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Thesis and Thesis Seminar: Urban Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies, who have obtained 100 EC of the Urban Studies programme, including two Methodological and two Thematic Electives. You can only write your Thesis on the Theme you have completed a Thematic Elective in.


Theme and Discipline:

This Thesis Seminar is centred around the overarching topic of the urban built environment, instead of being tied directly to one of the four themes (The Multicultural City, The Safe City, The Healthy City and The Sustainable City).

Students are able to develop thesis projects that intersect with any of the four themes by working within the overarching topic of the urban built environment—the structures, spaces, buildings, architecture, and infrastructure that form the physical fabric of the city.

The urban built environment plays a critical role in making and shaping cities and urban life. The built environment shapes the social, cultural, economic, and political life of the city, and the design and organisation of the built environment has huge implications for sustainability, safety, equity, accessibility, social cohesion, health and wellbeing. For all these reasons the planning, organisation and improvement of the built environment is (and always has been) the central task for city governments.

**Intellectually, this thesis seminar is interdisciplinary (working within the built environment topic). Methodologically, this is a Humanities thesis seminar. **

This means that student projects will deploy the critical, discursive, analytical and interpretive methods of the Humanities to conduct their research. Humanities research usually entails the analysis and interpretation of ‘texts’ (which can take many different forms – not only traditional written texts). Students who want to use the positivist research and data-gathering methods of social science and science should follow a different thesis seminar.

The expertise of the thesis supervisor is in all aspects of urban history; architecture, planning and the built environment; urban social and cultural forms; urban economic dynamics; urban governance, politics and protest.

Thesis Seminar

The Thesis Seminar provides collective and individual supervision and feedback, by teaching staff and peers. The aim is to guide students through the process of designing an independent research project, developing research questions and appropriate research methodologies, collecting and analysing literature and writing a literature review, and collecting primary materials to form the basis of research and analysis.

There are 6 group seminars across the first 6 weeks of semester, followed by a shift to individual supervision arrangements. We begin the group sessions by thinking and reading collectively on the built environment topic, while students work towards their own research topic, and reflect upon their own interests and thesis approach.

The Thesis Seminar culminates in a Thesis Proposal, which contains a problem definition and research question or hypothesis, theoretical and methodological considerations, a literature overview and a time frame for the thesis research.


The bachelor’s Thesis is the final and most important written assignment of the programme. It builds on exercises in essay-writing throughout the curriculum. The bachelor’s Thesis is a research paper of 10,000 words (margins between 9,000 and 11,000 words), excluding front page, table of contents, footnotes and bibliography, which is the result of independent research and writing.

Apart from collective supervision during the seminar, students will receive individual guidance, specifically focused on the subject of their research. The Thesis Seminar lecturer provides this guidance. Students will have four individual meetings with their supervisor during the semester.

Deadline for the submission of the Thesis is January 13, 2023.

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 the Thesis Seminar and Thesis

1) work with research techniques that are current in the discipline(s) applied
2) analyze and comprehend relevant academic debates
3) report on their studies and research in properly written English
4) participate in debates in an active, prepared and informed way, respecting other people’s convictions and ideas.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Tutorial (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a tutorial, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If they are absent from a tutorial without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

Assessment method


  • Written Thesis (9.000 – 11.000 words, excluding front page, table of contents, bibliography and foot- or endnotes)
    -measured general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-11, 13-21, 25-26
    -measured course objectives: 1-4

  • Thesis proposal (750 – 800 words, excluding bibliography and foot- or endnotes)
    -measured general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-11, 13-21, 25-26
    -measured course objectives: 1-4

  • Participation during Thesis Seminars
    -measured general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-5, 8-9, 13-26
    -measured course objectives: 4


Partial grade Weighing
Thesis 100
Thesis Seminar grade: participation and Thesis Proposal 0

End grade

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

  • The grade for the Thesis Seminar is determined by the Thesis grade.

  • The grade for the Thesis needs to be a 6.0 or higher.


Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the Thesis on time but scored an overall insuffient mark are entitled to a resit. For the resit, the students are given a chance to hand in an improved version of the Thesis based on the feedback from the Thesis Assessment Form. The deadline for resubmission is to be consulted with the thesis supervisor. In case the improved Thesis is still deemed insufficient, the student must contact the Coordinator of Studies to discuss further possibilities.

Reading list

To be announced.



  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA Urban Studies.