Urban Geographies: Cities, Ecologies, Politics GEOG4095

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the interrelationship between urbanization, people and nature, with a particular emphasis on how social power relations produce and change politico-economic and socio-environmental conditions and how these are lived, resisted and reworked by urban dwellers.


2 to 3 hours per week (lectures and seminars) for 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Students should have completed Level 2 Geography at minimum of grade D3

Excluded Courses



A 2500-word essay on a topic to be selected from a list circulated at the beginning of the semester and an unseen 90-minute exam.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

■ To theorize how the urban and the physical world interact;

■ To explore the entanglements of social, political, economic and physical conditions that shape urbanization;

■ To develop a critical understanding of the politico-economic and socio-ecological dynamics of urbanization;

■ To explore the key factors that shape urbanization and their spatial configurations and outcomes;

■ To show how urbanization is also political processes; 

■ To illustrate these processes by means of concrete historical-geographical examples.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the key concepts and theories that underpin critical urban theory, urban political economy and  urban political ecology;

■ Be able to critically discuss the relationships between people and their environments;

■ Understand the political significance of the entanglement of urbanization and socio-ecological processes, problems, and conditions;

■ develop critical discussions on diverse urban issues and struggles across the world

■ offer critical analysis on the notions, epistemologies, methodologies and ethics of urban research

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.