AT Urban Studies

Students will look at the history of global cities and the challenges facing cities as the planet becomes more urban. They will also conduct several projects in the field, at a variety of scales. It will give students a new perspective of Singapore, and open their eyes as they inevitably live and visit other cities around the world.

What are the major projects you will complete in this course?

There will be a major fieldwork project involving the community surrounding the school where students identify the field of study and the data-gathering methods. There is also a final research essay on any topic of interest to the students. 

Course Details

Ian Coppell

"You should take this course if you plan on living in a city, and you want to know more about Singapore and other global cities. This course is also extremely relevant, both in terms of content, but looking at the challenges facing today's cities."

AT Urban Studies

ID: 42060 Grade: 11-12 Length: Year
Credit: Social Studies
Prerequisite: AP Human Geography; or a Semester I grade of B or higher in a tenth or eleventh grade social studies course is required to select this course; or current teacher recommendation.
Note: The Advanced Topic (AT) designation indicates a course is at university level, putting it at or above the level of a traditional Advanced Placement (AP) course. This course has a grade point weighting of 0.5.

Students will study urban development from a historical and a geographic perspective focusing on themes, trends, and challenges that have faced urban planners. Students will engage in various interdisciplinary assignments and projects which demonstrate understanding of the key concepts, content, and skills associated with city design and analysis. Students will apply this knowledge to Singapore and look for themes and patterns related to various community stakeholders. Students will then focus on a theme of personal interest which will form the basis of field work research paper/project. Themes could relate to topics such as gentrification, green space, the negotiation between private and public interests, architecture, transportation, leisure and recreation, or government housing, and may focus on one specific location, such as the their own neighborhood.

Following the fieldwork-based research, students will look at the main challenges and issues facing urban planners today around the world. The culminating summative project will be a research project which can take a variety of forms, but will address one of these issues. Students will also share a presentation which summarises their research and findings. This course will involve research in the field, and will require students to visit sites in their own time, and be responsible for conducting that field research.

What Our Students Say


Before this class, I never appreciated the purposeful yet minute details that make up the beauty of a city. AT Urban Studies provided me with a unique insight into the complex intricacies of Singapore and other cities worldwide. My biggest takeaway from the course was the ability to identify almost all the concepts we learned in our very own backyard.”Benjamin King,
Class of 2019


AT Urban Studies is one of my favorite courses offered here at SAS. What I love most about this course is that I get to learn by doing and getting the ability to learn outside of the classroom through fieldwork. I was interested in architecture and this course allowed me to explore this interest but also learn about urban planning.”Kalyarat Hoemkhuntod,

Results that Matter


Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams


of 3's, 4's, and 5's received in AP exams in 2018


Advanced Topics (AT) courses


of the Class of 2018 graduates were awarded cum laude commendations