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School of Geography

Global Urban Justice MA
(Full time / Part time) 2016 start


Key facts

  • Start date:
    September 2016
  • Duration/Mode:
    12 months full time
    24 months part time
  • UK/EU fees: £6,250
    International fees: £15,000
  • Entry requirements:
    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in geography or a related subject
  • Language requirements:
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component
  • This course has a work placement option
  • Course terms and conditions

Cities are becoming crucibles of political action and contest around diverse aspects of social, environmental and spatial justice. Across the world we face multiple challenges of climate change, migration and citizenship that threaten our very social and ecological sustainability.

The MA in Global Urban Justice (GUJ) combines cutting-edge theoretical and methodological training with real-world experience of working with civil society organisations and campaign groups. It aims to meet a growing demand for interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise in the challenges of contemporary urbanisation and social justice.

If you’re interested in becoming part of a new generation of urban practitioners who are theoretically informed, methodologically proficient and empirically grounded, and who can work across disciplinary divides to create more just, sustainable and inclusive urban environments, this course is for you.

More Information

The MA in Global Urban Justice is a Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-recognised pathway to PhD qualification.

The programme manager is Dr Alex Schafran.

You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level:
Global Urban Justice PGDip, full time
Global Urban Justice PGDip, part time

Course content

The programme introduces the core concepts and debates around urban justice and injustice across the global north and south with genuine broad coverage. It offers interdisciplinary and critical engagement with contemporary urbanisation in the global north and south, with the aim of creating more just, equitable and sustainable urban futures.

You’ll explore cutting edge themes in global urban justice through modules associated with the School’s research clusters on “Citizenship and Belonging” and “Cities and Social Justice”. You’ll also receive advanced training in qualitative, quantitative and action research methods, offering an excellent pathway to employment or doctoral study. If you study this programme part-time you will study fewer modules in each year.

To get the most from this programme, you’ll need to bring a strong sense of critical thinking and intellectual rigour, as well as a sound work ethic and good time management skills.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

You’ll study compulsory modules that draw directly on the research activities of the programme team.

Compulsory modulesOptional modules
Choose one from:
- Thinking through Global Urban (In)Justice
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Collaborative Research Placement
- Dissertation for Global Urban Justice
- Reclaiming the City (long or short module)

- Action Research in Urban Contexts
- Quantitative and Spatial Methods
- Global Environmental Ethics
- Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development
- Global Issues in Transport

Learning and teaching

Teaching is through lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, taken by leading academic researchers in the field of global urban justice. You’ll also learn though an innovative and interdisciplinary range of learning by doing experiences, including essays, reports, online blogs, presentations, design/policy/campaign manifestos, reflective logs and group projects.

The programme features guest talks and training by journalists, campaigners, researchers and activists, as well as visiting academics and researchers from specialist research and activism networks. There are short-term internship opportunities, working with civil society organisations and campaign groups.


The programme encompasses a range of assessment types and methods that both test and enable learning. These include: 1000-word blog posts, critical essays ranging from 1500-5000 words, group project and individual project reports (1500-3000 words), case study reports, verbal presentations, research plans, public-facing articles and dissertation thesis (10000 words).

These are designed to: evidence ability to conduct independent in-depth enquiry within the discipline; demonstrate the ability to apply breadth and/or depth of knowledge to a complex specialist area; draw on a range of perspectives on an area of study; evaluate and criticise received opinion and make reasoned judgements whilst understanding the limitations on judgements made in the absence of complete data. Assignments are set early in each semester and deadlines are spaced to prevent assessment clustering.

Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in geography, sociology, social policy, politics, international relations, or a related subject.

Relevant work experience is viewed positively and is taken into account, particularly for candidates whose first degree grade is slightly below our requirement.

If you’re interested in this programme but are unsure if you have the necessary background, please get in touch with us to discuss your position.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

Documents and information you’ll need

Read more on the School website about supporting documentation.

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

International students

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU fees: £6,250
International fees: £15,000

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Geography also offers specific funding for its courses.

Career opportunities

You will be trained to be able to work across theoretical and practice-based divides to positively intervene in a range of pressing urban challenges to achieve social, spatial and environmental justice.

You could undertake further postgraduate study as research student, or pursue wide-ranging employment, for example you could become a research analyst for a think-tank, an advocacy leader in an NGO or campaign group, or take-up a senior position in an international consultancy. There is wide variety of roles within these organisations, from researchers, consultants, policymakers, project managers, to development planners and entrepreneurs.

The programme is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as suitable for continuation onto doctoral programmes offering ESRC funding.

Careers support

The School of Geography has a very strong commitment to enhancing student employability. Read more about our employability support.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Work placements

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a placement with our established external partners, in third sector (voluntary, charity, think tanks, NGOs) organisations.