Universiteit Leiden

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Urban Studies (BA)

Do cities fascinate you? Would you like to gain insights into the nature and origin of current and future problems and learn more about, and perhaps help solve, cities’ health, safety, multicultural and sustainability issues? Are you unfazed by statistics and economics and excited at the prospect of following an international, English-language programme? If all these questions elicited a “yes”, then our Urban Studies bachelor’s is definitely for you.

Explore the city in bachelor's programme Urban Studies

Hannah De Mulder

Lecturer Urban Studies

Hannah De Mulder

"Living in a rural area is not without its charm, I’m sure, but I much prefer city life. The hustle and bustle, the bright lights, the cornucopia of products from all over the world… Just take a city like Amsterdam: yes, you can get your fair share of clogs, tulips and cheese, but sari’s, pitahaya and kefir are also on offer. And, of course, Amsterdam is not unique in this sense: cities tend to be places where people with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds live in close proximity to each other. In the course Cultural Diversity in Urban Contexts we will take a closer look at the city as a multicultural and multilingual hotspot and investigate how urban communities negotiate cultural and linguistic differences and how city councils can best cater to their diverse population."

Manon van der Heijden

Lecturer in Urban Studies

Manon van der Heijden

“It’s through cities’ past that we learn why and how they have become so important. But while history might explain cities as we know them today, it also creates false images. Did you know, for example, that cities are healthier, safer and more sustainable than they’ve ever been? Above all, Leiden University’s Urban Studies programme is about people, their opportunities, beliefs and perspectives.”

Vlad Niculescu-Dinca

Lecturer in Urban Studies

Vlad Niculescu-Dinca

“We all enjoy the occasional stroll through picturesque city streets, an old park or even a local neighbourhood. But how should these urban spaces be kept secure and what about security governance? And what are the respective roles of urban policing, citizens and the private sector, not to mention the importance of surveillance and the material urban environment? While sometimes taking in the delightful streets of The Hague, this programme addresses these and many other issues.”

Why Urban Studies?

This bachelor’s is unique in the Netherlands, because it is the only such interdisciplinary programme to combine humanities, social sciences, law, science and language. Its graduates are exactly what cities need to solve their problems, given that our increasing urbanisation means that understanding cities is becoming ever more urgent and relevant.

In addition to being centres of production, wealth-creation, creativity and innovation, cities also pose problems relating to sustainability, health, and multicultural diversity. The diverse and complex urban problems faced by cities all over the world are driving an increasing need for interdisciplinary approaches.

Urban Studies is a broad bachelor’s programme. After the first, introductory year you will learn more about four relevant themes, namely, the multicultural city, the safe city, the healthy city and the sustainable city. Moreover, by choosing electives, a minor and an internship in year two, mapping out your career path is largely in your own hands.

International environment

Every day, in an environment populated by international students and lecturers, you will learn more about cities. In year three this international character can be expanded even further with an internship abroad or an exchange in a foreign university.

Is this the programme for you?

Do cities fascinate you? Would you like to gain insights into the nature and origin of current and future problems and learn more about, and perhaps help solve, cities’ health, safety, multicultural and sustainability issues? Are you unfazed by statistics and economics and excited at the prospect of following an international, English-language programme? If all these questions elicited a “yes”, then our Urban Studies bachelor’s is definitely for you.