Taught course

Urban Studies: 21st Century Cities

Manchester Metropolitan University · Department of Sociology

Entry requirements

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Months of entry


Course content

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, planning and public 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 BRICS (for example, spatial planning issues for growing Chinese cities (reflected in the international conference being held this year in China urban development at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL).

The programme aims to contribute to this debate, drawing our key research strengths, and maximising our position in Manchester and within the devolution agenda. The programme will be interdisciplinary, teaching will be research led (drawing on our best research areas), and will include practical and vocational opportunities through a proposed project-based element in partnership with Manchester City Council. The programme design recognises that international students, particular those with an interest in urban policy from BRIC countries, may need language and academic skills support before they join the main programme. It also provides data analysis modules, using real big data available to the university through the Big Data Centre.

Urban studies is a growing area for PGT programmes in the UK and the USA. Such programmes are either located in town planning (leading to professional certification, and not directly relevant to this proposal), or in the social sciences (geography, public policy/administration, sociology). A small number of these are interdisciplinary, though typically do not include architecture and social sciences as proposed here, positioning this course as one of the leading courses in its field. Additionally, the University of Manchester has recently launched the Manchester Urban Institute, drawing together a number of research centres looking at the urban as a unit of analysis/focus of empirical research, and placing Manchester as a leading city in the area of Urban Studies. This does link to a number of existing PGT programmes, largely single disciplinary and/or in town planning/architecture.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

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