SGO4201 – Urbanism – urban structures and trends

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is an in-depth study of recent theories about the economic, technological, cultural and social development of towns and cities. The core area of the syllabus covers correlations between economic change and various kinds of differentiation, including segregation. An affiliated topic is the correlations between physical mobility or daily trips, urban development and urbanity. We also consider the growth of an ‘electronic’ urbanism, and how the use of ICT contributes to the transformation of towns and cities. The course elucidates processes at several geographical levels, from global processes via processes in the individual town or city to processes in urban neighbourhoods. In particular, we emphasize place-related factors, including ‘place poverty’, ethnic enclaves, lifestyle enclaves and fortified enclaves.

Learning outcome

Knowledge goals

You will be able to:

  • account for and discuss key concepts and recent theories about economic, technological, cultural and social development in towns and cities
  • explain the correlation between economic development and various kinds of differentiation
  • explain and cite examples of how urban development and urbanity influence and are influenced by physical mobility and electronic communication
  • 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 and discuss concepts and theories with a high level of precision
  • write a paper at a high theoretical level, using empirical examples, within a stated time limit. Your written work must reflect thorough understanding of correlations, show a high level of precision, and be characterized by independent thinking.

Affective goals

  • The course will promote a theoretically grounded understanding of the economic, social and technological development of towns and cities.


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.

Students with admission to the programme must each semester register which courses and examinations they wish to sign up for in StudentWeb.


Recommended previous knowledge

This course builds on SGO2100 – Bygeografi og urbanisme and SGO3100 – By- og regional utvikling (discontinued) at the bachelor level in human geography. However, sitting examinations in these courses it is not a prerequisite for taking this course.

Overlapping courses

The course replaces parts of SGO4012 – Bygeografi (discontinued) and SGO312, both of which are courses previously offered by the Department of Sociology and Human Geography.


This course will be taught at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other location in Oslo may be used. Teaching includes lectures and seminars.


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

The Faculty of Social Science is responsible for all written exams, and these exams are normally held at The University of Oslo, Blindern campus. Other locations in Oslo may be used.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

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 2009


Every other autumn starting 2009

Teaching language


This course will be taught in English from autumn 2017.