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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOEV5004M City Systems: Sustainable Housing

15 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Paul Chatterton

Taught: 1 Jan to 30 Jun View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Urban housing systems are facing a number of areas of dysfunction in terms of environmental performance, affordability, inequality, segregation, delivery, community ownership, land availability and procurement. In this context, creating low impact, zero energy, affordable and community responsive models are becoming high priorities for all cities across the world. New delivery models for sustainable urban housing models are emerging to respond to this; they include co-operatives, custom and self-build, cohousing and land trusts. This module uses mixed taught and problem based learning to give students the tools to understand the challenges facing urban housing systems and how to make system transformations for sustainability. Students will be presented with a design challenge to construct affordable, low impact community housing neighbourhoods.


This module aims to equip students with an understanding of contemporary issues and debates in terms of current housing challenges and how to transition to a more sustainable urban housing system.

Learning outcomes
The programme level outcomes this module fulfills are:
• Diagnose and solve real world urban problems using new data analysis and action research techniques.
• Critically analyse the social, environmental and economic impacts of key urban systems and how they are evaluated.
• Understand multilevel decision-making across critical systems and how suitability metrics are mobilised to affect decision-making.
• Evaluate opportunities to embed sustainability in system design, governance and re-production.

On completion of this module, students will:
• understand the current urban housing system and intercultural and international aspects; challenges, features, institutions and impacts;
• understand the key drivers of housing supply and demand;
• be able to identify city specific issues raised in debates on sustainable housing systems;
• be able to critically evaluate the intentions of urban interventions to develop sustainable housing
• Demonstrate capability in discussing and critically evaluating future options for creating more sustainable urban housing systems.
• demonstrate and use in-depth specialist knowledge and techniques relevant to sustainable urban housing systems
• demonstrate an advanced understanding of concepts, information and techniques used by housing system planners and stakeholders at the forefront of the discipline;
• take a proactive and self-reflective role in working and to develop professional relationships with others;
• proactively formulate ideas and hypotheses and to solve a specific problem set.
• Evaluate current issues and research in the discipline of urban housing systems and futures.


• Debates and conceptual approaches to housing
• the changing nature of the housing system: a global perspective
• Challenges of the contemporary housing system and market failures
• The challenge of affordability
• The challenge of low impact sustainable construction
• The challenges of community led sustainable housing

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Group learning22.004.00
Private study hours120.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study will be undertaken as party of the student’s problem based learning. It will be guided around a specific problem, set by the module leader and contribute to the overall learning outcomes of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Project1 x 3500 [equivalent*] word equivalent case report100.00
Group ProjectFormative Group presentation0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The resit will be an individual essay.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

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


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