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TCP2028 : Understanding Cities

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gabriel Silvestre
  • Lecturer: Professor Stephen Graham, Dr Loes Veldpaus, Dr Andrew Law, Professor Simin Davoudi, Professor Rose Gilroy, Dr Jane Midgley, Dr David Webb
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To build critical, social-scientific understanding of contemporary cities and processes of urban change.
- To give students an understanding of the key debates in contemporary urban theory.
- To link theoretical debates, processes of urban change, and urban policy and planning debates using specific case studies and examples.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module uses a range of teaching styles – lectures, videos and discussions – to present a cutting-edge and critical introduction to the understanding of contemporary cities. The course addresses a wide range of types of cities; ’global’ cities such as London; postindustrial cities such as Newcastle; and Global South mega-cities. Using the latest insights from a wide range of social-scientific research on urban change to address this wide range of examples, the module will allow students to gain insights into contemporary urban theory. It will use these to build an understanding of how contemporary cities are changing and how these changes raise major challenges for urban planning and policy making.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Synchronous scheduled in person lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion182:0082:00Reading and research specifically focussed on assessment preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading185:0085:00Reading and learning as set out within the lectures and developed in the workshop discussions and
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00Synchronous workshops in class debating key issues discussed during the lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00Surgery
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Weekly lecture material, followed by individual activities of creative practice (e.g. viewing of a film, photographing) and contextual reading linked to topic, followed by bi-weekly workshops with group activities and discussion. Structured readings supplied each week. Support for preparation of assessments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A702000 word essay due at the end of the semester
Reflective log2M301500 word assignment comprised of x3 500 word written exercises.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-term 30% assignment of reflective logs is meant to help students to critically reflect on their metacognition (thinking about your own thinking). Students reflect on the material that they have engaged with and discussed in group workshops as well as material presented in class. It enables them to share learning through peer review (formative) and to build the first assessment over time (avoiding clustering).

The final 70% assignment essay will draw together ideas they have learned in class and workshops into one coherent critically engaging piece of work. Drawing on academic and non-academic materials, students demonstrate how these are used to aid 'understanding' of a particular issue in a city of their choice.

Reading Lists