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Understanding the City


There are no classes currently available for registration.


This is a credit bearing course but can also be taken as a non-credit bearing course.

Discover the difference between our credit bearing and non-credit bearing courses.

Urbanisation now impacts on the way of life of more than half the population of the planet, crucially influencing everyday social interactions, economies and livelihoods, governance and politics, environmental sustainability, globalisation and cultural change.

To comprehend such a range of influences, this Understanding the City short course gives you a foundation in theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding cities and urban processes. Using a range of examples, from the global south to the global north, tracing their rise and fall from ancient to contemporary forms, this interdisciplinary course will focus on:

  • how cities are made and unmade
  • the everyday experience of living in them
  • how they are represented.

As your understanding of the city progresses you will also develop key study and research skills as well as recognising how the city can be used as a way of analysing other social phenomena, such as gender or inequality.

This master's-level course is ideal for professionals or students with an interest in urban studies; local and national government workers; urban planners, housing NGOs and community organisation workers; civil service and private sector consultants; international NGOs; employees working on issues of habitat and urban redevelopment; social science or humanities graduates; teachers wishing to update their skills; and artists with an interest in urban research.

Although there are no prerequisites for the course, you will be expected to complete weekly readings at postgraduate level. The course is assessed by two essays.

30 credits at level 7

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.