Taught course

Urban Policy and Analytics

Manchester Metropolitan University · Department of Sociology

Entry requirements

A good first degree in any social science subject, particularly sociology, human geography, politics/political science. Students with a good first degree in computer science or data science, with an interest in the urban analytics module, would also be welcome. Students with a first degree in other subjects may also be considered and should talk to the programme director in the first instance.

Months of entry


Course content

This interdisciplinary masters draws on the work of the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) and the Crime and Wellbeing Big Data Centre at Manchester Met to offer a challenging course in a research driven environment.

The programme asks you to consider the challenge that urbanism brings to our analysis for, and our analysis of, urban policy. The programme will focus on different theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding urban governance, policy and data analysis for policy. It will provide you with analytical skills to undertake research in urban studies.

Cities are core to human political, social, and economic life (Storber, 2013) and there is significant and growing academic debate and empirical research around the role and effect of city living. There are also significant questions raised in real world governance, public policy, and analysis for policy around cities, both in the developed world (for instance, policy debate around the devolution agenda in the UK, specifically in terms of Greater Manchester) and in the Global South.

Core to these debates is the question of the universality or particularity of the urban experience; that is, the extent to which urbanisation is a universal process, with common driving forces, or is particular to each individual city case. This is a key question in urban studies, and has significant implications for our analysis of, and analysis for, urban policy. For example, what can we learn from Manchester’s experience of urbanisation and its recent devolution governance reforms, and can this learning be applied to current governance and policy questions in the Global South? Are policy ideas and innovations ‘mobile’ – can an idea that fits the policy, economic and social context of Manchester (for example) be transferred to other cities, and what are the implications of this? What are the challenges of analysing, interpreting and comparing data? What can evaluations of policy interventions in one city tell us about the likely success of that intervention in other areas?

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

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