Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

This is an advanced course in urban geographical theory. The aim is to explore urban theory through thematic excursions in the literature and in diverse field settings. An additional aim is to provide preparatory training for thesis writing.

The course involves the in-depth analysis of recent and contemporary theories  within urban social geography. The following main themes are covered by the course syllabus:

  1. Urbanization and counter-trends
  2. Contemporary urbanism
  3. Comparative urbanism
  4. Divided cities, urban geopolitics and the challenge of social media
  5. Segregation, neighbourhood effects and spaces of encounter

Learning outcome

Knowledge goals


You will be able to:

  • account for and discuss key concepts and theories in contemporary urban social geography.
  • explain the connection between economic and societal development and various kinds of urban differentiation processes and patterns
  • explain and provide examples of how different processes take shape at different geographical levels (from global to local conditions).

Skills attainment goals

You will be able to:

  • account for, discuss and critique concepts and theories in a sophisticated manner
  • connect these theories, and critiques thereof, to concrete settings in the field
  • write a theoretically informed paper, using empirical examples, within a stated time limit. Your written work must demonstrate a thorough understanding of correlations, show a high level of precision, and be characterized by independent critical thinking.

Effective goals

  • The course will promote a theoretically grounded understanding of past and contemporary urban development.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Admission to the course is dependent on admission to the master’s degree programme in human geography. Students with admission to other relevant master’s degree programmes can apply for admission as guest students.

Master specialisation in didactics for social science in the Teacher Education Programme (Lektorprogrammet) – please see the link for information regarding admission.




Recommended previous knowledge

This course builds on SGO2100 - Bygeografi og urbanisme and SGO3500 – Byers struktur og utvikling at the bachelor level in human geography. However, sitting examinations in these courses it is not a prerequisite for taking this course.

Overlapping courses


Teaching includes lectures, seminars, and student-led mini-fieldtrips in Oslo.

Compulsory instruction and coursework

Participation in at least 80% of the seminars and 75% of the fieldtrips is mandatory. However, due to the uncertainties surrounding the ongoing coronavirus crisis, presence at the seminars will not be mandatory during Fall 2021. It is nevertheless very strongly recommended.

Completed and approved compulsory course work is valid as long as the course is offered. Students who have failed to complete the compulsory attendance cannot take the exam.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory tuition activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.


The course is examined with a course paper, approx. 5000 words (excluding references) written in Times New Roman, font size 12 and spacing 1.5, which is expected to build on (I) the course’s mandatory readings and (ii) a self-chosen reading list of 15-20 articles related to the chosen theme for the course paper.

The list of individually chosen articles must be enclosed to and/or highlighted in the paper’s list of references.


Examiner guidelines

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Every other autumn starting 2017
Every other autumn starting 2017
Teaching language