nl en

Individuals, Groups, and Urban Institutions


Admission requirements

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


This course deals with how people’s behaviour and well-being in the urban context are influenced by physical, social and institutional factors. The course also deals with how people individually as well as collectively construct, structure and regulate their urban context.

The first part of the course focuses on the education of and care for children and on the professionals and institutions that provide education and care. Cities and conglomerations are contexts that create opportunities and liabilities for development, learning, and health. To stress the variability in processes, opportunities and liabilities between cities and conglomerates the course will draw examples from Accra in Ghana, Pune in India, and the ‘Randstad’ in the Netherlands (the conglomerate with Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht as main cities).

The second part of the course provides a representative overview of the behavioural sciences Psychology and Child Studies. It serves as an introduction to the main currents and themes including evolutionary, cognitive, clinical, social and developmental perspectives on human behaviour.

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

Students will be able to

  • 1) apply knowledge of the evolutionary, cognitive, clinical, social and developmental underpinnings of human behaviour to analyse and understand current phenomena in everyday life in urban contexts, leading to insights with respect to, for example, day and night cycles in living and working, communication, crowding and noise, mental health and intergroup phenomena.

  • 2) express acquired knowledge and general understanding of the reciprocity between international, national and local aspects of socio-cultural urban issues orally and in writing.

  • 3) express acquired knowledge and insights of developmental ecological theories (Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model and Super & Harkness’ developmental niche model.

  • 4) apply some of the knowledge and insights to analyse, understand and comment on information provided about topics, such as, for example, the distinction between public and private schools, child labor, conditions for play and relaxation, growing up under cultural and religious diversity, alternatives for biological parents such as foster care and adoption, and what traffic does to parents and children.


The timetable is available on the Urban Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Work group (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every work group session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a workgroup, 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 workgroup without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC equals 28 hours), which equals 140 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 26

  • Attending work groups: 8

  • Assessment hours (exams): 6

  • Study of compulsory literature: 80

  • Completing assignment(s), preparing for classes and exams: 20

Assessment method


  • Four work group assignments
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 15-19, 21-23, 25
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-2

  • Midterm exam
    Written examination with multiple choice and short open questions about the first half of the course, i.e. ca. 50% of the entire material of the course.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4, 19, 21
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-4

  • Final exam
    Written examination with multiple choice and short open questions about the second half of the course, i.e. the remaining 50% of the entire material of the course.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4, 19, 21
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-4


Partial grade Weighing
Work group grade: four assignments 30
Midterm Exam 35
Final Exam 35

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 the work group grade, midterm exam grade and final exam grade.

  • 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 work group 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 work group 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.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Course information

  • Staff information

  • Lecture slides

  • Assignment information

Reading list

Gray, P. & Bjorklund, D.F. (2018), Psychology (8th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN-10: 1-319-15051-9 ISBN-13: 978-1-319-15051-8.

Readings for the first part of the course as well as information to help students study Gray and Bjorklund’s book in the second part of the course will be made available through Blackboard. Also through Blackboard examples of exam questions and study questions on important topics that serve as starters for workgroup discussions will be provided. Finally, and also through Blackboard, course regulations, such as detailed information on how the work group mark is calculated, and how it contributes to the final mark will be made available.


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. R. de Kleijn
Dr. M. Mulckhuyse Prof. dr. P. Vedder

E. Jansen (work groups)