Module code: ENG3213

Module Overview

This module examines processes of urbanisation and the role of cities in achieving sustainable development. More than half the global population now live in cities, with the proportion living in cities expected to grow to more than two-thirds by 2050 as almost all population growth shifts to cities. Building on previous modules such as An Unequal Planet, Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators, Regenerating Environments and Communities, and Sustainable Housing and Communities, this module considers the challenges and opportunities created by the global shift towards urban living.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

SEYMOUR Valentine (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 107

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Trends and sustainability challenges raised by global urbanisation

  • Creating the built environment: urban expansion and regeneration

  • Utility services for cities: water, sanitation, energy supply and communications

  • Urban transport

  • Employment and migration to cities

  • The impact of cities on their regions and nations

  • Planning and governing cities

  • Visions of the future of urban environments

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Analytical essay 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to assist students develop their knowledge and understanding of key urbanisation processes and sustainable development.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • An analytical essay, worth 100% of the module mark

Formative assessment and feedback:

Students receive verbal feedback during lectures. There are also weekly seminar sessions during which key issues and debates on urbanisation will be discussed and analysed together by the class, with students receiving informal feedback on the input into these discussions. Potential ideas for tackling the analytical essay will be discussed in class in small groups, with each group encouraged to prepare a draft essay plan for sharing with the class and getting feedback from other groups and the instructor.

Module aims

  • To explore trends and sustainability challenges raised by global urbanisation
  • To examine how human needs are met by urban environments
  • To examine why cities house an ever growing proportion of the human population
  • To explore how cities can contribute to achieving sustainable development

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to articulate key global urbanisation trends CK
002 Understand how cities develop and grow CK
003 Understand the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation CK
004 Be able to articulate key policy debates about sustainable urbanisation CK

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Develop students' understanding of urbanisation processes.

  • Develop students' knowledge of key theories relating to urbanisation.

  • Help students consider the impacts of urbanisation on societies, their social and economic development, and the broader implications of global urbanization for sustainable development

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures (11 hours)

  • Captured content (11 hours)

  • Seminars (11 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG3213

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Sustainability: This module examines urbanisation processes and the role of cities in achieving sustainable development. Over half the world's population currently live in cities, with this proportion expected to grow substantially over the coming decades. SDG 11 is 'Sustainable cities and communities'. This module builds students understanding of how cities are growing and developing and impacting on the planet.

Global and cultural capabilities: This module considers the challenges and opportunities created by the global shift towards urban living which is perhaps the most significant global socio-economic shift of our time. It is fundamentally reshaping countries and their societies. Via class discussions and the analytical essay, this module helps students to understand the impacts this shift has on cultures and societies as they adapt to urban living.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.