many careers. Graduates may progress to careers in: further research, academic and professional; professional training in related disciplines; consultancy; GIS; and research careers in the private sector, public service or with community groups.



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Researchers can specialise in geography, geographical information science, environmental studies, development studies, international childhood studies, or community, youth and voluntary sector studies. Read more
Researchers can specialise in geography, geographical information science, environmental studies, development studies, international childhood studies, or community, youth and voluntary sector studies. Our MPhil/PhD programmes aim to train you to conduct research of the highest academic standard and to make an original contribution to the subject through your research. Our doctoral programme aims to respond to the needs and interests both of students seeking an academic career or other professional employment and of those who wish to pursue a line of intellectual enquiry for its own sake. We aim to recruit both recent graduates and mature students who now have the time to pursue an intellectual enthusiasm, perhaps after a lifetime of professional work.

Our students benefit not only from the advisory insight of specialist academics within the department, but also from a wider culture of support and advice from staff and other research students. We see our research students as a central part of our community, who play a key role in the vitality of the wider research process. Those completing our research degrees in the past have often moved on into highly skilled occupations in both the commercial and academic worlds.

Research students in GEDS are able to participate in subject-specific doctoral seminars and can attend relevant modules on any of the MSc degrees offered within GEDS as part of their research training. Students also have the opportunity to participate in guest lectures, films and workshops offered both within the department and in wider groupings such as the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, the Institute of Voluntary Action Research, and the London International Development Centre. We offer financial assistance for conference attendance where appropriate.

Studying for an MPhil in any of the areas offered in GEDS involves working closely with a small group of staff on an independent research project. This means that we are only able to accept students whose proposed research project lies within the areas of expertise of our staff. If there is a particular member of staff you would like to work with, please contact them to discuss your project before applying.

Community, Youth and Voluntary Sector Studies

The department offers supervision in theoretical perspectives and understandings of community theory and practice and youth and voluntary sector studies. Staff in this research area have established excellent links with professional organisations in their fields and also have international links with academic institutions in the USA and South Africa, working collaboratively on issues concerning religion and race in public life.

Development Studies

The department offers supervision in theoretical and empirical research on practices and experiences of development. Our research areas include ageing, childhood, gender and development, migration, NGOs and political activism, regional specialisation in Latin America and South Asia, rights, social policy, urban and rural poverty, and visual culture and development.

Geography

Research study in geography can take a wide variety of forms across the social and physical sciences dependent on topic, but the common thread is the distinctive perspective, often interdisciplinary, that a geographical approach to research offers. Key research interests are: cities and socio-spatial inequality, coastal geomorphology and coastal policy, food security and climate change, flooding and flood insurance, impact of environmental change on nature and agriculture, long-term river behaviour and climate change, remote sensing, renewable energy, and social and urban geography.

Geographical Information Science

At Birkbeck, we pride ourselves in offering one of the longest-running GISc programmes. The Birkbeck GISc academic team works in a broad range of areas of geographic information knowledge, including spatial analytical methods, cartography and visualisation, remote sensing, and geocomputation and their research activities are at the forefront of GIS development.

International Childhood Studies

The department offers supervision in theoretical and empirical research on practices and experiences of childhood. Our research areas include cultures of childhood, visual culture and representation of childhood, the governance of childhood, childhood and social identities, and histories of childhood.

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