SOAS University of London

Access, Participation and Student Success

Cities in History: a short course for adults


Date: 18 March 2019Time: 12:00 AM

Finishes: 23 March 2019Time: All Day

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Type of Event: Workshop

Cities have long been engines of wealth and power, as well as magnets for migrants, from the countryside and overseas. Cities, far more than countries, are the environment within which many of us live our lives: nowadays more than half of the world’s people live in cities.

This course will provide an introduction to the history of cities, and thereby a foundation on which students can build their own knowledge into the urban past and present. It will proceed chronologically, exploring different types of cities as they have evolved over time, then tracing the impact of industry and empire from the late 19th century.

Throughout, it will focus on cities in Asia and Africa, nowadays the fastest growing cities in the world, whose urban histories and presents do not always mirror the Euro-American stories of London, Paris, and New York, which tend to dominate debate.

The programme will include workshops to develop oral and written presentation skills, critical analysis and research skills. All of these will be embedded on the programme and will not require any previous knowledge.

Topics will include:

  • Day 1: Introduction 
  • Day 2: The city as market
  • Day 3: Cities and power
  • Day 4: The Islamic city
  • Day 5: Port cities

The course will be on weekday evenings (5:45 - 7:45pm) with a friends and family day on Saturday 23rd March from 11-3pm.

Refreshments will be provided. We also have funds to cover the costs of transport for those on low income. 

To register, please use the online registration form.

Please note that there are only 20 places available on this course and priority will be given to those without previous HE qualification.

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4745