Due to the Corona Virus the information regarding study and examination for semester 2 (block 3 and 4) is not up-to-date. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Cultural Diversity in Urban Contexts


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme.


This course aims to provide students with an overview of issues related to cultural diversity in the city from a comparative, historical and sociolinguistic perspective. Students will gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of key concepts regarding cultural diversity and linguistic diversity in an urban context.

The course is divided into two clusters of six weeks each:

  • Cluster 1: Linguistic diversity and multilingualism in the city

  • Cluster 2: Cultural and migration-related diversity in the city

Each six week cluster is divided into three parts:

  • Introduction

  • Policy and planning for urban diversity

  • Education

In the first cluster, we will investigate sociolinguistic questions such as how languages develop in a multilingual city, how city councils deal with linguistic diversity and how linguistic diversity can be accommodated in the educational system. In the second cluster, we will look at cities as spaces where cultural and migration-related differences are negotiated and lived. The focus will be on (urban) citizenship, ethnicity, race, class, and gender as factors that contribute to the diversity dynamics in cities. Also, we will examine the multiple meanings of inclusion and exclusion in fast changing urban contexts. In the seminars (work groups), students will expand their understanding of these topics and sharpen their critical thinking abilities by engaging in debates on topical issues (e.g. ‘every citizen of The Hague should be able to speak Dutch’; ‘ethnic diversity threatens the social cohesion of cities’) and complete assignments. In this way, the course lays the groundwork for students to follow courses related to the urban studies theme “The Multicultural City”.

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

At the end of the course, the student is able to:

  • 1) understand culture as a social construct.

  • 2) describe how cultural and linguistic diversity affects societies at the local, national and international level.

  • 3) identify the appropriate analytical tools to study specific social constructs.

  • 4) apply and compare theoretical approaches to multiculturalism and multilingualism within urban contexts.

  • 5) give and receive feedback in a constructive manner

  • 6) report and present comprehensively and critically, both orally and in writing.

  • 7) demonstrate skills working collaboratively with peers and planning.


The timetable is available on the Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Work group (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every work group session of the course. Failure to do so will have a negative impact on the course grade. If a student is unable to attend a workgroup, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC equals 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 24

  • Attending work groups: 8

  • Assessment hours (exams): 3

  • Study of compulsory literature: 67

  • Completing assignment(s), preparing for classes and exams: 38

Assessment method


  • Midterm exam
    Written examination with closed and essay questions
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4, 8, 11, 13-14, 19, 21, 25
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-6

  • Final exam
    Written examination with closed and essay questions
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4, 8, 11, 13-14, 19, 21, 25
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-6

  • Participation in work groups
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13-14, 19, 21-25
    -measured course specific objectives: 7


Partial grade Weighing
Work group participation 10
Midterm Exam 45
Final Exam 45

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of work group grade, midterm exam grade, and final exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the midterm exam grade and the final exam grade needs to be 5.50 or higher.

  • This means that failing exam grades cannot be compensated with a high work group grade. Failure to attend at least 3 out of 4 seminars leads to a grade of 1 for the work group component of the grade.


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or one of the exam grades is lower than 5.50, there is a possibility of retaking the written examination material, replacing the previous exam grade(s). No resit for the work group is possible.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • turning in assignments

  • announcements

  • syllabus

  • (selected) literature

Reading list

A selection of articles related to the weekly topics, listed on the Blackboard page.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. H.N.M. De Mulder
Dr. F. Meissner