Asian Cities URBAN5051

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description


This course is an interactive study tour of six regionally important Asian cities with students being exposed to between 50 to 60 real estate development case studies through a combination of site visits, presentations from industry personnel, "hands-on" workshops and case studies.


This is a four weeks intensive case study driven fieldtrip. The four weeks run from the end of June and through July with 1 week spent in Hong Kong, 1 week in Singapore, 1 week in Shanghai and Beijing and 1 week in Tokyo and Seoul.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses






The students work in smalls groups to develop a portfolio of case study analyses. The data collection and mapping out of the cases are conducted during the 2 or 4 weeks programme but students are allowed time after the trip to tidy up their submissions. Students who complete the 4 weeks field trip are required to submit two critical analysis (maximum 2,000 words each) while those who do the 2 weeks field trip are required to submit two critical analysis (maximum 3,000 words each). These are larger assignments to compensate for the lower number of effort hours spent during the fieldtrip.


Each critical analysis requires the student to define and present a mock scenario in relation to two case study development they visited during their overseas fieldtrip.

Course Aims

This aims of this course are to:

■ enable participants to critically compare UK and Asian practices within the built environment;

■ offer participants insight into actual development projects and their complexities and constraints from the viewpoints of varying stakeholders;

■ enable participants to examine in-depth the actual problems encountered in practice by professionals operating in Asian real estate markets;

■ offer participants a fresh and stimulating approach to the skills and solutions required in planning and real estate development practice in other countries; and

■ analyse the difficulties in putting theories into planning and real estate development practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ critically evaluate the complexity of real estate development projects within Asia and demonstrate an in-depth understanding of how they vary from real estate development projects in the UK;

■ articulate and evaluate the processes within which professionals practice;

■ identify and argue in favour of the relevance of the skills required in real estate and construction and their relationship to the skills of professionals in other locations;

■ evaluate practical solutions to problems, such as climate change and, market uncertainty, that practitioners are likely to encounter in their practice;

■ observe, question and offer worked alternatives to the practices and skills used in the case studies;

■ interpret, analyse and compare evaluate theories, concepts and principles in the study of land use, property rights, planning systems and process as applied in different countries;

■ evaluate the importance of time in property development and planning, and show how the short-term and longer-term consequences of real estate and planning decisions may impact differentially on those affected;

■ examine different financial mechanisms available to developers and analyse their implications in the development process;

■ engage in complex problem solving, and demonstrate the ability to reach decisions and make recommendations in relation to individual cases in the context of their broader implications;

■ search for, manipulate, evaluate and present data to support arguments in relation to the needs of the client within the cases studies examined;

■ extract and assess data from management and company accounts, and

■ work effectively on individual and group-based tasks.

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.


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc City Planning and MSc Real Estate is D3 or above.


University standard regulations apply to students on other qualifications.