GY206      Half Unit
Urban Geography and Globalisation

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ryan Centner STC601c


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

Course content

This course introduces students to the intersection of urban geography and the geography of globalisation, with the aim of understanding key references in academic debates, and their relevance for real-world social, economic, and political issues in our cities today. The course offers a critical, human-geographical perspective on ‘global cities’, how these manifest in different parts of the world, how they matter for distinct realms of urban life, and how we can study features of global urban geography. Themes include empires, development, and cities; ‘global cities’; ‘Third World cities’ or ‘cities of the global South’; urban spaces of neoliberalism; new geographies of urban theory; and planetary urbanisation. We examine cases related to migration, sexual minorities, the circulation of ideas, and gentrification. Examples come from both the ‘global North’ and the ‘global South’, with the aim of helping students understand when and how these categories may be useful.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Michaelmas Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

The formative work will be an essay plan that directly prepares students for the summative work.

Indicative reading

Sassen, Saskia. 2001. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Second edition.

Brenner, Neil and Nik Theodore (eds). 2002. Spaces of Neoliberalism.

Davis, Mike. 2006. Planet of Slums.

Robinson, Jennifer. 2006. Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development.

Brenner, Neil and Christian Schmid (eds). 2014. Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization.

Ghaziani, Amin. 2014. There Goes the Gayborhood?


Essay (65%, 2500 words), class participation (20%) and presentation (15%) in the MT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 39.1
2:1 48.1
2:2 10.5
Third 2.3
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2021/22: 68

Average class size 2021/22: 17

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication