U21 Shared Online Course 2017

Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

By 2050 70% of the world’s population will be urban and some people argue that we are now witnessing planetary urbanisation. At its simplest, this means that whether living in cities or not, most of the world’s 7 billion population are affected by processes of urbanisation. This 5-week online course (time demand of 2-3 hours per week) focused on this intensifying large-scale planetary change. Through readings, discussion, videos and other activities, U21 students were introduced to how humans are experiencing and being challenged by this major global shift. The course was aimed at students at or above first year undergraduate level. 

The course was very well received and was offered exclusively to U21 students during 2017.  For additional information on the course, see https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/planetary-urbanisation.

Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students had learned to:

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


Lavinia Winegar Gott
Educational Innovation Manager