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MA Cities and Global Development

Course Description

About the course

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute

The largest and fastest-growing cities in the world are in low and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This new course explores the urban development and planning challenges faced by governments and people in these regions and provides you with the analytical and practical tools to address them.

The MA uses cutting-edge theories in both urban and development studies to engage with changes in the global south, including: the globalisation of production and consumption, rapid urbanisation, environmental change, and the spread
of new forms of governance.

Optional modules include a team-based student consultancy project for an external client in the field of international urban development. There’s also a field class in the global south.

The course is suitable for recent graduates and those with professional experience.

It’s excellent preparation for careers (or further research) in international development, urban governance, planning and environmental policy focused on the global south.

Where your masters can take you

Our graduates work in planning, real estate and related professions with private sector planning and real estate consultants, local authorities, policy analysts and international development and design agencies.

How we rate

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) says we’re the best RTPI-accredited planning school in the UK. 85 per cent of our research is classed as ‘world-leading’ ‘internationally excellent’ with ‘outstanding impacts’.

How we teach

Nothing is more important to us than your career. We work closely with industry to make sure our courses are up-to-the-minute and relevant so you’ll learn the skills you need to make it to the top in your chosen profession.

You’ll go on site visits and and take part in exercises that simulate real global challenges. Past field trips have included trips to London, Seoul, Cairo and Istanbul. We also organise work placements with planning agencies.

There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials. You’re assessed on your coursework and a dissertation.

Autumn semester

Core modules: Theorising the City in the Global South; Urban Development in the Global South; Ideas and Practice in International Development; Research Methods.

Spring semester

Core modules: Urban Design in the Global South; International Field Class.

Examples of optional modules

International Urban Development Consultancy Project; Sustainable Development: a critical perspective; Managing Cities: the Seoul case study ; Public Participation; Regional Policy and Governance.

Visit the MA Cities and Global Development page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nademm Ahmed

3590.jpg I decided to pursue the MA Intentional Development & Planning degree (now named Cities & Global Development) because it seeks to answer the questions that I believe are some of the most pressing in the world today and for the future, particularly in development.

My fondest university memory was of the course field trip to Kadiköy in Istanbul. The field trip provided an excellent opportunity to put into practice some of the theory that we had been learning about in the class room, such as participatory processes, and allowed us to experience first hand some of the problematic effects of uncontrolled urbanisation, such as gentrification. The field trip essentially filled the gulf between theory and practice and allowed us to interact with various stakeholders in Kadiköy providing first hand experience of unbridled urbanisation and the very real effect it has on communities, people and places. Luckily we also had time to take in some of the sights and sounds of the beautiful city whilst we were there which was an added bonus!

I will soon be undertaking an internship with the UN Habitat based in their Kathmandu office in Nepal. My role will revolve around the needs of the office at the time but will largely include supporting the Programme Management Department focusing on thematic areas such as Habitat III, the Post 2015 Development agenda, and the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference for Housing and Urban Development. After the recent earthquakes in Nepal I can imagine that there is also going to be a large focus within the department towards the post disaster reconstruction and risk reduction, which I also hope to gain experience from having covered these subject areas within my dissertation research project. In terms of my day to day duties within the department I believe I will be undertaking tasks such as assisting in the preparation of draft concept papers & background documents, assisting in the development of project concept notes; project briefs & project documents for resource mobilisation, and assisting in communication & information management between country level & regional partners.


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent qualification at undergraduate level and/or relevant practical experience. English language requirements: overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

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