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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5403M Creative Coding for Urban Problems

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Vikki Houlden

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications


Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will provide students with an opportunity to enhance their creativity and develop their technical skills in relation to urban data science problems. The course will be run over a series of five group-based ‘hackathons’. Each hackathon will focus on a new urban domain (e.g. transport, health, sustainability), and provide students with an opportunity to tackle a problem in an original and novel way. Academics will be in place to support active student learning during these days. Student groups will present their work at the end of the day, which would count towards assessment. Problems and datasets will be sought from industry and academic partners, providing a new route to collaboration and an opportunity for students to impress future employers.


The aim of this module is to apply and extend programming and urban knowledge to deliver creative solutions to tackle real-world challenges using contemporary data sets. The module will build a strong foundation of collaboration and teamwork, fostering cohort identity and competency working with both peers and industry partners. The students will learn to apply critical and innovative thinking to evaluate and explore a range of different urban domains, presenting outcomes to inform both academic and industrial audiences

Learning outcomes
1. Engage with student-led learning through collaborating in different teams during hackathons, dividing tasks amongst themselves to achieve self-determined goals

2. Utilise theories and skills obtained during Term 1 and gain confidence in selecting the most appropriate methods and practices to tackle new problems

3. Become comfortable applying their knowledge to a range of different urban domains and data sets, developing and expanding their practical application skills

4. Deliver ambitious and realistic solutions to pressing real world challenges

5. Develop confidence in communicating and presenting to peer, academic and industrial partners, through written, oral and visual methods

6. Understand the diverse range of applications and industries which generate, work with and deliver solutions to urban problems, generating valuable connections for future collaborations


- Housing and Land Registry

- Mobility and Transport

- Environment and Sustainability

- Health and Wellbeing

- Economic Development and Vulnerable Populations

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours105.00
Total Contact hours45.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will be provided with background reading and contextual materials to engage with during the week prior to each session. They will begin planning their weekly projects with their group before the session. This will ensure they arrive at that practical sessions fully briefed and prepared to begin their collaborative group work in the 7hr hackathon session. They will then have time to continue with their group work, if desired, before the presentations in the 2hr sessions the following weeks.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided during each practical session, in response to student group work and during questions for the presentations

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayWritten reflection on individual contribution to the group work, their learning, outcomes, and interpretation 500 words50.00
PresentationVerbal group presentations delivered in each 2hr practical session50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Assessed on group presentations Individual reflections on their project, contributions and learning (essay based)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:32:21


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