The programme offers you the broad theoretical perspectives of urban studies on cities and regions. It aims towards you who are genuinely interested in cities, urban life and all expressions of urbanity.
Malmö_urbanity_200pxThe subject of urban studies involves interdisciplinary studies of urban areas content, form, planning and development. Urban Studies offers theoretical and academic perspectives on the developments in cities and the environmental changes that surrounds us.
You will learn about cities both as stable and slow-changing structures of buildings, streets, cables and pipelines, and as dynamically crossing flows of people and goods. You will also learn about urban visions, programmes and plans and the various processes and projects that shape them. In addition, you will learn that the city is largely expressed through its everyday life and through the unplanned and spontaneous actions that contribute to its atmosphere and attraction.
Theoretical studies are combined with independent case studies about complex urban phenomena. The case studies are organised with agencies, organisations and companies. You will have plenty of opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge in case studies dealing with urban situations and problems. The education takes place in the midst of the Öresund region, which offers an abundance of examples and issues reflecting global urban development.
Understanding contemporary urban development, planning and management strategies requires a broad and advanced expertise in social and spatial processes.
Working with urban development has increasingly come to require understanding forms of mobility and shifts over time, a perspective quite different from viewing the city as a static physical entity. Projects that consciously deal with time, experiments and development processes question results of planning in the form of specific products and thus leave more space for spontaneity and initiated processes. Participatory processes involving wider and alternate groups in society open up possibilities for deepening democracy and increasing equality, not least by making use of everyday users' experience. The programme emphasises boundary-crossing work methods, answering to the need for intersectoral and interdisciplinary competence in the field of urban studies.
The programme is based on student-active learning which expects you to contribute actively and enthusiastically. Your experience of urbanity – ranging from everyday practicalities to academic studies – forms an important starting point for the programme.
You will present, comment and discuss your work and be the critic of your fellow students work. You will – independently and in groups – carry out studies of environments and contexts in the city and the region. You will also present the results of your studies in the form of texts and illustrations, oral presentations as well as sketches for solving problems in the form of schedules and suggestions for concrete designs.
The Urban Studies research field comprises a set of methods that you as a student will face from the very beginning. Theoretical studies will alternate with empirical field studies, made independently or in groups. Basic knowledge about the complex processes involved in the organisation, planning and administration of cities and urban regions form an important part of the programme.
The teaching also covers several geographical levels – from the local to the global – and their mutual influence. Urban actors' varying power and possibilities to influence the development are emphasised.
During the first two terms, the focus is on discovering and understanding the city as a range of phenomena where humanities and social science perspectives – with a strong emphasis on space, flow and rhythm – play an important role. During the second year, you will be offered in-depth and specialisation studies. The third semester you can spend either on an elective international programme with relevance to urban studies or attend one of the elective courses at Malmö University. The fourth term will be devoted to essay-writing and seminars focusing on the essay topics chosen by yourself and your fellow students.
After completing your education you can work across organisation boundaries with management and coordination of city development. This may involve working in projects and processes with tasks spanning across different sectors in public authorities and in companies, for instance as researcher, coordinator and project leader. Your future employers may be found in businesses, public authorities and organisations working with aspects of buildings, cities and regions.
The master’s programme also provides a solid basis for PhD studies.
The aim of the programme is that students should deepen their knowledge of Urban Studies to be able to participate in research or qualified urban development reports.
In the first year students will acquire an overview of the field of Urban Studies and its development. Students will then deepen their knowledge about current urban challenges in a global perspective as well as the growth of different urban conditions and forms. After this, students will deepen their abililty to critically examine and describe the encounter between people's everyday life and the physical forms of the city. At the end of the first year an independent project is conducted.
During the second year students take elective courses of 30 credits. To complete this part of the programme they can choose to do international studies at one of Malmö University's/Urban Studies' partner universities or take elective courses at the Department of Urban Studies and Malmo University. The second year concludes with a Master's Thesis of 30 credits.
Master's Degree (120 credits).
Degree of Master of Science (120 Credits) with a Major in Urban Studies
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Urban Studies at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
For the MSc by Research Urban Studies programme you will be guided by internationally leading researchers through an extended one-year individual research project. There is no taught element. The MSc by Research in Urban Studies has a recommended initial research training module (Science Skills & Research Methods), but otherwise has no taught element and is most suitable for you if you have an existing background in geography or cognate discipline and are looking to pursue a wholly research-based programme of study.
The MSc by Research Urban Studies enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Urban Studies programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.
As part of the Urban Studies programme, you will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.
Swansea is a research-led University and the Department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a Postgraduate Geography Student in Urban Studies you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.
In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Geography research at Swansea was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as World-leading or internationally excellent.
As a student of the Urban Studies programme you will have access to:
Computer laboratory with 24 computers providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Computer laboratory with 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications
Specialist laboratory suites for stable isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation
In addition, the computing facilities include 15 dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ Supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.
All academic staff in Geography are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture and a strong postgraduate community.
The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.
Research groups include:
Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation
Migration, Boundaries and Identity
Social Theory and Urban Space
Upon completing the master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning, you will be able to:
Upon completing the Master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning, you will be able to:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master's programme in Urban Studies and Planning is offered by the University of Helsinki (Faculty of Science, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Arts) and Aalto University (School of Arts Design and Architecture and School of Engineering).
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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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
Options may include the following:
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.
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
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.
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.
Cities are core to human political, social, and economic life (Storber, 2013) and there is significant and growing academic debate and empirical research around the role and effect of city living. There are also significant questions raised in real world governance, planning and public policy around cities, both in the developed world (for instance, policy debate around the devolution agenda in the UK, specifically in terms of Greater Manchester) and in BRICS (for example, spatial planning issues for growing Chinese cities (reflected in the international conference being held this year in China urban development at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL).
The programme aims to contribute to this debate, drawing our key research strengths, and maximising our position in Manchester and within the devolution agenda. The programme will be interdisciplinary, teaching will be research led (drawing on our best research areas), and will include practical and vocational opportunities through a proposed project-based element in partnership with Manchester City Council. The programme design recognises that international students, particular those with an interest in urban policy from BRIC countries, may need language and academic skills support before they join the main programme. It also provides data analysis modules, using real big data available to the university through the Big Data Centre.
Urban studies is a growing area for PGT programmes in the UK and the USA. Such programmes are either located in town planning (leading to professional certification, and not directly relevant to this proposal), or in the social sciences (geography, public policy/administration, sociology). A small number of these are interdisciplinary, though typically do not include architecture and social sciences as proposed here, positioning this course as one of the leading courses in its field. Additionally, the University of Mancheser has recently launched the Manchester Urban Institute, drawing together a number of research centres looking at the urban as a unit of analysis/focus of empirical research, and placing Manchester as a leading city in the area of Urban Studies. This does link to a number of existing PGT programmes, largely single disciplinary and/or in town planning/architecture.
This programme provides an understanding of the key themes of contemporary geographical thought and allows you to develop an appreciation of the methodological implications of such theoretical developments.
Human geography and urban studies are dynamic and pertinent areas of the social sciences, drawing together concerns with space, economy, society and the environment. In addition to the understanding key geographical themes and methodology insight, you will be able to develop a substantive field of research interest.
This programme will be of interest if you have studied geography or a related social science subject at undergraduate level and are now looking for a more focused introduction to human geographical research. It is designed as preparation for study at PhD level, as well as further training in a broad range of substantive geographical and environmental themes. It draws on the breadth of theoretical understanding, research expertise and practical experience in the Department as well as the strength of LSE’s offering across the social sciences, allowing for learning in specialised courses elsewhere in LSE.
Many graduates from this programme go on to do PhD degrees, while others enter a wide variety of employment including consultancy, the public sector and education.
This certificate offers a Masters level, flexible introduction to key issues in contemporary cities and debates in urban scholarship. It allows you to select from a range of courses on offer in a leading centre of urban research and teaching.
Career opportunities include working within central or local government, the public or voluntary sector in a policy making or evaluation role.
This is an innovative and interdisciplinary program that focuses on the relationship between global processes and cities, particularly on how political, economic, and social structures interact on the urban, local and global scale. Students may specialize in urban and global studies.
The program in sociology and social anthropology emphasizes interdisciplinary and critical approaches to social issues. The integrated study of two disciplines fosters an environment that is conscious of the historicity of social science categories and theories, their meaning in different cultures and engagement in the practical world.
The majority of the department’s alumni find employment in academia, NGOs or the private sector. Many master’s degree graduates pursue doctoral degrees.
CEU is committed to attracting talented students and scholars from around the world and provides generous merit-based scholarships available to students from any country.