SA4C6      Half Unit
International Housing and Human Settlements; Conflicts and Communities

This information is for the 2016/17 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), MSc in Social Policy and Development, MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This is a capped course.  If it is oversubscribed places will be allocated by random ballot, first amongst Social Policy students then amongst other students for any remaining places.  The first ballot will be held on Tuesday of MT week 1.

Course content

The course is an introduction to the global housing challenges of a fast urbanising world in the context of rapidly growing cities worldwide. There are 5 key themes: the push and pull factors in urban growth; the key actors in housing provision; slums and self-help; the environmental impact of low income settlements; the problems of poverty and exclusion in low income and informal settlements. The course includes 10 lectures in LT and one in ST. The main topics of the lectures are: housing needs and demand; contrasting patterns of housing development; owner occupation, renting and self-help; government intervention and finance; planning and renewal; international agencies, aid and NGOs; bottom-up shelter models and community-led initiatives; social exclusion and urban pressures; basic services and public infrastructure; participation and women's roles in low income settlements; environment of cities; urban and housing design; theories and practice in upgrading urban settlements. Case studies are used to illustrate arguments, policies and practical responses.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of seminars in the ST.


Additional activity: occasional informal discussion sessions are organised at students' request.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to participate actively in seminars and to complete one formative essay using case studies to illustrate their arguments.


Indicative reading

UN (1996), An Urbanising World; A Power (1999), Estates on the Edge; Badshah (2006), Our Urban Future; D Satterthwaite (1999), Sustainable Cities; UNCHS 2001-2014, The State of the World's Cities;. Doug Saunders, Arrival City (2010) Ed Glaeser, Triumph of the City (2012) D Satterthwaite and D Mitlin (2013) Reducing Urban Poverty in the Global South, D Satterthwaite and D Mitlin (2013) Urban Poverty in the Global South


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

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 7.7
Merit 79.5
Pass 12.8
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 17

Average class size 2015/16: 17

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2013/14 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 87%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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Lectures (Q2.5)


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