A professional Bachelors degree in urban planning, architecture or engineering or an honours degree in geography, economics, public administration, statistics, mathematics or a related degree is required. A pass mark of 60% in the major is required.
The programme provides an analytical and objective overview of the fundamental theories and concepts in urban geography, urban and regional planning and urbanism. It focuses on the spatial and structural relationships of economic and social activities within and between cities at regional, national and international levels of spatial aggregation. The programme is designed to enable the the student to empirically analyse the systemic elements of urban systems, particularly the quantifying and representation of spatial phenomena. As an MPhil level course the programme is structured to provide the candidate with the opportunity to critically analyse the various discourses objectively and to provide an original contribution to research in the field.
The course aims to provide advanced knowledge of the social and economic networks between population groups within private and public urban space as they manifest at different levels of urban spatial aggregation. The course also analyses various spatial, social and economic urban and regional challenges, their impact on the dynamism of urban systems, their influence on living conditions, and ways in which resulting challenges are addressed in different parts of the world. These different networks are analysed in terms of internationally acceptable norms of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Finally the course provides an introduction to urban and regional management instruments and their application in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.
Practically this course aims to provide the candidate with the skills to identify and apply appropriate research methodologies when analysing different elements of human activities within the urban and regional environment and the ability to correctly interpret the data requirements for such analyses. Candidates will be expected to master a variety of spatial analysis techniques available for socio-economic research with emphasis on GIS as an analysis tool in decision-making. The course is also developed to capacitate the candidate to perform and critically evaluate original research in urban and regional systems.