SA4F9      Half Unit
Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Anne Power OLDM2.21


This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy), MSc in Social Policy (Research), MSc in Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning) and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course provides a concise introduction to theories, arguments and evidence about housing, neighbourhoods and communities, in urban areas of developed countries. It starts by analysing how existing urban areas came to be developed. It then looks at housing systems, including home ownership, private renting and publically subsidised renting and owning, how people gain access to housing and are distributed between neighbourhoods, and the problems of housing costs and quality, homelessness, and social segregation. It examines the different roles of private individuals, the private sector, the public sector and community groups in financing, making decisions about and managing housing and other neighbourhood services. It also examines the impact of housing on social problems, community relations and the environment. It uses community-oriented sociology and ethnography alongside hard numbers to investigate how people relate to their neighbourhoods and to each other in these areas. The course considers how new places and communities are being developed, how existing areas can be adapted and modelled using live case studies to illustrate the themes.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

In addition there is one lecture and one seminar in the ST. There is also a two-hour walking tour.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to participate actively in seminars and to complete two formative essays drawing on case study evidence.

Indicative reading

A. Power. City Survivors. 2007. A. Power. From Hovels to High Rise. 1993. R. Lupton. Poverty Street, 2003. R. Tunstall and A. Coulter. Turning the Tide? 25 Years on 20 Estates, 2006. Parkinson, M et al. State of the English Cities A research report 2006. Housing Studies special issue on mixed communities 2007. J. Foster. Docklands. H. Glennerster Understanding the finance of welfare, 2009. J Hills Ends And Means: The Future Roles Of Social Housing In England, 2007. Peter Somerville, Understanding Community, 2011. A Power et al. Family Futures, 2011. J. Hills & K. Stewart. A more equal society? 2004


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 2.8
Merit 84.5
Pass 11.3
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2012/13: 23

Average class size 2012/13: 12

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 85.3%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)