Urban and Spatial Economic Analysis I

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Henderson STC.S506b


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Economics, BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Economics B (EC102) is normally required; Economics A (EC100) is essential.

Course content

This course provides students with a theoretical and empirical understanding of spatial economic processes and how these influence the behaviour of firms and households and the wider economy.

The course draws primarily on international and urban economics. Topics covered include: causes and consequences of international trade; the winners and losers from globalization; multinational companies; trade, firms, and productivity; offshoring and outsourcing; the function of cities and the urban system; cities as engines of growth; the sources of agglomeration and dispersion; the determinants of urban structure and the role of land markets and  land market regulation.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to prepare for group discussion of some readings and hand in short essays and problem sets in both terms.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be given out at the beginning of each term. Readings will include journal articles. Some important items include: 

A O'Sullivan, Urban Economics (8th edn 2012), Irwin/MacGraw-Hill; T A Pugel & P Lindert, International Economics, (14th edn) McGraw Hill, 2009.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words).

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 23.8
2:1 37.6
2:2 25.7
Third 10.9
Fail 2

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2016/17: 37

Average class size 2016/17: 19

Capped 2016/17: No

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information