MA in Global Urban Justice

University of Leeds, School of Geography

Program Description

MA in Global Urban Justice

University of Leeds, School of Geography

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.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • 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

Optional modules

  • 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.

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.

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.

Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
6,250 GBP
United Kingdom - Leeds, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Leeds, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fees: £15,000