2020 start

Cities and Global Development

Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Faculty of Social Sciences

Learn about the urban development and planning challenges faced by governments and people in some of the fastest-growing cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Postgraduate Urban Studies and Planning Student, Ana Maria Monsalve Sanchez

Course description

The largest and fastest-growing cities in the world are in low and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This course explores the urban development and planning challenges faced by governments and people in these regions and provides you with the analytical and practical tools to address them. 

The course uses cutting-edge theories in both urban and development studies to engage with changes in the global south, including: the globalisation of production and consumption, rapid urbanisation, environmental change, and the spread of new forms of governance.

Optional modules include a team-based student consultancy project for an external client in the field of international urban development. There’s also a field class in the global south. In 2018, students visited Chennai in India.

The course is suitable for recent graduates and those with professional experience. It’s excellent preparation for careers (or further research) in international development, urban governance, planning and environmental policy focused on the global south.

We're no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry for this course.

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)


Core modules

Autumn semester

  • Theorising the City in the Global South
  • Urban Development in the Global South
  • Ideas and Practice in International Development
  • Research Methods

Spring semester

  • Urban Design in the Global South
  • International Field Class

Optional modules

Examples include:

  • International Urban Development Consultancy Project
  • Sustainable Development: A Critical Perspective
  • Managing Cities: The Seoul Case Study
  • Public Participation
  • Governance and Participation in the Global South


There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials.


You’re assessed on your coursework and a dissertation.


1 year full-time

Your career

The employability of our graduates is of paramount importance to us. The development of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that enhance your career underpins our programme design. We have a dedicated Employability Manager, Amy Woolley, to support you. We’ll prepare you for employment after graduation.

Find out more

I explored a variety of programs in Canada, the US and the UK. Many of which had successful track records in my subject area: urban planning and development studies. This MA ticked both of these boxes. Few programmes were geared towards integrating both of these subjects with the objective of educating urban planners for careers in the developing world.

Kyle Farrell
MA Cities and Global Development

Entry requirements

For UK students, the usual entry requirement is a 2:1 degree or evidence of equivalent achievement (for example, a professional qualification combined with work experience).

We will consider your application if you have a 2.2 degree but we would expect you to have evidence of work experience or other relevant activity.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.


We're no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry.


+44 114 222 6900

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.