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) focuses on this intensifying large-scale planetary change. Through readings, discussion, videos and other activities, U21 students will be introduced to how humans are experiencing and being challenged by this major global shift. The course is suitable for students at or above first year undergraduate level. The module may also be embedded in existing modules.


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!


Course Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able 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.



Our multi-disciplinary team of academic specialists from University College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of Hong Kong (China) will share their expertise to signpost your learning journey. More importantly you will engage in ongoing discussion with students from across the U21 network, to “virtually exchange” ideas, opinions and experiences. Student engagement with the course will be monitored and a certificate of participation given to those who complete.


Whatever your discipline or background, we hope you consider joining on this exciting global journey.


For more information, download the full course curriculum attached below. 

Lavinia Winegar Gott
Educational Innovation Manager