SA4H7      Half Unit
Urbanisation and Social Policy in the Global South

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sunil Kumar STC.4.64


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Population and Development, MSc in Social Policy (Research), MSc in Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning), MSc in Social Policy and Development and MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

For postgraduate students interested in urban social policy in developing and transitional countries. The course is also open to students on other MSc Programmes dependent on spaces being available.  Some knowledge and experience of urban issues is desirable. In applying for a place on this course, students will have to upload a statement on LFY explaining why they want to enrol.

Course content

The course examines the social, economic and political challenges in urban areas in developing and transitional countries from various conceptual perspectives, and the policies and planning practices aimed at addressing them. Some of the themes explored in the course are: theoretical perspectives on the city; urbanisation and social change; migration; the rural-urban interface; urban poverty and livelihoods ; labour markets and housing; urban social movements; urban basic services; and urban management and governance.


Lectures: 11 x 2-hours. Seminars: 10 x 1.5 hours (MT).

Formative coursework

All students are expected to read widely, and take part in a range of activities in the seminar sessions. Students are required to contribute to the seminars on a weekly basis by undertaking an un-assessed activity called My-City. All written work should be related to urban issues in either developing or transitional countries.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list will be provided for each lecture and seminar. The following is an introductory list of books:  Beall, J and S Fox (2009), Cities and Development, Routledge; Pieterse, E.A. (2008), City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development, Zed Books; ; Staples, J. (Ed) (2007), Livelihoods at the Margins: Surviving the City. Left Coast Press; Westendorff, D. and D Eade (Ed) (2002), Development and Cities, OXFAM; ; J Gugler (Ed) (1997), Cities in the Developing World: Issues, Theory and Policy, Oxford University Press; Mitlin, D and D. Satterthwaite (2012), Urban Poverty in the Global South: scale and nature, Routledge; Mitlin, D. and D Satterthwaite (2004), Empowering Squatter Citizen : Local Government, Civil Society, and Urban Poverty Reduction, Earthscan; R J Skinner & M J Rodell (Eds) (1983), People, Poverty and Shelter, Methuen; J Hardoy, D Mitlin and D Satterthwaite (2001), Environmental Problems in Third World Cities, Eathscan; N Devas & C Rakodi (Eds) (1993), Managing Fast Growing Cities, Longman, S Bartlett et al (1999), Cities for Children, Earthscan; UN-Habitat (2011), Cities and Climate Change: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011, Oxford University Press; UN-Habitat (2011), The State of Asian Cities 2010/11, UN-Habitat;  UN-Habitat (2010), State of the World's Cities 2010-2011, Oxford University Press; UNHCS (1996), An Urbanising World: Global Report on Human Settlements, Oxford University Press; UNFPA (2007), State of World Population 2007: Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth, United Nations Population Fund.


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (40%, 3000 words) in the LT.

All written work should be related to urban issues in either developing or transitional countries.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.2
Merit 51.7
Pass 31
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: 19

Average class size 2014/15: 19

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 95%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)