Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Scott Firsing


What is the relationship between urbanisation and globalisation over the recent centuries? The unit analyses a series of international world cities, examining their histories, contemporary situation, and emerging or possible future development scenarios. A large emphasis from the historical perspective is placed on the developed world. However, this unit pays special attention to the contemporary role of cities as drivers of economic and social change in the developing world, with a large aspect of the tutorial time spent on African cities.


On successful completion of the unit the student will:

  1. Have an understanding of a number of important international cities in both the developing and developed world;
  2. Have an understanding of the historical and contemporary role of cities as drivers of economic, social and cultural change, with an emphasis on the developing world;
  3. Recognise the similarites and differences between global cities in both the developed and developing world and the problems they both face in the 21st century;
  4. Be familiar with the research skills and methods of urban scholars, including urban historians and other related disclipines;
  5. Have experience in working with a range of textual, visual and material urban research sources;
  6. Have further developed their oral and written communication skills, including skills in writing for non-specialist audiences;
  7. In addition to the above, students undertaking the unit at level three will have demonstrated the ability to conceive and complete an independent research project around an urban theme.


Written work: 90%:
Class participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


First year sequence in International Studies, or First year sequence in Geography and Environmental Science