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Urban informatics is the study of how rich behavioural data from cities and their citizens can be collected, analysed, understood, and communicated through computation. We seek to inform improvements that can increase the wellbeing of city residents, whether by government organisations or industries involved in providing services in cities. Our Urban Informatics MSc equips students with the technical, analytical, and communication skills required to conduct effective urban data analysis, with experience of detailed case study topics and the communication of results to effect change.

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here.

  • Draws from both natural and social science areas to provide a rounded degree that combines the technical and social aspects of urban informatics.
  • Based in the unique Centre for Urban Science and Progress London (CUSP London), with connections to New York University and the University of Warwick.
  • Located in central London, with opportunities to interact with government agencies and for grounded case studies using London as a lab to drive effective learning.
  • Friendly and supportive learning environment, with students from across the globe.
  • Based in the Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, with links to both Health and Social Science and Public Policy and world-leading teaching and research.

Description

The first term provides foundation modules in core data science techniques, the theories underlying the study of cities, and ways to communicate analyses so as to affect policy- making. The second term focuses on data analysis for cities, providing insight into both spatial and network analysis as well as providing more depth on data mining techniques.

In term two you will also take a specialised module exploring one aspect of city life, such as air pollution or mental health, in real depth and detail. This provides a testbed for the analysis techniques learnt, enabling students to develop confidence and experience with handling urban data. In the summer term you will also engage in a substantive individual project – connected to our research interests – tackling one of a range of urban informatics topics.

Teaching

We use lectures and computer lab sessions to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

You are expected to spend approximately 10 hours of work per credit for each module you attend in your degree, e.g. 150 hours work for a 15 credit module. These hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, independent study, coursework and preparation for examinations.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

The assessment for this degree is primarily through written reports, software-based data analyses, and written examinations. You may also be assessed by oral presentation, class tests, projects and data visualisation or infographics. The nature of assessment varies by module.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Spatial Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Computer Programming for Data Scientists (15 credits)
  • Data Mining (15 credits)
  • Statistics for Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Telling Stories with Data (15 credits)
  • Network Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Urban Analytics (15 credits)
  • Urban Informatics Individual Project (60 Credits)

Optional Modules

In addition, you are also required to take 15 credits from a range of optional modules which may typically include:

  • Air Pollution Science and Health (15 credits)
  • Big Data in Urban Mental Health (15 credits)

Career prospects

The MSc in Urban Informatics equips you for future opportunities within business, government, NGOs and the third sector, where expertise in using analytics and data science to solve urban problems is increasingly essential.

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Visit the Urban Informatics MSc page on the King’s College London website for more details!

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