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SA3903 - City Life: From Ur to Athens to Motown

Academic year

2021 to 2022 (Semester 2)

Key module information

SCOTCAT credits


The Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer (SCOTCAT) system allows credits gained in Scotland to be transferred between institutions. The number of credits associated with a module gives an indication of the amount of learning effort required by the learner. European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits are half the value of SCOTCAT credits.

SCQF level

SCQF level 9

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Availability restrictions

Only available to those enrolling on the MA Combined Studies or already enrolled on the MA/BSc General degree taken in the evening.

Planned timetable

To be confirmed.

This information is given as indicative. Timetable may change at short notice depending on room availability.

Module coordinator

Dr K L Lane

This information is given as indicative. Staff involved in a module may change at short notice depending on availability and circumstances.

Module Staff

Dr K Lane

This information is given as indicative. Staff involved in a module may change at short notice depending on availability and circumstances.

Module description

This module explores the diverse ways that people inhabit, engage, experience and imagine urban environments. Over half the population now live in cities and this is expected to rise to two-thirds in the next 50 years. What does it mean to be a human being in the city? Urban studies draw on a variety of disciplinary perspectives and we will address directly the benefits and challenges of an interdisciplinary approach. To begin, we review classic and modern urban theories drawing on a wide variety of examples. Next, we focus on three city case studies to see how life as experienced contributes to theoretical analysis. Finally, we consider how the city is imagined, as represented in film, literature and music, and what this adds to our understanding of urban life. From Ur to Athens to Motown, this module also incorporates academic skills training in some of the tutorials.

Relationship to other modules


Must have passed any Social Science or humanities evening degree module

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews

Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA

Written examinations = 0%
Practical examinations = 0%
Coursework = 100%

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) have compiled/developed an indicative list of learning and teaching methods:
  • Written: Is included in this category any assessment done under exam conditions (exams during diets, class tests) that do not involve the use of practical skills.
  • Practical: Are included in this category oral assessment and presentation as well as practical skills assessed in situ (in a classroom or laboratory for instance). Performances in the performing arts context are also classed as practical assessment.
Further details can be found on the QAA website.


Coursework = 100%

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact

1-hour lecture (x11 weeks), 2-hour practical or tutorial (x11 weeks), optional office hours by appointment. Planned timetable: Tutorials will be capped at 9 students to facilitate live online sessions with Microsoft Teams. If necessary, a second tutorial group will be scheduled and therefore may take place at a different time and/or on a different day. This will be done in consultation with enrolled students to account for their personal circumstances. A planned one to one office hours session will be held via Teams with each student in the first third of the module, as well as on request.

Scheduled learning hours


The number of compulsory student:staff contact hours over the period of the module.

Guided independent study hours


The number of hours that students are expected to invest in independent study over the period of the module.