SA4F9      Half Unit
Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Hills 32LIF 3.32


This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in International Social and Public Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Development), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Migration), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Non-Governmental Organisations) and MSc in Social Policy (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This is a capped course. If it is oversubscribed priority will be given to Social Policy Students. Places will be allocated by the Course Convenor according to the 'statement' submitted by students when they apply for a place on LSE for You. 


There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Course content

This course introduces MSc students to the links between housing, neighbourhoods and social and public policies, in the context of housing systems in the UK, Europe and North America.  It examines: how housing and neighbourhoods have evolved in UK and Europe, and contrasts in the USA; the rise of mass housing estates, the role of government and housing management; housing markets – supply, demand, need and affordability; owner-occupation and taxation; sustaining neighbourhoods through upgrading, and dangers of segregation and gentrification; housing wealth and assets, inheritance and polarisation; private renting, housing benefits and regulation; social housing, subsidies, rents and affordability; community-led and community-based housing; sustainable housing solutions, retrofit, fuel poverty and energy saving.  The course uses live case studies to illustrate the main themes.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 3 hours of lectures and 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There are also organised site/project visits in MT. The course provides many case study examples for students to draw on.

Formative coursework

Students participate actively in seminars, make two class presentations and complete one formative essay, drawing on case study evidence.

Students are invited to join site visits which illustrate key housing themes.

Indicative reading

A. Power. From Hovels to High Rise. 1993. R. Tunstall and A. Coulter. Turning the Tide? 25 Years on 20 Estates. Hanley (2004) Estates: a personal history. J Hills Ends And Means: The Future Roles Of Social Housing In England, 2007. A Power et al. Jigsaw Cities 2007. Cities for a Small Continent; Social Policy in a Cold Climate (2016); Glennerster Understanding the Cost of Welfare 2017; Dorling All That is Solid; Power and Provan, Overcoming the stigma of social housing" (2018).


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

Essay based on a housing case study or policy initiative

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.7
Merit 73.3
Pass 6.7
Fail 3.3

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2017/18: 21

Average class size 2017/18: 11

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 98%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)