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Thesis seminar: Healthy City


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 Healthy City Thematic Elective.


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.

The Healthy City

In this thesis seminar, healthy behaviors in urban environments will be the focal point, around which a thesis project will be developed. It is possible for students to choose their own topic of research on subjects related to the Healthy City, as taught in the Healthy City Lecture Series or Population Health Management and Behavior Change, including topics related to risk factors for physical, mental, and social health in an urban context (e.g., stress, obesity, sedentary behavior and substance use) or potential strategies to stimulate better health or health behavior despite challenging circumstances. The chosen topic will be mainly covered from a social sciences angle, but you will also be stimulated to view the topic from a multidisciplinary approach. Depending on your research proposal, and the sources used, the thesis can be a theoretical, quantitative or qualitative study.

Thesis Proposal

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. Completing the thesis seminar is compulsory for proceeding with writing the thesis.

The thesis proposal will need to be 1000 words long (excluding notes and bibliography). It needs position the project in time and place, and needs to reflect on:

  • The positioning of the thesis project in relation to recent scholarship (less than 10 years old)

  • The precise phrasing of the research question and the subquestions or case studies

  • Two or three key concepts that play a role in the research

  • The urban studies character of the project

  • The body of evidence that will be used

  • The ways in which that evidence will be assembled and studied

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) has basic knowledge and understanding of state-of-the-art methods and techniques used in at least two of the following disciplines: Humanities, Social sciences, Sciences (general learning outcome 4).
2) is able to systematically search and select relevant literature (6);
3) is able to set up research with limited complexity within the interdisciplinary context of Urban Studies (10).
4) is able to formulate problems and (help) find solutions (15);
5) is able to assess (basic) research methods and research outcomes (16);
6) is able to judge his or her own research as well as the research of others (17);
7) uses feedback and reasoned criticism from peers to revise his/her own point oview or argumentation (24);
8) takes on board the instructions and criticism of supervisors, and takes previous instructions and criticism into account in comparable situations (25);
9) is able to make a realistic schedule and to stick to the agreed schedule and prioritisation (26).


The timetables are avalable 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


  • Weekly assignments

  • Presentation

  • Thesis proposal


Partial grade Weighing
Assignment 1 (introduction) 10%
Assignment 2 (thesis topic) 10%
Assignment 3 (methodology) 10%
Assignment 4 (literature review) 10%
Presentation 20%
Thesis Proposal 40%

End grade

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

  • The grade for the thesis proposal needs to be 6.0 or higher

  • Thesis proposal needs to be approved by the thesis supervisor


Students who have submitted a fully developed thesis proposal by the deadline can revise and resubmit their proposal if it is marked insufficient. There is no resit for the weekly assignments and the presentation.

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 organized.

Reading list

To be announced.


In the course of block 2, students will receive an application form to enroll for the thesis seminar in semester 2. In the form, students elaborate on their preference for a particular seminar. The specifics of the procedure will be distributed amongst students as soon as possible during semester 1.
Students will be assigned a supervisor through their thesis seminar. You follow the thesis seminar in the semester in which you plan to write your thesis.

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.