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Thesis and Thesis Seminar: Sustainable City A


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 Sustainable City Thematic Elective and you must have completed the Methodological Elective Inferential Statistics.


Thesis Seminar

The Thesis seminar will be centered around a broader topic within the theme (The Multicultural City, The Safe City, The Healthy City and The Sustainable City). This course description will be updates as soon as this topic is known.
The focus of the seminars is informed by the themes of the Urban Studies programme: The Multicultural City, The Safe City, The Healthy City and The Sustainable City. After an introduction on a theme relevant to urban studies, students will reflect on their own topic of research, choose their own approach, and consider their topic of research from a multidisciplinary perspective (see below under general academic skills).

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 a research question or hypothesis and appropriate research method(s), collecting and analyzing literature and writing a literature review, and collecting other research data and materials that are necessary for answering research question or hypothesis .

The exact set-up of the seminars may vary, due to the nature of the research theme, the teaching approach of the seminar leader, and the number and interests of the students. 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 Sustainable city

Sustainable City Thesis Seminar – Urban biodiversity and ecosystem services

This Sustainable City Thesis Seminar builds bridges between between what is needed for a biodiverse city and a sustainable, multicultural, safe and healthy city. A core element is biodiversity as one of the major resources for urban society. In the Seminar, students must choose their own multidisciplinary research topic that includes elements of biodiversity. Potential topics include:

1) The impacts of the energy transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy on urban biodiversity. For instance, what are the consequences of solar panels for breeding birds?
2) The pathways of how urban green spaces and urban nature affect human health. For instance, will increased urban tree cover to combat the urban heat island effect result in increased allergic and asthma attacks due to tree pollen?
3) Environmetal justice and equal access to green spaces. For instance, are green spaces in which children from low-income neighborhoods play, and undertake physical activity, more likely to be adjacent to heavily trafficked roads and therefore more exposed to noise and air pollution?
Students are strongly encouraged to find their own multidisciplinary topic and research question. The only prerequisite is that it must combine the key Urban Studies themes with biodiversity, urban ecosystem services or urban green (infrastructure). Students will be expected to formulate relevant scientific questions based on a review of the scientific literature, as well as asses their question using a combination of research techniques, including literature review, field methods, and quantitative analysis of information from databases or GIS-sources. The exact research techniques applied will depend on the topic and question.


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.