Programme Specification: MSc Urbanisation and Development 1. Awarding Body

Programme Specification: MSc Urbanisation and Development
1. Awarding Body
2. Details of accreditation by a
professional/statutory body, e.g. ESRC;
BPS etc
3. Name of final award
4. Programme Title
5. Duration of the course
6. Based in the Department/Institute:
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark
8. Application Code
9. First written/last amended
Urbanisation and Development
Full-time 12 months; part-time 24 months
Geography and Environment
August 2004 / November 2012
10. The programme aims to:
provide students with an interdisciplinary social science approach to understanding
urban-related development processes in the Global South;
to enable students to critically analyse urban policy formation and outcomes in the
Global South;
to facilitate students’ development of skills in evaluation including in the use of
qualitative techniques, at the same time as being able to problematise the limitations
of different techniques;
to encourage students to apply acquired knowledge to new problems and contexts;
to develop independent research capacity in students in the context of a dissertation
counting for 25% of the overall assessment of the course;
to prepare students for a career in urban or development fields in the public or private
sector, international organisations or consultancies, or for further academic study;
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
At the end of the programme students will have a thorough knowledge and understanding of:
a range of theoretical models of urbanism and development in the South;
the processes of economic, social, cultural and political transformation in cities;
methods and approaches for the critical study of contemporary cities;
planning and executing an independent piece of academic research (Dissertation)
Skills and other attributes
At the end of the programme, students will be able to:
utilise a variety of methods for, and approaches to, urban and/or development
research, including library and internet searches, the writing of essay and reports, and
oral presentations;
analyse the processes of transformation taking place in cities, drawing on an
interdisciplinary approach and contemporary research;
undertake predominantly qualitative analysis, but with due recourse to statistical
techniques where relevant;
write clear, critical papers (of essay- and dissertation-length) based on research
evidence derived from multiple sources;
prepare and deliver effective oral presentations.
See Information relating to careers
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated
Students acquire their detailed knowledge and understanding of the course through lectures,
seminars, dedicated dissertation workshops and guided independent study. Many of the
faculty involved in programme delivery are international experts at the forefront of research in
cities and development, and as such provide students with direct insight into current (and
cutting-edge) thinking in the field. This aspect of provision is further enhanced through the
Cities, Space and Development seminar series, which comprises specialist research
presentations by Departmental faculty, as well as outside speakers. Additional resources are
the seminars hosted by the Department of International Development with whom the degree is
joint, LSE Cities, and LSE public lectures, which include senior national and international
policy makers, politicians and researchers in matters related to cities and development.
Students are strongly encouraged to make extensive use of electronic information sources
available through the BLPES; in particular the extensive resources for international
bibliographical research and on-line publications.
All course reading lists include references to current research, and other primary sources
including official documents and web references, as well as original academic works.
Most courses are assessed by 3 hour unseen written examinations (2 hours in the case of half
units), together with a course work component in the form of an essay.
Teaching and learning strategies
Skills are developed through guidance and feedback from course managers in the context of
formative essays and seminar presentations on particular courses, and by programme
directors in the case of preparation for the Dissertation.
The core course of Urban Theory, Policy and Practice in the Global South provides the key
theoretical and empirical aspects related to urbanisation, cities and development in the Global
South and are a platform for the wide range of predominantly half-unit options available to
students on the Programme
Assessment takes the form of feedback from course managers on formative essays and
seminar presentations and is central to student development. Students are also provided
with written comments for their summative course essays, reports on LSE for You, and
detailed feedback is given my tutors on Dissertation proposals.
Urban Theory, Policy and Practice in the South includes group formative assessment through
group discussion of individual seminars and presentation materials, and feedback on write-up
of seminar.
Students are required to write a 10,000 word Dissertation (exclusive of bibliography and
appendices) that calls upon their intellectual skills as well as their understanding of
fundamental issues. This work may be based on one or all of the following: original data
collection and/or analysis, original fieldwork, or novel conceptual and theoretical critique. It is
also an opportunity for students to demonstrate their research skills as applied to a specific
topic (see course regulations for details).
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
See the MSc Urbanisation and Development programme regulations
Additional information
14. Criteria for admission to the programme
This programme is intended for graduates with a good first degree in geography,
development studies, sociology, planning, anthropology and any programme with a
substantive urban or development studies component. Candidates with other
disciplinary backgrounds are also considered where they have professional expertise
in issues relating to urbanisation, cities, and/or development;
The current requirements for those not previously taught in English before are 6.5 in
IELTS or 603/250 in TOEFL.
15. Indicators of quality
RAE (2008): 70 per cent of the department's research was judged as either world-leading or
internationally excellent.
The LSE Careers Centre website provides data on career destinations of LSE graduates.
16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and
The Teaching and Learning Centre is available to monitor and observe teaching and
offers constructive advice on how to improve the standard of teaching and quality;
Departmental TLAC review once every five years;
The Teaching Learning and Assessment Committee which regulates all aspects of
teaching quality;
The Graduate Studies Sub-Committee which oversees all graduate programmes and
ensures that significant changes to programmes and courses pass through a
sequence of formal stages, so that curricular changes are appropriate and compatible
with other developments;
Departmental Teaching Committee;
SSLC meetings;
Course teaching surveys by TQARO;
The Department’s system of periodic review for its programmes.