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Cultural Diversity in Urban Contexts


Admission requirements

This course is available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme and to a limited amount of external students.


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: Cultural and migration-related diversity in the city

  • Cluster 2: Linguistic diversity and multilingualism 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 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 second 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 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.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • 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


  • 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 tutorials
    -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 all assesment components.

  • 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 tutorial grade. Failure to attend at least 3 out of 4 tutorials leads to a grade of 1 for the tutorial 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 tutorial grade 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.

Reading list

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


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.