Social Studies & Media

Postgraduate courses in Urban Studies

Urban Studies is quite the interesting area. When we look at how cities and towns change over the years from a range of different areas from lifestyle to urban sprawl, society and human impacts. 

It is an area that would be very interesting to those with a genuine interest in the subject and some courses are suited to those who wish to go on and study a PhD. 

If you’re looking to add a postgraduate course to your list of achievements, then look no further. We have the basic information for you below in the hope of guiding you on your way. 

What is urban studies?

Urban studies focuses on the urban development of cities. It involves looking at the history of city development but from an architectural angle. It looks at the impact of urban design on efforts in community development. 

Urban studies is an important area of study as it highlights cities are critical to the organisation of economic, social and cultural activities that have an impact on human experience of different areas. 


There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. There are courses available in this area across a number of colleges and are very similar. Courses include:

Urban Research

Urban research postgraduate courses provide students with a foundation in social science research methods and theory in the theoretical debates around urban space and place. These courses will allow students to look at different urban problems and the solutions that can be used to improve these issues. There is also a strong emphasis on skills in both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as having a specialist understanding of urban studies. 

Urban Policy and Analytics

Postgraduate courses in urban policy and analytics will give students the opportunity to study the challenge that urbanism brings to our analysis for and/or of urban policy. Students will focus on different theoretical and empirical approaches in understanding different aspects such as urban governance, policy and data analysis. Modules include understanding the urban and researching the city. Specific course material may differ from course to course. 

Urban History and Culture

Postgraduate courses in this subject will allow students to study the social, political, cultural and economic development of modern cities. It looks at these areas from a historical perspective and explores the development of urban topography and planning through site visits and analysis. Modules covered may include Encountering the City: Historic Enquiry in Action and Interpreting the CIty: Cultural Constructions and their Material Effects. 

Other courses available in this area include Urban Planning and Design, Cities Culture and Creativity, Landscape and Urbanism and Architecture and Urbanism, to name a few. There are many options in a number of Universities to study courses with the same title, Urban Studies, but the particular course content may differ from each course. 

Entry requirements 

Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in a relevant social science or a humanities subject. 

Job options

A postgraduate degree in Urban Studies may be helpful in careers such as:

  • Community development officers
  • Town planner
  • Diplomat
  • Author
  • Cultural consultant 
  • Historian
  • Marketing researcher
  • Researcher
  • Statistician


Your salary will be completely dependent on what area you are working in or what profession you are in or planning to go in with a postgraduate degree in Urban Studies. We’ll look at two of the examples listed above to give you a better idea. As a community development officer you may earn up to £30,000, starting out closer to £16,000. Experience can increase your salary here. As a researcher in a University, you can earn anything between £27,000 to £39,000. All figures are intended to be used as a guide only. 

Skills and requirements 

Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Research skills
  • Ability to interpret information
  • An interest in cities and development 
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Ability to work with data and statistics
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization skills
  • Ability to work well with others 

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