IFSA Urban Research Lab

London, England


Fall, Spring
Language of Instruction


Finance Options
Scholarships, grants, financial aid, monthly payment plan, credit card payments and more!
Application Deadlines:
  • Fall: May 1
  • Spring: October 15
Min. GPA for Consideration:
Typical Credit Load:

About Urban Research Lab


Do your own research abroad! With a curriculum designed to support your research, our Urban Multicultures core course and electives in social psychology, media, economics, politics and finance help ground your research in the local context. If you are considering graduate school or just want to explore a passion in depth, this is the perfect program for you.

Urban Research Lab Benefits

  • Find out more about our Guaranteed Scholarships for the Urban Research Lab program here
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the research process through firsthand experience
  • Work one-on-one with a faculty mentor
  • Use the city of London as your laboratory
  • IFSA’s London Flagship serves as your home base in central London, with classrooms and study space
  • Gain an inside look at London’s intellectual hub, with access to special speakers from IFSA’s local network

The IFSA Difference

Your success is our success! Whatever your goals, our approach is carefully designed to help you achieve them.
You will experience challenging, rewarding coursework in the highest quality classes, while receiving the academic support you need.
More than a tourist in a foreign country, you will engage in the community, build competencies, and develop yourself as a citizen of the world.
Our programs and practices reflect the value we place on diverse perspectives and are designed to support a variety of learners.
Round out your classroom experience with hands-on opportunities like internships, directed research, student teaching, community-based learning or volunteering, and cultural excursions.
You will have academic and personal mentors to assist with program choice, application, travel, cultural acclimation, language acquisition, class registration, academic issues, health and safety, and everything in between.

Academics at Urban Research Lab


Looking for specific classes? Explore CHART, our exclusive class database — if the Urban Research Lab Program is pre-approved at your institution, you’ll find classes recently taken by other IFSA students.

All students take the Urban Multicultures course. Complete your semester with four additional elective courses.

Urban Multicultures (required)
3 U.S. semester credits

Drawing from the disciplines of anthropology and sociology, this course utilizes intercultural learning theories to foster awareness of one’s own perspectives as well as those of the myriad communities that comprise London. Multiple approaches to framing the multicultural city and appreciating common and contested spaces as inherent to urban diversity are included. This is an experiential learning course that encourages the development of transferable skills, for practical use when encountering differences of any kind in future. 

Directed Research
3 U.S. semester credits

This course offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates to delve deeply into meaningful research projects of their own design. This process of research and discovery is supported by the IFSA London Flagship’s network of local experts, including social entrepreneurs, academics, artists, journalists, business leaders, and policymakers who serve as our team of faculty guides. Research students have regular meetings with faculty guides in their subject area to discuss the formation and execution of their research plans. At the end of the semester, students will present a formal research paper and may have the opportunity of being published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Social Psychology 
3 U.S. semester credits 

Social psychology examines the perceptions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors of individuals within their social environments. In this course, methodologies used to investigate social psychology phenomena are introduced, aiding understanding of the application of social psychology research to real-world problems. Particular attention is devoted to issues of socioeconomic class in Britain.

New Media and Behavior
3 U.S. semester credits 

As individuals increasingly consume news from sources of personal choice and become producers of news through social media engagement, this course investigates communication patterns and human action. The relationship between media reporting and its impact on the psyche and decision-making provides a basis for course discussions.

International Political Economy
3 U.S. semester credits 

This course questions the ways domestic and international politics affect relations between states by examining the role of government in the production, distribution and consumption of resources. Trade policy, exchange rate policy, foreign investment policy, and migration are points of focus in this course which positions economics and politics as inextricable concepts. 

Analyzing the Impact of Contemporary Events on a World Finance Center
3 U.S. semester credits 

Situated in the world finance center of London, this course analyzes asset markets, market liquidity, market behavior and the regulation of markets, as well as financial derivatives and economic, monetary and currency unions in Europe. Developments in international banking, economic crises and other contemporary issues provide a backdrop for a vibrant examination of financial institutions and economic realities. 

Emerging Issues in Security Studies
3 U.S. semester credits 

Describing and analyzing emerging issues in security studies and understanding the related stresses that communities face are the goals of this timely course. Informed by theories of international relations, fundamental issues such as the globalization of security studies and evolving relationships between security and environmental, economic, and social issues are critically explored. 

Interrogating Popular Representations of Britain through Film
3 U.S. semester credits 

This course interrogates the ways in which contemporary British society is oft depicted through film, questioning the values, assumptions and attitudes that are presented. Utilizing theories of anthropology and communications, vibrant space for critical comparisons between real life and dramatic imagery is offered.

Experiential Learning

Directed Research

Directed Research in the Urban Research Lab offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates to delve deeply into meaningful research projects of their own design. 

Subjects offered at Urban Research Lab
Anthropology Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Communications Community Studies Cultural Studies Economics European Studies Film/Cinema Studies Finance Human Services Intelligence/Security Studies International Studies/Affairs/Relations Policy Studies/Public Policy Political Science Population Studies/Demography Psychology Sociology Urban Studies

Housing & Meals

Housing Type

The IFSA Team

IFSA has a dedicated team who are here to help you prepare to achieve your goals. Feel free to reach out. We are happy to answer your questions!

Resident Director

Andrew Faas's headshot

Andrew Faas

Director, London Global Flagship

Read Full Bio  

Academic Affairs Director

Dates and Fees

Fall 2020

Program Dates

Program Start Date
Early September, 2020
Program End Date
Mid-December, 2020

Program Fees

Total Program Fee
Students pay a $500 non-refundable program deposit upon confirmation of attendance. The deposit is applied to the total program fee.

Estimated Costs

Books & Supplies
Local Transportation
Personal Expenses
(Includes utilities, laundry, entertainment, expected start-up costs, etc. Does not include personal travel.)
Total Estimated Costs