With over 50 percent of the world’s population now living in cities there has been an increasing trend to associate global issues with urban issues. Cities have been seen as the causes of global problems – as sources of pollution and environmental damage; as concentrations of economic polarisation and sharpening social inequalities; as sites of privatised governance and non-democratic control. Alternatively, and increasingly, cities are seen as potential solutions to these global problems – from the benefits of urban density for reducing pollution and supporting sustainable energy regimes, through to sustainable economic transformations to reduce poverty, and as sites of experiments in new urban politics and social movements.
This course explores the dimensions of contemporary urbanisation in the context of the challenges and opportunities of contemporary processes of globalisation. There is an emphasis on analysing, from a theoretical and methodological point of view, the practical aspects of problem solving in the context of the globalised city and anticipated city futures.
We offer a programme that focuses on the changing nature of cities and urbanisation in a globalising world. It looks at the major problems and dilemmas of globalised urbanisation – urban growth and its environmental impacts, the role of cities in a globalised economic system; urban mobilities and transport systems; governing cities in a globalising world.
The course is aimed at those aiming to move onto further geographical/urban academic research or a career in a practice/policy environment (public, private, NGO, Third Sector) working on urban problems and solutions (economic, social, environmental) in an international context.
• an interface between academic theory and analysis and more applied strategy, policy and practice on urban problems.
the breadth of issues (environmental, social, economic, planning and design) that you can study, as well as the geographical range (Cities of the Global North and South).
• the opportunity to cover a wide range of urban challenges or to focus on certain substantive fields (such as environmental sustainability and policy; sustainable transport systems; urban planning and design or the study of the economies of cities and regions).
• Staff who work closely with academics and urban professionals worldwide.These collaborations are embedded in the course teaching and materials.
• encouragement of participatory methods and engagement with a wide range of urban stakeholders.
The Programme lasts a year. You will take taught modules to the value of 120 credits between October and May, taking 60 credits each semester.
On successful completion of the taught component you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits between June and September.
You will take six taught modules worth 20 credits each. Three of these modules will be core modules. The remaining three will be optional modules.
You will compete a dissertation based on original research. You will be able to specialise in different areas by choosing specific combinations of option modules and by your dissertation topic, if you wish. You will be advised at the start of the programme on the different specialist areas.
Planning City Futures
Advancing Urban Theory
Researching Cities for Social Change
Development and Urbanisation Processes
Environmental Policy and Climate Change
Housing in a Globalising World
Transport and the City
Planning for Sustainability
Debates in Eco-City Planning and Development
Urban and Regional Dynamics
Urban and Regional Development in Practice
Sustainable Food Systems
Sustainable Transport Policies
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and 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 and studio work you will have the opportunity to learn various research methods such as GIS, statistics and urban design skills depending on the modules you take.
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.
You will take six taught modules worth 20 credits each. These will be assessed by a combination of essays, presentations, group work, report writing, debates and computer lab work depending upon the core and option modules selected. The majority of modules are assessed by two different pieces of work.
Following the taught stage, you will complete a dissertation of no more than 20,000 words.
The classification of your degree is based on two-thirds of the average grade of the taught modules and one-third of the grade of your dissertation.
The course offers knowledge and expertise to enable you to enter a wide range of urban-related careers working in private, public and Third Sector organisations. These can range from research, policy and implementation professions careers covering elements of the urban challenges offered on the course, including urban environments and sustainability, urban and regional development, transport and housing infrastructures and aspects of planning and design. The course also enables to further study towards an academic career in geography and urban studies.