Spring 2021 - URB 602 G100

Urban Professional Development II (2)

Class Number: 4643

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 5:30 PM – 7:20 PM

    5:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    HCC 1700, Vancouver



Designed to assist and support urban studies student professional development as researchers in a range of possible career paths.


This is the second of a two-course series designed to assist and support urban studies students' professional development as urbanists and researchers in a range of possible career paths.  

Course policies

Remote delivery of this course means that ‘the usual’ course policies are now flexible. Due dates, expectations, requirements, are all built for resilience and adaptability.


Participation - 20%
Students are expected to prepare thoroughly and thoughtfully for class by completing the required texts and tasks, contributing actively and respectfully in synchronous class sessions, and being an engaged and supportive virtual classroom citizen. Students are expected to pose thoughtful and respectful questions and comments to all guest speakers.

This course asks a lot of your ‘self’: self-reflection, self-exploration, self-assessment, self-improvement, defining your priorities, etc. Your responsibility is to be prepared to engage in discussions, workshops, and assigned exercises (mini-assignments) to the very best of your

Portfolio - 80%

Each week, there will be a mini-assignment that you will complete as a part of your asynchronous work for URB602. These mini-assignments follow up on the workshops, guest speakers, and required material presented during that week’s synchronous meeting. At the end of the course, you will compile these mini-assignments together to create a professional development portfolio for official submission. Some weeks, you will have a choice of options for the mini-assignment, giving you the flexibility to do what makes most sense for you and
your career development goals.

To combine several documents into one PDF file, use a PDF merger software.

Examples of mini-assignments: preparing a grant application, identifying scholarly journals that are a good fit for your research, creating a knowledge mobilization plan for your research, developing narrative biographies, creating a LinkedIn profile, using an existing research paper to develop a 500 word op-ed for the general public, creating a 10-minute scholarly podcast, etc.

For remote delivery, it is important for everyone to have a clear understanding of the what, where, why and when. URB602 consists of synchronous sessions that are held on odd-numbered weeks of the course (i.e. Weeks 1, 3, 5, etc.) via Zoom (meaning that everyone is
together, participating and interacting, with one another, the instructor, workshop leaders and guest speakers, etc.) and asynchronous work (mini-assignments that you will complete on your own on even-numbered weeks of the course (i.e. Weeks 2, 4, 6, etc.), consulting with the
instructor as needed, that contains mini-assignments that build upon the previous week’s synchronous content and topics.

The course plans for will the following basic schedule:

  • You will need to read/view/listen to the required material before the synchronous Zoom session on Tuesday evening
  • Attend the synchronous Zoom session on Thursday evening (which will begin at 5:30pm, and end no later than 7:20) on even-numbered weeks of the course (i.e. Weeks 1, 3, 5, etc.)
  • After the synchronous session, on even-numbered weeks of the course (Weeks 2, 4, 6, etc.) you will be doing asynchronous course work in the form of a mini-assignment. To allow for flexibility, you do not need to submit these each week, but instead will compile your work at the end of the term and submit these assignments as a single portfolio. So, while it is suggested that you keep up weekly incremental work on these assignments following the schedule, there is flexibility built in that allows you to complete these assignments in a way that works for you.
  • Rinse, repeat.
Planned Face-to-Face Activities
One face-to-face activity for this course is planned for March 11.
Students should consider this plan and date as tentative and subject to confirmation by the instructor in the course syllabus (which students will receive on the first day of classes) as well as subject to any provincial public health restrictions in effect at the time.


Learning Objectives 

During this course, we will focus on:

  • Making connections between our own urban professional and research skills and interests and those of our classmates and professional associates within the urban studies research community
  • Understanding the evolving landscape of urban research in Canada
  • Gaining exposure to grant writing, conference presentation, and the publication process for academic, professional and public audiences
  • Practising skills necessary for healthy work-life balance during graduate school 


  • Participation 20%
  • Porfolio 80%


Office Hours: book via www.calendly.com/leanne_roderick

Contact: leanne_roderick@sfu.ca


No prerequisites



This course has one required text, which is available via SFU Library Course Reserves (link in Canvas) as an ebook, with options to download chapters.

Berdahl, L. and Malloy, J., 2018. Work Your Career: Get what You Want from Your Social Sciences Or Humanities PhD. University of Toronto Press.

All other required material is available via SFU Library, or the links provided in the syllabus.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).