Dr Yu Chen

School of East Asian Studies

Lecturer in Chinese Studies

Yu Chen

Full contact details

Dr Yu Chen
School of East Asian Studies
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Dr Yu Chen joined the School of East Asian Studies in November 2012. She gained her PhD in Urban Studies from the University of Glasgow. Before that, she had obtained BSc from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, two MSc from a collaborative program between Fudan University and the University of Oslo, Norway.

Her PhD thesis examines labour market experience of migrants in China using both qualitative and quantitative data from fieldwork in Shanghai. She then worked as research fellow in externally-funded research projects on housing market and urban change at the same department (Urban Studies) in Glasgow, before arriving at Sheffield.


BSc (SHUFE, Shanghai) MSc (Fudan, Shanghai); MSc (Oslo); PhD (Glasgow)

Research interests

Dr Chen’s research interests are in China’s urbanisation and rural-to-urban migration. China is experiencing the largest migration wave in human history, with hundreds of millions of people moving from the countryside to cities to seek better life. She is interested in the social, economic, spatial and environmental consequences of such massive urbanisation.

She is currently involved in two ESRC-funded research projects:

  • ESRC/CASS Urban Transformations: Urban Development, Migration, Segregation and Inequality (09/2015 -- 08/2018). This project aims to bring together researchers from the University of Glasgow, University of Sheffield and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to develop new ideas, innovative methods and analysis on the impacts of migration on urban development, the related social-spatial segregation and public policy challenges.
  • ESRC/GCRF: Dynamics of Health & Environmental Inequalities in Hebei Province, China (01/2017 – 07/2018). The goal of the project is to work with analysts and government officers in Hebei Province to develop the data infrastructure to examine the social and health impacts of rapid urbanisation and air pollution, in order to improve decision support tools for economic and social policy.

Her previous project, funded by the Universities China Committee in London and Adam Smith Research Foundation, focused on new-generation migrants, their aspirations and socio-economic integration in urban China.


Edited books

Journal articles


Book reviews

  • Chen Y (2009) Review of 'China's Emerging Cities: The Making of New Urbanism'. Planning Theory and Practice, 10(4), 551-551. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Leishman C, Gibb K, Meen G, O'Sullivan T, Young G, Chen Y, Orr A & Wright R (2008) Scottish Model of Housing Supply and Affordability: Final Report RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • Chen Y & Pryce G (2012) Environmental risks: flooding. In International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home. Oxford: Elsevier. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

SEAS Research Cluster

Movement(s), Economy and Development in East Asia

Associated research groups, collaborators and projects

Research Supervision

Dr Chen welcomes applications from prospective PhD students in the fields of urbanisation, migration, urban development and housing.

Teaching interests

Dr Chen believes that teaching should be student-centred. Through various teaching methods, students gain not only knowledge about specific subjects, but transferable skills of critical thinking, logical reasoning and good communication. She is organising the following UG and TPG modules, besides dissertation supervision at all levels.

Teaching activities

Dr Chen teaches on the following modules:

  • EAS2022 Urbanisation in China
  • EAS6204 Chinese Cities in Transition
  • EAS6868 East Asian Research Methods