Universiteit Leiden

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Urban Studies (BA)

About the programme

After an introductory first year, in the second year you will learn more about four themes: the multicultural city, the safe city, the healthy city and the sustainable city. In years two and three you will have elective options, including a minor, studying abroad and an internship.

Programme structure

The first year is a thorough introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Urban Studies. You will learn the basic concepts and theories of urbanisation. You will gain insights into the emergence and functioning of cities, as well as the important role they play by focusing on economics, social and cultural aspects and sustainability. Methodology courses and academic skills are also essential parts of the first year.

In year two you’ll extend your knowledge by following classes in the programme’s four themes: the multicultural city, the safe city, the healthy city and the sustainable city. You’ll also specialise in two themes, by choosing two elective courses. By the end of this year you will have become a specialist in urban issues. In this second year, you also follow classes in methodological skills, and you are stimulated to start thinking about your future career in a specially designed course called Professional Orientation.

The first semester of year three is reserved for studying abroad, a minor, or an internship. Your focus this year will be on one of the four themes. In the second semester you will choose the subject of your thesis, and take more courses focusing on your focus  theme. If you want to do a master’s programme after Urban Studies, year 3 will also be a year in which you can work towards fulfilling the entry requirements of the master’s programme of your choice.   

Educational methods

If you take on the Urban Studies programme, be prepared to put in a full working week of about 40 hours. Of this, an average of 14 hours will be spent in lectures and tutorials and the rest will be spent on independent study. Lectures will focus on specific topics, which will be broken down and tackled in work groups of about 20 students. This makes it possible to discuss the material in greater depth, which allows for more student-input, using individual or group presentations and group assignments.

Programme Organisation

In this broad and interdisciplinary programme, so-called learning trajectories ensure coherence.

The two learning trajectories of the programme are:

  • Knowledge: related to the four themes;
  • Methodological and academic (professional) skills.

At Urban Studies, you can choose the themes of your interest (healthy city, safe city, multicultural city, sustainable city) which guarantees sufficient focus. Subsequently, your methodology courses are directly related to your chosen themes.

In the second year of the programme, a dedicated mentorship and professional education course will help you prepare for a specific master’s programme and/or a career. In this course you will learn which choices you should make within the programme to achieve your goals. For example: which courses you should choose to be eligible for a specific master’s programme.

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