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Unit information: Ethnicity, Class and Housing in the City in 2021/22

Unit name Ethnicity, Class and Housing in the City
Unit code GEOG30020
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. David Manley
Open unit status Not open

Spatial Modelling 2



School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The United Nations recently reported that over half the world’s population lives in urban areas. Within Europe and the United States of America this proportion is much higher (82% and 73% respectively). It is predicted that an additional 2.5 billion people will be added to the global urban population by 2050, with almost 90% of this growth taking place in Asia and Africa. Thus, understanding how the urban environment operates is crucial for the wider social, economic and developmental transformations that modern society is undergoing. The unit will introduce key concepts through scholarly debates relating to the theoretical basis, empirical investigation and substantive investigation of urban sites focusing on European, American and African experiences as illustrations. The course tackles three major aspects of the urban environment:

  1. How do urban areas vary over time and space? How have they developed and changed over time?
  2. How are social and political relations played out in the city? What processes impact residents the most, how and where?
  3. How does the city shape those social relations? Many attempts to develop and regenerate cities have stubbornly failed to deliver positive urban outcomes and as a result they have created or reinforced inequalities in space.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit you should:

  1. Be able to critically engage in theoretical and empirical debates surrounding the key concepts in urban Geography.
  2. Be able to understand the complexities of the relationships between urban space and the individuals that inhabit it.
  3. Appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of the studies of urban environments. Whilst clearly rooted in the geographic tradition, acknowledgement of the contributions that sociology, economics, demographics and political analysis in particular have made should be demonstrated.
  4. Demonstrate an appreciation and understanding of the multiple modes of inquiry used in urban geography including but not limited to ethnography along with qualitative and quantitative analysis.
  5. Be able to use quantitative analysis to substantiate and evidence wider arguments from the urban geography literature
  6. Demonstrate an appreciation of the debates in urban geography and make critical evaluations of the literature.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Analytical skills
  • Evidence-based argument
  • Critical interpretative thinking

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • computer practical work; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2021/22 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Information

The unit will include both formative and summative assessment. The formative assessment requires students to participate in seminar discussions and presentations throughout the course.

Summative assessment will comprise two elements:

  1. Analytical report, linking substantive empirical question to quantitative analysis (2000 words). (50%) (ILOs 1-5)
  2. One 3000-word essay at the end of the unit (50%) (ILOs 1-4,6)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOG30020).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.