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The Urban Studies Major will equip you with the skills and knowledge to understand the complexity of cities and to deal with urban problems that will be the centre of a vast array of professions. It will challenge you to think about the dynamic relationship between understanding cities and city-making by exposing you to a range of critical approaches and professional practices vital to urban life.

About this major

About this major

The core units at the centre of Urban Studies Major are multidisciplinary in nature, and scaffold your learning with a twofold mission:

First, you will explore urbanism locally by learning from a diversity of urbanism ideas and examining land management and urban development over time from the perspective of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians. You will reflect on the critical notion of what it means to be learning about, planning for, and critiquing built environment on unceded Aboriginal land.

Secondly, you will explore urbanism internationally with a focus on cities in the Global South. By 2030, the Global South is expected to be home to 34 out of 41 megacities in the world. The focus on the Global South will expose you to the accelerating rate of urbanisation in fundamentally different urban settings; and provide you with provocative and productive urban frameworks to critically think about all cities and their citizens.

The Major seeks to provide immersive opportunities for you by the design of the third-year project UOS. In 2023, we look to introduce an international field trip as a selective in the third year.

As part of the Urban Studies Major, there is a diverse range of selective units for you to tailor your degree based on your interests and future career aspirations. The selectives range from geography, environment, anthropology, history, sociology, music, transport, planning and urban design, policy and politics.

At the completion of the Urban Studies Minor, you will be able to:

  • Explain urbanisation in both Australian and international contexts

  • Differentiate the dynamic interactions of political, economic and cultural forces in shaping the urban form and social life of urban areas

  • Understand the commonalities of cities in terms of formal/informal urban management and design

  • Identify the range of actors and processes that are central to the city-making process

  • Analyse the role of citizenship in urban politics and development

  • Recognise the role played by different disciplines of knowledge and methods of research in analysing and understanding urban areas

  • Identify the ways that urban studies can contribute to your future career

  • Apply evidence-based knowledge, drawn from different disciplines, to investigate sustainability in an urban context

  • Apply collaborative and ethical practice in interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary teams

  • Demonstrate effective communication through different modes
Career pathways

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers with different levels of government and non-government sectors, as urban analysists, policy advisors, commentators and advocates. Further, at the end your undergraduate degree, you have the option to enter Master of Urban and Regional Planning or Master of Urbanism in hope of pursuing a professional life dedicated to thinking about and planning for cities.

Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.