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Thesis and Thesis Seminar: Safe City B


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. To follow this thesis seminar, you must have completed the Safe City Thematic Elective.


Topic: Violence and the City

This thesis seminar looks at the theme of the ‘Safe City’ through the lens of violence. Throughout the world, many cities struggle, to some extent, with violence. This violence can take many forms: homicides, gang violence, riots, but also nightlife fighting and sexual violence. Indeed, violence is such a prominent part of urban life that there are entire cultural discourses about violence. This seminar will explore the causes, the reality, and the perception of, and the responses to such violence. Why are some cities more violent than others? How does violence – real or imagined – affect experiences of (un)safety in urban contexts? What do communities, municipalities and governments do to keep the city safe, or make cities safer? What role does violence play in urban culture, in public debate, or in political discourse?
The topic of violence allows for a broad variety of thesis projects that intersect with the Safe City theme. Starting from recent scholarship and theoretical debates on urban violence, students can explore the dimensions of violence in one particular city, take one aspect of violence and compare it in a selection of cities, or study cultural or political discourse around violence – in Europe, the Americas, Asia or Africa, nowadays, in the 21st century, or in earlier periods.
While this thesis seminar starts from a humanities perspective on the city, it can, to some extent, accommodate social sciences approaches to urban violence. Thus, students can deploy the critical, discursive, analytical and interpretive methods of the Humanities to conduct their research, or use the more empirical research and data-gathering methods of social science.

The 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 June 9 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.


Registration through MyStudyMap is mandatory. Registering in MyStudyMap means placement on the waiting list of that specific Thesis Seminar. The Administration Office will check whether you meet the entry requirements. In case you do not meet the requirements you can be moved to another Thesis Seminar. The Administration Office will place students on a first come first served base. You can only register for one Thesis Seminar.