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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG1450 The Urban Age

20 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Dr Asa Roast

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

You will explore the geography of cities and urban settlements and their constitution by environmental, economic, social and political processes through time and space. Particular attention is paid to urban political economy, theories of the city, neighbourhood change and segregation, housing and informal settlements, urban planning, services and welfare geographies. cities in the Global South, service and retail economy, post-industrial urbanism, urban power and regimes, and urban social movements.


- To introduce students to key human geography concepts, approaches, knowledge and skills through focused study of urban and economic geography and cities
- To explore urban and economic geography through different learning activities and in different global contexts
- To develop key skills in reading, analysis, writing, presentation and critique of a range of academic material, individually and in groups
- To encourage students to develop as independent learners through structured activities
- To introduce concepts and themes that are developed in levels 2 and 3 to enable informed choice of programme and module options.

Learning outcomes
1. contemporary debates about gentrification, and regeneration, changing cities, the foundational urban economy and neoliberal urban globalisation

2. the contested and diverse geographies of cities, urban settlements, and economic processes through time and space at different scales;

3. the value and distinctiveness of geographical perspectives upon political, social and economic issues and processes that are driving urban change;

4. Foundational study skills including the ability to access, read and critically reflect upon a range of sometimes contrasting academic and non-academic sources; to interpret and synthesise different types of geographical data; to develop reasoned arguments; and to communicate logically, clearly and concisely in writing

Skills outcomes
The module will be built around the learning and teaching of explicit core QAA geographical skills.

- spatial awareness and observation

- abstraction and synthesis of information

- developing a reasoned argument- assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations

- primary data generation, collection and recording, and the use of secondary data sets (both quantitative and qualitative)

- critically evaluating, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence (for example texts, imagery, archival data, maps, digitised and laboratory data)

- taking responsibility for learning and reflection upon that learning

- recognising the moral, ethical and safety issues involved in all aspects of geographical enquiry

- understand the complex relationships between natural and human aspects of environments and landscapes

- an appreciation of temporal change
- a critical awareness of the significance of spatial and temporal scale
- distinctiveness of place
- knowledge of the main dimensions and scales of economic, social, political and environmental inequality and difference
- a critical understanding of the history of the subject
- knowledge and critical understanding of the diverse manners of representation
- geographical knowledge and understanding


The module syllabus is drawn from the following themes and topics:

- The global urban age and challenges

- Urban theory

- Urban inequality and divided cities

- The right to the city

- Urban political economy

- Globalization, economic change and changing urban spaces

- Designing a successful city

- Urban planning

- Regeneration and gentrification

- Smart cities

- Urban regimes

- Informal settlements

- Urban Social Movements

- Planetary Urbanisation

- Urban Political Ecology

- Urban services and welfare geography

- Health provision

- Health inequalities

- Education provision

- Retail, leisure and service provision

- Emergency services

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours156.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will use their private study time to reinforce their own learning by devoting:
• c. 40 hours to additional reading to enhance their understanding of themes introduced in lectures;
• c. 30 hours to reading and other preparation for seminars;
• c. 20 hours to reading and other preparation for tutorials;
• c. 30 hours to bibliographical research, reading, critical reflection and writing linked to completion of assessed tutorial work;
• c. 40 hours to reading and research in preparation for the end-of-module assignment

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Tutorials will monitor students’ general progress and development of core skills and knowledge through the planned tutorial topics and assignments;

Seminars and associated formative tasks will monitor students’ understanding of the core material introduced in lectures; these small-group sessions will also provide opportunities for students to ask questions and receive formative feedback in return;

Meetings with academic personal tutors will be geared towards delivering specific and in-depth feedback (formative and summative) based on assessments submitted.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayEssay 800 words25.00
Literature ReviewLiterature review 1000 words25.00
Written WorkWritten Work 1,200 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/09/2023 15:11:42


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