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Methodological Seminar


Admission requirements

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

Starting the academic year 2023-2024, the Methodological Seminar replaces the courses ‘Introduction to Methodology’ and ‘Data Collection Management’. Students who started their studies before September 2023 and who still need to complete one or both of these courses are referred to the transitional arrangements.


This course will introduce students to the different methodologies used in the multidisciplinary field of urban studies. It will introduce humanities and social-sciences approaches to data collection and interpretation both in theory, and in practice. The course is divided in a lecture series and work groups.

The lecture series introduces basic analytical concepts like the empirical cycle, research designs, descriptive statistics, and key types of data collection such as archival study, survey-research, participant observation and conducting interviews and focus groups.

The work groups serve to explore some of the key methods in practice. They consist of four modules, each foregrounding a different methodological perspective: urban archives, urban statistics, urban environments, and urban fieldwork.

Course objectives


1) have basic knowledge and understanding of state-of-the-art methods and techniques used in Humanities, Social sciences, Sciences, meaning:

a) they can describe core concepts of methods and techniques in Urban Studies such as the emprirical cycle, variables, measurement level, central tendency and variability, distributions, association, experimental design.

b) they can describe basic concepts in desciptive statistics such as measures of central tendency and variability, measures of association, and elementary geospatial data concepts (data formats, vector/raster, projections, and spatial tools).

c) they will have knowledge of four important methodological approaches in social research: survey, interview, observation, and participant observation;

d) they will know the benefits and pitfalls over the several types of data collection;

2) are able to employ basic qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques in humanities, social sciences and (environmental) sciences, meaning:

a) they can Use SPSS for descriptive statistics and will have elementary skills in using ArcGIS for spatial analysis

b) they will have the skill to formulate research questions based on concrete human behaviour in urban settings;

c) they will have practical skills in conducting interviews, making systematic observations, doing participant observation and designing a questionnaire;

d) they have a basic ability to search and using archival data

e) they have a basic ability to study urban environments


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture (compulsory attendance)

  • Tutorial (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every tutorial session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a tutorial or lecture, 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


  • Workgroup modules: 50%

  • Midterm exam: 25%

  • Final exam: 25%


Partial grade Weighing
Workgroup Module A 12.5%
Workgroup Module B 12.5%
Workgroup Module C 12.5%
Workgroup Module D 12.5%
Midterm exam 25%
Final exam 25%

End grade

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

  • All four work group modules need to have been completed in order to obtain an end grade.

  • Both the midterm exam and the final exam needs to be at least 5.5 to pass.


If the midterm exam and/or the final exam grade is lower than 5.50, there is a possibility of retaking the midterm exam, the final exam, or both, replacing the previous grade(s).

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.

Reading list

Obligatory literature will be published through Brightspace.


General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Exchange

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • 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


All other information.