Seeking to address the knowledge vacuum generated by the multitude of environmental, economic and social crises manifesting in cities in the Global South due to rapid urbanisation, the African Centre for Cities (ACC), rooted at the University of Cape Town, launches a new Masters in Southern Urbanism (an MPhil specialising in Urban Studies).

“We see this moment as an unprecedented opportunity to question what we mean by urban scholarship, and rigour, in order to fashion alternative ways of being researchers and teachers,” says Professor Edgar Pieterse, Director of ACC. “However, this exploratory project demands a conscious effort to grow an ambitious cohort of black urbanists willing to equip themselves to build a new kind of urban studies, rooted in the realities and desires of the Global South.”

The development of the course, supported by a grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, has been underway since 2015 and will have its first in-take in 2018. Renowned urban scholar Professor Edgar Pieterse, along with Professor Sophie Oldfield, who holds the University of Cape Town and University of Basel Professorship in Urban Studies and course convenor Dr António Tomás, designed the two-year degree curriculum.

In year one, students complete the Masters coursework, which includes a compulsory City Research Studio, a choice of two of three interdisciplinary urban modules, and an urban-focused elective. In year two, students research and write individual minor dissertations based on their own fieldwork.

Core modules – Urban Theory, Urban Everyday and Arts of Space – engage and ground students in a mix of exciting theoretical debates central to contemporary southern cities. A selection of electives gives students an opportunity to engage with cities through particular disciplines and thematics in, for instance, geography, sociology, anthropology, architecture and planning.

At the heart of the Masters is the City Research Studio, a laboratory space where the students and faculty will learn to walk, see, smell, touch, embrace, explore and reimagine the city through intimate engagements mediated by diverse research techniques.

The Masters is open to students who have completed four-year bachelor degrees, as well as students with existing Masters degrees, in specific disciplines. The programme has been designed to provide a rigorous theoretical as well as methodological foundation in interdisciplinary urban studies. It is intended as a bridgehead into PhD-level research, producing skilled researchers able to conduct compelling doctoral research.

Applications for 2018 are now open.

For more information or to apply click here.