U21 Shared Online Course 2016/17

Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

Today more than 54% of the world’s population is urban, and by 2050 this figure is predicted to rise to 70%. In 2016/17 three iterations of a 5-week online module (taking 2-3hrs per week work) will be offered only to U21 students to introduce them to ideas of urbanization and specifically the challenges of planetary urbanization. Through reading, discussion and other activities U21 students around the globe will engage online with each other and with staff from multi-disciplinary perspectives to understand how humans are responding to the global urban challenge and to take a fresh look at the city in which they live and study. The course is suitable for students at or above first year undergraduate level. The module may also be embedded in existing modules.



A full course curriculum can be downloaded at the bottom of the page



Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Discuss important urban challenges facing societies globally in the 21stcentury;
  • Explain ‘planetary urbanization’ and how it differs from historic urbanisation;
  • Identify planetary urbanization in action in their “home city”;
  • Compare how urban experiences are different across space and time;
  • Demonstrate the value, and appreciate the importance, of global, intercultural learning.


Students: Our multi-disciplinary team of academic specialists will signpost your learning journey but more importantly you will engage in ongoing discussion with students from across the U21 network, to “virtually exchange” ideas, opinions and experiences. Students’ engagement with the course will be monitored and a certificate of participation given to those who complete.


Whether you are a medic, a scientist, a social scientist, engineer or a scholar in the humanities, the questions we discuss will be relevant to the world you will work and live in!


Lavinia Winegar Gott
Educational Innovation Manager