QMUL Summer Schools

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Global Cities: London and Paris


This programme provides students with a creative intellectual immersion in two Global Cities: London and Paris. Time is primarily spent in London, where the city is used as both a classroom and laboratory for investigating a range of continuities and changes, problems and potentials across the urban fabric. Students will be introduced to key concepts and intellectual debates on urban inequality and economic growth, globalization, post-colonialism, the politics of public space, and urban diversity and encounters. Students will also travel to Paris for a three-day field visit to give a comparative perspective on the programme’s themes and to learn from the expertise of staff at the University of London Institute in Paris.

The programme curriculum is rooted in the social sciences and will be relevant to those studying sociology, economics, history, geography, political science, community studies, global studies and urban studies. It will also appeal to those in the arts and humanities, communications and business, and anyone interested in the dynamics of urbanization. The course has been developed by the world-leading research and teaching expertise of Queen Mary University of London and University of London Institute in Paris. Taught by academic staff from both universities, it draws upon the unique local knowledge and insights of academic researchers working in collaboration with institutions, community groups and organizations across both cities.

Academic Lead: Dr Olivia Sheringham


Course aims

This course aims to: 

  • Provide critical understanding of London and Paris as global cities, introducing students to a range of interdisciplinary scholarship on urban life in general and London and Paris in particular.
  • Develop understanding of theoretical perspectives on cities, particularly in relation to questions of social inequality; the political economy of urban change; imperialism, post-colonialism and the built environment; and culture, power and identity
  • Enable investigation of a range of issues and themes central to understanding London and Paris and their global characters including: the changing economic role of global cities; inequality and social polarization; neighbourhood change and gentrification; the interplay between metropolitan culture and colonial spaces; diversity, difference and urban culture
  • Offer opportunities to undertake urban fieldwork, observation and community engagement
  • Provide deeper understanding of, and opportunities for critical engagement with, the cities within which students are studying

Teaching and learning

Students participating in this programme will develop a sound understanding of the nature and significance of London and Paris as global cities, drawing from academic argument and debate, observational and participatory field work and their own research and investigation. A range of skills and capacities will be developed across the six weeks of the programme. The main learning outcomes are as follows:

  • Students will understand the way that global processes shape the cities of Paris and London
  • Through the prism of Paris students will gain a critical understanding of core scholarly debates about colonisation, decolonisation and urban change
  • Through the prism of London, students will gain a critical understanding of core scholarly debates about globalization and urban change, inequality and and social polarization, and urban culture, identity and difference
  • Students will be able to decipher historical and political processes through the built environment of the city
  • Students will develop understanding of core geographical concepts such as place, space and scale

Students will learn about global London and Paris in a variety of different ways including via lectures, seminars and workshops (using the facilities at Queen Mary University of London and  University of London Institute in Paris), field walks, visits to neighborhoods, museums, galleries and other institutions, and meeting with experts and community organizations. Reading, research, investigation and independent study will complement these activities.  The course will have its own dedicated supporting website on QMPlus (Queen Mary’s Virtual Learning Environment).


The Global Cities: Paris and London Summer School fees are £2000.

We are offering a 10% early bird discount off academic fees for those who apply before 28 February 2018.

From 28 February onwards we will offer a 10% academic fee discount to

  • Students and staff from partner institutions
  • Alumni
  • Current QMUL students 

The cost will include: 

  • Three night’s accommodation in Paris
  • Return Eurostar to Paris from London
  • Admission to museums and galleries in London and Paris

Please note: airfare and daily expenses are not included in the price.

Entry requirements

To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:

  • if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
  • if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+

We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the QMUL Summer School:

  • If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
  • IELTS, 7 overall or higher
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 100 (L22; S25; R24; W27)
  • PTE Academic 68
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English 185 70- grade C (old marking system)
  • Applicants with an alternative qualification should check it is equivalent to the above or contact us at

How to apply

Applications now open!

In order to apply for the QMUL Summer School please fill out the application form

Check out our accommodation and fee discount deadlines.

Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help.

10% early bird discount deadline: 28 February 2018.

Application deadline: 25 May 2018.

What do I need to apply?

You’ll need to upload the following documents together with your online application:

  • your current academic transcript or your record of studies to date
  • evidence of your English Language proficiency, if your first language isn’t English
  • a written statement explaining why you'd like to attend the Summer School
  • a copy of your passport

What do I do next? 

  • work with your home university adviser to select the courses you want to study at QMUL and ensure they are approved/can transfer back to your own institution
  • gather your transcripts and your proof of language proficiency (if applicable)
  • check that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • Apply online to QMUL 

What happens then?

  • we make a decision on your application within 5 days of your application date and send you an offer letter
  • you accept our offer
  • apply for a visa (if you need it)
  • book your flights to London**
  • read all of our pre-departure emails carefully before you arrive
  • pack and get ready for your stay in London
  • arrive in London and move into your new home with us on campus
  • join the welcome programme and start your course
  • complete all your welcome programme/orientation tasks
  • enjoy your time at QMUL!

** Please don’t connect or enter the UK via Ireland, as there are visa restrictions.

Teaching dates
Session 2: 16 July - 3 August 2018
Course hours
45 contact hours
1000 written coursework essay 25% Online exam 15% 1500 coursework exercise 25% Group presentation 25% Participation 10%

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