International Housing Policy URBAN5131

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is intended to allow students to develop a broad understanding of and ability to analyse the way that the contemporary housing systems internationally operate. Using the frameworks of market efficiency, and welfare and housing regimes it is intended to allow students to understand how different configurations of the state, market and the family work to produce different housing systems throughout the world in different contexts. Students will be given the tools with which to analyse housing policy in different countries and an introduction to the opportunities for policy transfer.


The 10 credit course runs in Semester 1, delivered in 3 hourly blocks, once per week over 5 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses





The course will be assessed by:

Students will work as a group to give an oral presentation supported by powerpoint slides, and answer questions from staff and students.


Students will also write an individual 2,000 word report.

Course Aims

■ Understand and apply the concepts of market efficiency, state and market failure to housing systems internationally

■ Analyse housing systems through the lens of housing/ welfare regimes.

■ To identify critical junctures and path dependencies in housing systems internationally.

■ Review the principal characteristics of housing systems in different political, social and economic contexts internationally.

■ Show understanding of the effectiveness of different methods of policy delivery including regulation, subsidy/pricing on the demand and supply sides of the market

■ Understand how different policy mechanisms can interact, to produce intended and unintended outcomes.

■ Review current major debates on the future of housing policy.

■ Appreciate the opportunities for and limitations of the transfer of policy between countries. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically identify and assess housing policy and practice in three countries

■ Identify statistical data relating to housing in selected countries.

■ Critically evaluate relative strengths and weaknesses of housing systems.

■ Critically evaluate housing systems in their wider political, social and economic contexts.

■ Apply housing and welfare regime frameworks to interpret housing systems internationally.

■ Work as a group to provide an oral and powerpoint presentation as if to policy makers.

■ Write a report in the style of a consultant working for a government

■ Critically evaluate and reflect on the opportunities for and limitations to policy transfer.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.