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Urban Studies

At Urban Studies, we teach our students to analyse, discuss, and solve the issues arising from cities and the rapid urbanisation in a unique way. By merging together expertise from humanities, social sciences, law, science and language for the first time, we mirror the interdisciplinarity and complexity of urban issues.

First year

During the first year the programme will focus on:
1. The basic concepts and knowledge of cities and urbanization
2. Skills in academic writing and presenting, and basic methodology.

Group mentors will give intensive supervision.

Second year

The second year focuses on four key themes:
1. Multicultural City
2. Safe City
3. Healthy City
4. Sustainable City

You will have the opportunity to discover each of the four themes, by following compulsory introductory lectures alongside electives (knowledge-based and methodological) in two of the themes. Apart from this theme-based research, there is an integrated component focused on introducing the student to the job market by setting up a project for an external partner from the field.

Third year

In the first semester of the third year you can make your own choices: electives, a minor, an internship or studying abroad. Your focus and thesis will be on one of the four themes. By choosing electives that fit your chosen theme, you can determine your own career path. You will also be able to work towards fulfilling the entry requirements of your preferred master’s programme after the BA Urban Studies. In the second semester, you will take a literature seminar and a research seminar, and conclude the programme by writing an interdisciplinary thesis in the theme you specialised in.

First Year

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Urban Studies: Long-term and Conceptual Perspectives 5
Urban Economics and Planning 5
Cultural Diversity in Urban Contexts 5
Individuals, Groups, and Urban Institutions 5
Academic Writing and Presenting, and Mentoring 10

Second semester

Imagining the City 5
The Material City 5
Governance of Cities and Citizens 5
Philosophy of Science and the City 5
Introduction to Methodology 5
Data Collection Methods 5

Additional information

Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

The student

  • has a general understanding and orientation of the foundations of Urban Studies (urbanisation, governance, urban economy, urban sociology) and its specialisations (multiculturalism, well-being and health, safety, and sustainability);

  • has basic knowledge and general understanding of the reciprocity between international, national and local aspects of socio-cultural urban issues;

  • has knowledge and understanding of the long term perspectives of urbanisation processes;

  • has basic knowledge and understanding of state-of-the-art methods and techniques used in at least two of the following disciplines:

  1. Humanities
  2. Social sciences
  3. Sciences

Applying knowledge and understanding

The student

  • is able to apply and compare knowledge and understanding of at least two of the following specialisations within Urban Studies;
  1. multiculturalism
  2. well-being and health
  3. safety
  4. sustainability
  • is able to systematically search and select relevant literature;

  • is able to apply basic qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques in humanities, social sciences and (environmental) sciences and more advanced methods and techniques in at least one of these disciplines;

  • is able to analyse and conceptualise phenomena in a comparative perspective;

  • is able to formulate coherent solutions for urban problems based on existing scientific theories and contemporary research;

  • is able to set up and conduct research with limited complexity within the interdisciplinary context of Urban Studies.


The student

  • is aware of current ethical concepts and principles in the field of Urban Studies and of proper scientific conduct as part of a scientific attitude;

  • is able to judge the value of theories and research practice from a philosophy of science-perspective;

  • is self-critical, is particularly able to put culturally instilled attitudes into perspective;

  • is capable of analysis, conceptualisation, reasoning;

  • is able to formulate problems and (help) find solutions;

  • is able to assess (basic) research methods and research outcomes;

  • is able to judge his or her own research as well as the research of others;

  • is able to reflect on the profession and work of practitioners.


The student

  • is able to report comprehensively, correctly and critically in English on matters pertaining to Urban Studies;

  • is able to present research results in a comprehensive manner both written and verbally to a specialist and non-specialist public;

  • is able to discuss, and come up with arguments;

  • gives feedback to peers in a constructive fashion.

Learning skills

The student

  • is sociable and communicative when working with others;

  • uses feedback and reasoned criticism from peers to revise his/her own point oview or argumentation;

  • takes on board the instructions and criticism of supervisors, and takes previous instructions and criticism into account in comparable situations;

  • is able to make a realistic schedule and to stick to the agreed schedule and prioritisation.

  • is able to make a conscious choice in favour of continued studies (e.g. master’s programme) or of a position in the labour market.

Additional requirements Binding Study Advice

To be issued with a positive Binding Study Advice (BSA) students of the BA Urban Studies must obtain at least 45 EC in their first academic year, and meet the additional requirements (passing the course Academic Writing and Presenting, and Mentoring (semester 1) set by the study programme.

Follow-on master's programme

Compensation Regulations (if applicable)

Not applicable