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Thesis and Thesis Seminar: Sustainable 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 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: Towards circular and climate neutral cities

The metabolism of the city (Urban Metabolism) largely determines the sustainability of cities and city-dwellers. For future cities we need to move towards a circular city in which materials are reused and recycled. Cities will also need to be much more self-sufficient if it comes to the supply of energy and water. Rooftop solar panels, heat pumps and zero-energy buildings, smart grids and car-as-powerplant concepts will all contribute to this.
Meanwhile, cities house more than half of the people in the world and account for more than two-thirds of global CO2 emissions. Rapid transformation across business models and policy is needed to achieve an integrated net zero carbon future.
The IE seminar will focus on topics that contribute to a circular and climate neutral transition in cities. This seminar will provide examples of quantitative tools (e.g., life cycle assessment, and material flow analysis) to determine the socio-economic and environmental impacts of a circular and energy transition in cities. Potential USTS-IE topics are:

  • Quantification of the household waste generation and the potential of smart logistics on value recovery, resource-efficiency, and climate mitigation

  • Key factors for the realization of green roof systems

  • Socio-economic and environmental impacts of repair cafés

  • Opportunities and barriers to accelerate urban transitions to a net zero future


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.