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Struggle in the City


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

This is an intensive semester course in which LUC students engage in a larger teaching/research/out-reach project on struggle and social protection in The Hague ( Students should be motivated to work in groups and engage with project partners in the city and be ready to work towards making tangible, out-of-the-classroom contributions. The course will try to foster creativity and initiative as well as impact.


In Struggle in the City: The Hague students explore the multi-dimensional nature and experience of poverty, vulnerability and struggle in our city. We seek to understand the complex ways those who struggle try to navigate various socio-cultural, political, and economic landscapes in search of social protection, poverty alleviation, and upward mobility. Through group research of different struggles in the city of The Hague and through the design and development of a simulation and/or “serious” (educational) game promoting recognition, empathy, and out-reach for this struggle, students will be challenged to critically engage with:

  • the meanings and experiences of poverty and vulnerability,

  • the prevalence and impacts on various facets of life,

  • debates around the root causes of poverty and struggle

  • the politics of representation and the ethics of engagement

  • the various formal and informal systems of multi-sectoral social protection offered through state welfare systems, non-profit organizations, the private sector, and community and family arrangements.

Course Objectives


  • Identify, compare, and reflect on various dimensions of poverty and social protection;

  • Critically reflect on the politics of representation and the ethics of engagement

  • Describe, discuss and assess different methods used to understand and explore poverty and social protection, including simulations and serious games;


  • Work effectively in teams on particular struggles in the city of The Hague;

  • Engage with social protection providers

  • Compile research to enhance understanding of struggle and social protection;

  • Use findings to design an educational game and/or simulation

  • Work through the design cycle to create a simulation/game

  • Design and implement a prototyping and piloting strategy

  • Reflect, analyze and present research findings in the form of class discussions, class presentations, game development, website postings, learning journal entries and academic essay writing.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2022-2023 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course requires students to work intensively in groups for an entire semester. Moreover, students will be expected to find and engage with social protection providers in The Hague.

Assessment Method

Participation: 10%
Webposts (3x5%): 15%
Simulation/Game Deliverables (3x10%): 30%
Final Simulation/Game: 30%
Academic essay: 15%

Reading list

To be announced.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Caroline Archambault,