Dr Yu Chen

School of East Asian Studies

Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies

Yu Chen
Profile picture of Yu Chen

Full contact details

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

Dr Yu Chen obtained BSc from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and two MSc from a collaborative program between Fudan University and the University of Oslo, Norway. She then went to the University of Glasgow to do a PhD in Urban Studies. Her thesis examines labour market experiences of migrants in China using both qualitative and quantitative data from fieldwork in Shanghai.

After an unconditional award of PhD in a viva voce, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in externally-funded projects on housing market and urban change at the same department (Urban Studies) in Glasgow, before securing a lectureship in Chinese Studies at the University of Sheffield.


BSc (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics) MSc (Fudan, Shanghai); MSc (Oslo); PhD (Glasgow)

Research interests

Dr Chen’s research areas are in China’s urbanisation and rural-to-urban migration, urban development, labour market and housing. 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 lives. She is working on the social, economic, spatial and environmental consequences of such massive urbanisation. She has published high-quality articles in international peer-reviewed journals, such as Urban Studies, Cities, Housing Studies, Land Use Policy, Habitat International, Environment and Planning B, Professional Geographer, and Population, Space and Place. In addition to journal articles, she co-edited a book entitled ‘Urban Inequality and Segregation in Europe and China’ in 2021.

Her research has been funded by the ESRC, the Worldwide Universities Networks (WUN), and the Universities China Committee in London (UCCL). She worked with colleagues within and beyond Sheffield on two ESRC projects on China’s rapid urbanisation: Dynamics of Health & Environmental Inequalities in Hebei Province, China ES/P003567/1 with a total amount of £199,502; Urban Transformations in China - Urban Development, Migration, Segregation and Inequality ES/N007603/1 with a total amount of £162,025.


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:

  • EAS21026 Population and Environment in China
  • EAS6204 Chinese Cities in Transition
  • EAS6868 East Asian Research Methods