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London: Governing the World City

Key information

Subject area:

Stackable Microcredentials

Course type:

Assessed Module

Credit level:


Credit value:



10 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 23 September 2024 To: 13 December 2024
Application deadline: 12 August 2024

Course overview

This module looks at the recent history and government of London. It asks how to run a globally competitive 'world city' such as London, and takes full advantage of King's' position at the heart of the capital, offering students a unique experience. It is co-taught by Dr Jack Brown of KCL and Visiting Professor Tony Halmos, who ran the Corporation of London's PR for over 20 years. The module makes great use of practitioner-led teaching, providing you with the opportunity to engage directly with key London leaders. Amongst others, last year's special guests included:

  • Sadiq Khan, current Mayor of London;
  • Sir Edward Lister, Boris Johnson's Chief Strategic Adviser and former Mayoral Chief of Staff;
  • Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London;
  • Catherine McGuinness, Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee at City of London Corporation;
  • Howard Dawber, Managing Director of Canary Wharf Group.

Alongside seminars at King's, classes also took place at City Hall, the City of London's ancient Guildhall, and on the 30th floor of One Canada Square in Canary Wharf. There can surely be no better way for you to understand how this world-leading city works than by engaging with those who have been responsible for running it and experiencing it directly.

What does this course cover?

This module aims to provide you with:

  • A detailed knowledge of London's political, economic and social history throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the key recurring issues faced by the capital.
  • Historical knowledge of the differing models of London government, why they have changed, and the tools to debate and evaluate their relative merits and demerits.
  • The ability to analyse and evaluate not only the policies and processes that have driven change in London, but also the role that key personalities and ideas have played in its development.
  • The context for deeper comprehension of, and the ability to critically evaluate, contemporary issues and policy choices faced by today's London, as well as other major cities and the rest of the UK.
  • The ability to compare London's governance arrangements and distinctive features to other 'world cities', and an ability to engage with academic debates around 'government' and 'governance'.
  • An opportunity to discuss and debate the above issues, both with your peers and with current and former practitioners of London's governance.
  • A specialism in the historical context of your own chosen area of London-related policy.

What will I achieve?

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • Identify the main issues and events that shaped London's political, social and economic history from 1900 to the present day.
  • Evaluate the performance of different actors in London's governance, relating both to the above and to other 'world cities'.
  • Analyse and evaluate the academic debates around the various models of London's governance that persist throughout the period studied to the present day.
  • Use primary, secondary and contemporary source material as a means of analysing the history and the machinery of London government.
  • Apply knowledge of the historical context of a specific, self-chosen policy area relating to London, (acquired through the researching and writing of an essay on your chosen topic), to current challenges faced in this area.
  • Demonstrate experience in interviewing, discussing and debating with practitioners.
  • Apply your experience and enhanced key skills in researching and presenting on a chosen topic related to London.
  • Show that you have engaged intellectually with the challenges and opportunities faced by the city in which King's College London is rooted.

Who will I learn with?

Jack Brown

Jack Brown

Lecturer in London Studies and London Partnerships Director

Who is this for?

The standard entry requirements comprise:

  • A 2:2 honours degree or international equivalent,
  • A CV and personal statement outlining your reasons for study,
  • English language band B (for example, IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in each skill).

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via coursework.

What is the teaching schedule?

This is an on-campus module so you will be expected to attend in-person. Exact days and times will be provided upon enrolment.

Further information

This module is offered as part of our flexible master’s awards in Professional Development. The awards are one of the most flexible currently offered in the UK, providing the opportunity to study a range of modules from across King’s, both on-campus and online. Whether you are looking for a promotion or to retrain, you have come to the right place.

Designed for mature professionals juggling life and work commitments, our postgraduate awards will enable you to study at your own pace. In challenging financial times, you are also able to fund your studies module-by-module. We will support you to select the right module diet that meets your objectives while ensuring that you are well prepared for success. We will also help you to build your professional network of peers from across our suite of CPD modules.

We can’t wait for you to continue your lifelong learning journey here at King’s.

Course status:


Full fee £5000



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