Each year, from September to December, the students of the SDP programme engage in a fieldwork exercise in London.
This exercise aims to actively engage local communities in policy and planning processes to ensure more equitable and transformative development outcomes.
The exercise is premised on the action learning approach. Engaging with real challenges in selected London-based communities, the exercise:
- adopts a collaborative, dialogic process;
- exemplifies and consolidates theoretical concepts;
- is concerned with how developmental processes relate and respond to the needs, interests and aspirations of diverse and marginalised social groups.
The exercise is designed around a micro level focus, recognising diversity and individual rights and freedoms. It also aims to build people’s capacity to engage in a process of meaningful change in collaboration with a range of actors. As space of analysis, it examines the organisational and institutional processes which assist in the identification of entry points for the type of development outcomes that the selected community value and aspire to.
Furthermore, students are equipped with the knowledge, tools and skills required to become critical, reflective and reflexive practitioners, and serves as a precursor to the overseas fieldtrip later in the year in terms of the transferability of knowledge and skills.
2018 Our homes, our schools: How housing affects young people's learning capabilitiesBuilding on last year's action-research, this project emerges from the partnership with Citizens UK and the collaboration with three London schools (the Willow Primary, St. Ignatius Primary and City and Islington College) to deepen the reflections around housing and education. This reports unfolds an analysis of how London's worsening housing crisis is shaping the educational capabilities and aspirations of young pupils, but also how in turn they are tacking action to own their stories and call for reform.
2017 Housing and Learning: Views from young Citizens in London, UK Based on the join partnership between students of the MSc Social Development Practice, staff, Citizens UK, students from Middlesex University and teachers and students from 10 London Schools, this action-learning project investigates the impacts of London’s housing crisis on educational learning of pupils, drawing lessons for all stakeholders involved.
2016 Campaigning through Images: Exploring Housing Rights in North LondonAs part of the ongoing collaboration with Citizens UK, in 2015-16, the MSc Social Development Practice has partnered with PhotoVoice to use participatory photography as a complementary means for understanding the housing experiences of distinct groups of residents in North London. With a view to appreciating the power relations at play that determine unaffordability and insecurity of housing and therefore inhibited ability to access full citizenship rights, the report was produced in the context of Citizens UK’s housing campaign targeting the 2016 mayoral election.
2015 Reclaiming Regeneration: Negotiating a Citizens Charter for Euston AreaEmerging out of the collaboration between MSc students and Camden Citizens with residents of the Euston area, centrally located and increasingly attractive for redevelopment purposes, this project represents a participatory undertaking for residents to re-define what regeneration means to and for them.
2014 Regeneration Aspirations for Euston: Local Perspectives on the High Speed Two Rail LinkThis report is a result of a three-month research project carried out by Masters students of the Social Development Practice (SDP). The central focus of this report is the regeneration aspirations of local residents, workers and business owners in the Somers Town and Regents Park wards of Camden, within the context of the proposed construction of the £50 billion high-speed two (HS2) rail link.
2013 Regeneration and Well-Being in East-London: Stories from Carpenters Estate
This research project examines the effects of the regeneration process affecting the Carpenters Estate in Newham Borough, as a consequence of UCL’s decision to expand with a second Stratford Campus in East London. MSc Social Development Practice’s students, in collaboration with residents and other independent actors, looked at key dimensions of residents’ wellbeing, providing critical insights on resulting social changes taking place within the estate.
2012 The Newham ExperienceAs part of the research study commissioned by the Overview and Scrutiny of Newham Borough Council, students of the MSc Social Development Practice at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit have explored hurdles and constraints faced by high school pupils to get to and from school when using the local bus network. The study, by employing qualitative analysis, aimed to explore those social aspects of mobility that are often overlooked but may nevertheless lead to impaired access to educational opportunities.