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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Slums and Suburbs
Module Code GY306
School 68
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ruth McManus
Semester 2: Ruth McManus
Autumn: Ruth McManus
Module TeachersRuth McManus
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to explore how the modern industrial city evolved from the 19th century and how space and society adapted to deal with the challenges of urban life. With the underlying question of 'Can we create better cities?', we consider proposals and actions for the creation of social or physical utopias, as well as their impact in the real world. We explore how and why urban planning came to take on such importance during this period. We also consider the huge importance of suburbanisation and its implications for society. Students are expected to attend and engage in the module.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe how Western cities have evolved since 1750 and consider how urban planning has developed in response to these changes.
2. Explain the social and economic effects of twentieth-century suburbanisation.
3. Propose solutions to contemporary urban issues drawing parallels with past events.
4. Evaluate the importance of key actors in bringing about change in cities.
5. Research and analyse sources and apply methodologies in urban and historical geography.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Attending and participation in formal lectures and seminars
Independent Study54Independent reading and research, including assigned reading for each part of the module
Independent Study29Private study and examination
Assignment Completion20Preparation and completion of continuous assessment assignments
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Examining c19th industrial cities:
Considers how industrialisation and urbanisation led to a changing geography during this formative period; examines key writings on the period, looks at the on-going battle to introduce improvement through legislative reform vs. predominant laissez-faire ideology.

The Search for Utopia:
Examines utopian thought from Sir Thomas More to New Lanark, through the model industrial villages of the mid-19th century and contrasting the dystopian view of the c19th city with utopian and philanthropic efforts at reform.

The Garden City and beyond:
Explores how the work of Ebenezer Howard and his followers radically changed the nature of the city and impacted on the evolution of modern town planning.

Suburbs and suburbanisation:
Overview of suburban trends from John Nash to Levittown and through to 21st century sprawl.

Dublin in context:
Examines how Ireland and particularly Dublin fits into the broader context outlined above, looking at the 19th century city, Dublin 1913 – on the cusp of change, including the Church Street collapse and its aftermath, Dublin’s planned working-class suburbanisation in the early 20th century, and its evolution through the 20th century in the context of economic globalisation.

Urban Regeneration and the sustainable city:
Includes a consideration of Dublin Docklands, understanding the Irish planning system, sustainable cities and the future of planning and participation.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentCritical analysis of a historic source and/or written report and/or Quiz50%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Brady, J. & Simms, A. (eds): 2001, Dublin through Space and Time, Four Courts, Dublin,
  • Dennis, R.: 1986, English Industrial Cities of the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge U.P,
  • Hall, P.: 1996, Cities of Tomorrow, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Hall, T., Hubbard, P. and Short, J.R.: 2008, The Sage Companion to the City, Sage, London,
  • LeGates, R.T. & Stout, F. (eds): 0, The City Reader, Routledge, London,
  • McManus, R.: 2002, Dublin 1910-1940, Four Courts, Dublin,
Other Resources

55963, 0, Online links available via the VLE (currently Loop),
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