HGO4202 – Urbanism - urban policies and planning

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides in-depth studies of recent theories about urban policies and town planning, as well as empirical research that can clarify the content of these theories. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding correlations between social, cultural and economic changes (such as postmodern urban development and globalization) on the one hand, and on the other hand the growth of new forms of urban policies and town planning (such as entrepreneurship policy, governance, postmodern planning processes, neighbourhood strategies, liberalized housing policies, a focus on spectacular architecture and new urbanism) in cities in the western world. The course also deals with challenges related to architectural design, urban design and town planning at a low geographical level, whether in respect of blocks of flats in central areas or suburban development. A key issue is what kind of urbanism results from a more privatized and pluralistic town planning. At the same time, the significance of the local context is highlighted. Specific examples are given, also from Norway, of how new planning ideals and models are implemented. Emphasis is also put on exemplifying and discussing the contextual assumptions of the theory.

Learning outcome


You will:

  • learn about key concepts and recent theories on urban policies and town planning 
  • learn about the correlations between social, cultural and economic changes on the one hand, and on the other hand recent forms of urban policies and town planning
  • become familiar with examples of what kind of urbanism results from a more privatized and pluralistic urban development


You will be able to:

  • account for and discuss concepts and theories with a high degree of precision and reflection
  • write and present a subject-related contribution or a contribution to a discussion based on the insights you have acquired during the course 
  • write texts at a high theoretical level using empirical examples within a stated deadline. The written work must be of an explanatory nature and show a high level of precision and independence 

General knowledge

You will:

  • have the ability to demonstrate a critical, analytical and professionally constructive attitude towards contemporary urban development and the political debate on this
  • develop a curious and critical attitude to knowledge and research in this field


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.

This course is a part of the Master's program 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 (Urban geography and urbanism) and SGO3100 - By- og regional utvikling (discontinued) at the bachelor’s level in human geography. However, sitting examinations in these courses is not a prerequisite for taking this course.

Overlapping courses


Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


A 6-hour school exam at the end of the term.

Previous exams and examiner guidelines

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

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 2018


Every other autumn starting 2018

Teaching language