AZA2633 - World cities: A historical and comparative analysis - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Victoria Graham


Dr Joseph Minga

Unit guides


South Africa

  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


AZA3633, ATS2633, ATS3633


What is the relationship between urbanisation and globalisation over the recent centuries? The unit analyses a series of international world cities, examining their histories, contemporary situation, and emerging or possible future development scenarios. A large emphasis from the historical perspective is placed on the developed world. However, this unit pays special attention to the contemporary role of cities as drivers of economic and social change in the developing world, with a large aspect of the tutorial time spent on African cities.


On successful completion of the unit the student will:

  1. Have an understanding of a number of important international cities in both the developing and developed world;
  2. Have an understanding of the historical and contemporary role of cities as drivers of economic, social and cultural change, with an emphasis on the developing world;
  3. Recognise the similarites and differences between global cities in both the developed and developing world and the problems they both face in the 21st century;
  4. Be familiar with the research skills and methods of urban scholars, including urban historians and other related disclipines;
  5. Have experience in working with a range of textual, visual and material urban research sources;
  6. Have further developed their oral and written communication skills, including skills in writing for non-specialist audiences;
  7. In addition to the above, students undertaking the unit at level three will have demonstrated the ability to conceive and complete an independent research project around an urban theme.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study