Spring 2022 - URB 696 G100

Seminar in Urban Studies (4)

Class Number: 6111

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 3122, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    16 or more units of coursework completed, including URB 670 with a grade of B+ or higher.



In-depth study of two or three areas of urban studies with particular attention to (1) the contributions of various disciplines and (2) the development of a proposal for research to explore a suitable area of particular interest to the student. Where feasible, students will be involved with external organizations in developing their research proposal.


URB 696 will launch you on the research and writing of an original and independently executed MURB thesis by seeing you through the development of a research proposal or prospectus. This prospectus will form the foundation for your MURB project. Ideally, this prospectus will provide draft material for between one-third and one-half of your project’s content.

URB 696 is required for all MURB candidates and presents the opportunity for sharing the challenges of learning how to do original urban research. In this course, the skills acquired in URB 670 and other courses will be used to:       

  • Develop a testable research question that is grounded in relevant literature and practical evidence.
  • Justify the scope of analysis that can address the question.
  • Identify prospective research outcomes that yield intellectual value commensurate with the research effort, and which could justify interest and support of this work by third parties.
  • Identify one or more methodologies that will be used to explore the subject matter.
  • Explain how research practices and procedures will be guided by ethical principles that have been adopted by the Tri-Faculty Research Councils. This includes securing approval from Simon Fraser University’s Research Ethics Board as and when required by the research area and approach.
  • Produce a work plan with milestones that will guide completion of the project in URB 697.

This is an in-person class with extensive out-of-class time dedicated to writing and reviewing peer work. In the event that public health orders require us to move to a remote meeting scenario, we will use Zoom and these meetings will be recorded and posted on Canvas.


  • Reverse engineering of research methodology from a MURB thesis 10%
  • Critical assessment of other students' research prospectus components 15%
  • Conceptual framework 20%
  • 30-page research prospectus 50%
  • Participation 5%



There are no required texts for this class.

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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.