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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOEV5001M Cities and Sustainability

30 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Radhika Borde

Taught: 01 Oct to 30 Nov View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This first module on the University of Leeds MSc Sustainable Cities is purposefully designed as an intense, fun, and challenging experience. Contact is delivered over two weeks which includes an intensive week of learning at the University of Leeds, followed by a week-long residential at the world leading Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. The aims of this module are: 1) to introduce module participants to critical debates in sustainability, cities, and urban systems2) To demonstrate a wide variety of approaches and applications in terms of sustainability and potential systems changes in cities3) through group work and fieldwork experiences, to build the cohort into a team and forge relationships to set the scene for effective group learning and assessment.


By the end of the module the students will meet 4 of the programme objectives:
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.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will know about and develop a critical understanding of:
- how to articulate complex ideas, debates and controversies through essays
- how to critically reflect on the relationship between theory and practice
- ways in which to analyse and assess the activities of particular cities and initiatives and relate these to module content
- how to frame module content in relationship to engaging with and influencing city level decision-making


Week 13 and 14. University of Leeds
Orientation and local fieldtrip
Debates controversies and future trends: sustainable cities
Debates controversies and future trends: sustainability
Debates controversies and future trends: cities
Debates controversies and future trends: city systems

Easter. Field Trip (to be confirmed)
4 x Substantial teaching days, combining morning lecture, with afternoon practical and optional evening events and private study time
1 x final assessment day covering assignment preparation and delivery

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment13.003.00
Private study hours237.00
Total Contact hours63.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be 3 milestones for formative feedback
1. week 14 where students will receive formative written feedback on the assessments which are handed in at end of the second teaching week.
2. week 16 when the 1500 word case study city literature review (set in wk 14) is marked and returned (week19) and the students receive their first summative feedback to prepare them for the essay
3. Easter break (E3) when the major essay is marked and returned and the students receive significant summative feedback (week24) to prepare them for the rest of the programme

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words70.00
Literature Review1500 words30.00
Portfolio1000 to 500 word equivalent written piece and 500 word equivalent presentation0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

re-sit same as original assessment

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/08/2023 15:41:24


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