Dr Fran Tonkiss

Reader in Sociology, director of the Cities Programme

I have been at LSE since 2004, and previously taught at Goldsmiths and at City University, London. My interests are in urban and economic sociology, so London is the ideal context for my teaching and research. I convene the MSc programme in City Design and Social Science, as well as the core course on Cities by Design, and also teach a master's option in Sociology on Approaches to Globalisation.

The best thing about being part of the Cities Programme is the chance to work with students from very different academic and international backgrounds - from architecture and urban design, engineering, environment and planning, to the social, economic and policy sciences, humanities and the law. Students learn from and complement each other, coming from a range of disciplines and with different urban experiences, and I learn a lot from working with such dynamic and engaged graduate students who bring all the expertise from their own fields of work and study.

The MSc City Design and Social Science stands out in the field because it places issues of city design and development in their social, economic and political contexts. We treat the making of cities and urban spaces as a social and political challenge, not simply a technical process. Students benefit from an intensive studio course with excellent tutorial support and regular reviews of work in progress, option choices from across LSE, an international field visit each year, and London on their doorstep. Our graduates come out of the programme as well-rounded urbanists with a range of skills that allow them to work across professional boundaries, and students often use the programme as a chance to focus or to shift their career path. We're very proud of our network of graduates, pursuing careers in urban design and development, policy and project management, research and consultancy, community and social initiatives around the world.