At a time when three quarters of the world's urban population, ninety per cent of urban population growth, and poverty and social exclusion are increasingly concentrated in towns and cities in developing regions it is vital we understand the theoretical and empirical relationships between urbanism and development. The programme reviews urbanism from colonial to the contemporary period, emphasising demographic, social, economic, cultural and political processes. The programme pays particular attention to the aims and achievements of contemporary policy with reference to housing and land markets, finance, gender, governance, the role of global development institutions and non-governmental organisations.
The programme attempts to provide a conceptual and empirical basis from which to understand urban 'problems' and critically evaluate the prescribed 'solutions'. Students will develop an understanding of how urban and development theory have changed over time, and how these theories combine and conflict in their application to real world situations. Students will be encouraged to appreciate how a wide range of policy intentions and outcomes can be evaluated from economic, social, political and cultural perspectives, from international to local scales, and in ways sensitive to concerns for gender, ethnicity, social justice and democratic deepening.
> Entry requirements and programme overview
> Course options, content and preliminary reading
This programme is intended for graduates with a good first degree in either geography, development, sociology, planning, anthropology or any discipline with a substantive urban or development studies component. The Department encourages applications from mature candidates with work experience, and can be taken full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). The programme is expected to be attractive to students seeking future employment in academic institutions, programme and policy positions in international agencies (World Bank, UN), bi-laterals (DfID), and NGOs and private consultancies, and governments in developing countries.
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Programme Director: Professor Sylvia Chant
Room Number: STC 5.15, St Clements Building, LSE
Professor Sylvia Chant is Director of the MSc Urbanisation and Development. She teaches on the core course Urban Policy and Practice in the South and on Globalisation, Gender and Development, and offers two half-unit options - Cities, People and Poverty in the South, and Gender and Development.
Sylvia has worked in Mexico, Costa Rica, Philippines and The Gambia on issues of gender, poverty, migration, housing, employment and household livelihoods.
For more about Sylvia see her profile page.
Dr Ryan Centner is an urban and development scholar. Before joining LSE he was Assistant Professor at Tufts University, near Boston, 2008-2013, where he lectured and advised in Sociology, International Relations, Urban & Environmental Planning, and Latin American Studies.
For more about Ryan see his profile page.
Professor Gareth A Jones is the former Director of the MSc Urbanisation and Development and is the main contributor to the core course Urban Policy and Practice in the South. His other teaching includes the half-unit Cities, Culture and Politics in the South.
Gareth has undertaken consultancies for a variety of organisations including the UN and DFID.
For more about Gareth see his profile page.
Dr Claire Mercer offers a half-unit option, Development, Diaspora and Migration, and also contributes to the core course Urban Policy and Practice in the South. Claire's research has focused on the politics of development and civil society, looking in particular at NGOs, participation and empowerment; PRSPs, ICTs and migrants' associations. She has worked in Tanzania, Cameroon, and the UK.
For more about Claire see her profile page.
Dr Hyun Bang Shin is a major contributor to the MSc Urbanisation and Development, teaches on the core course Urban Policy and Practice in the South, contributes to Cities, Space and Society, and offers a new half-unit optional course Cities and Social Change in East Asia. Hyun has worked mostly on East Asia, carrying out field research in cities such as Beijing, Tianjin and Xining in China and Seoul in South Korea.
For more about Hyun see his profile page.
Dr Romola Sanyal joined the Department of Geography and Environment in 2013, having worked previously at University College London, Newcastle University and Rice University (USA). She has a PhD in Architecture (UC Berkeley), an MSc in Geography (LSE) and a BA in City and Regional Planning (UC Berkeley).
Her work focuses on urbanization and urban theory in the global north and south, particularly around issues of citizenship and space.
For more about Romola see her profile page.
Dr Austin Zeiderman is an interdisciplinary scholar who specializes in the cultural and political dimensions of cities, with a specific focus on Latin America. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University as well as a Master of Environmental Science degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colgate University.
Austin’s research adopts an ethnographic and historical approach to contemporary forms of urbanism. He is particularly interested in how cities are planned, built, governed and inhabited in anticipation of uncertain futures.
For more about Austin see his profile page.
Graduates of the Department have excellent career prospects. The most recent data, for 2011/12, shows that 6 months after graduation Department of Geography & Environment MSc students achieved an average starting salary of £28,429, with 88% engaged in employment or further education. LSE produces outstanding graduates, and you can be sure that choosing to study with us will shape your future.
These statistics are taken from the DLHE (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education) survey, overseen by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for the UK Government and sample at least 80% of UK graduates and at least 50% of non-UK graduates.