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MSc Sustainable Cities

Year 1

(Award available for year: Master of Science)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the year/programme students should have provided evidence of being able to:

1. Understand core concepts of sustainability and sustainable development, be able to link these concepts to urban theory.
2. Gain new analytical frameworks to understand key urban systems and infrastructures as socio-technical systems.
3. Link practical aspects of sustainability and alternative technologies to existing urban systems and appropriate analytical frameworks.
4. Identify leading international examples of urban sustainability and how they can be applied in new contexts.
5. Acquire new qualitative and quantitative skills in researching and analysing key urban systems from an action research perspective.
6. Diagnose and solve real world urban problems using new data analysis and action research techniques.
7. Critically analyse the social, environmental and economic impacts of key urban systems and how they are evaluated.
8. Understand multilevel decision-making across critical systems and how suitability metrics are mobilised to affect decision-making.
9. Evaluate opportunities to embed sustainability in system design, governance and re-production.
10. Undertake deep research and produce detailed assessments of how sustainability can be retrofitted into existing systems.
11. Develop skills of self-reflection and leadership for change

Transferable (key) skills

Masters (taught), Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate students will have had the opportunity to acquire the following abilities, as defined in the modules specified for the programme:

- Skills to diagnose, analyse and solve complex problems using a range of methods related to urban infrastructures, systems and governance.
- New abilities in leadership and change management in multi-stakeholder, non-hierarchical environments.
- Self-direction and effective decision making in complex and unpredictable situations.
- Independent problem based learning and the ability to work in a way which ensures continuing professional development.
- Critical engagement with institutional and professional norms.
- Ability to constructively challenge existing practise and institutional form.
- Ability to identify and nurture technical, commercial and public value innovations and integrate these into existing systems.
- Written, oral and digital presentation skills.
- The skills necessary to undertake a higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity in industry or an area of professional practice


Achievement for the degree of Master (taught programme) will be assessed by a variety of methods in accordance with the learning outcomes of the modules specified for the year/programme and will include:

- Demonstrating a breadth of knowledge in key debates on sustainability, urban theory and socio technical systems research.
- Drawing on a range of perspectives to appreciate how sustainability solutions can be adopted into existing socio-technical systems at the city scale.
- Evaluating complex data and narratives to arrive at reasoned change recommendations.
- Understanding different forms of leadership and their suitability in different situations.
- Making sound judgements whilst understanding the limitations on judgements made in the absence of complete data.


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