Do cities fascinate you? Would you like to gain insights into the nature and origin of current and future urban problems and learn more about − and help solve − cities’ health, safety, multicultural and sustainability issues?
In 2050, around 70% of the world population is expected to live in urban centres, while at the moment, cities already are home to 55%. At Urban Studies, you will get the chance to analyse and study some of the most urgent questions of our time: how do cities cope in terms of increasing traffic, pollution, waste and scarcity of materials? How do we keep cities inclusive and just for all the different ethnic and socio-economic groups living there? How do we ensure that cities are safe places for everyone? And how do we deal with the health hazards that come with crowded cities?
This bachelor’s is unique in the Netherlands, because it is the only interdisciplinary programme to combine humanities, social sciences, law, science and language. Its graduates are exactly what large cities will need to solve their problems. The diverse and complex urban problems faced by cities all over the world are driving an increasing need for interdisciplinary approaches.
Programme chair Urban Studies
‘As part of the curriculum, our students are guided to explore the Urban Studies field of practice. In the second year course Professional Orientation, students investigate different subsections of the professional field and corresponding roles. This way students get a better understanding of which career possibilities are out there. This is helpful in discovering personal preferences: what do you want to do? Which study and career related decisions do you need to take to get there? In the third year course Setting up a project, students work on urban challenges put to them by organisations from the field (government, businesses, NGO’s). An example of a challenge could be finding a solution to parking problems in a densely populated city.’
After kicking off with a broad introduction in the first year, you will explore our four themes in the second year.
In cities, people of a wide range of backgrounds live side by side. For instance, they may differ in terms of ethnicity, gender, class, wealth, culture or language. Differences can be a cause of tension and inequality, but a multicultural city can also be a place of cultural freedom, tolerance and job opportunities. In this theme, you will learn about the impact of migration, cultural and multi-lingual diversity on urban life.
This theme shows how cities can be both dangerous and safe. Medellín in Colombia, for example, once had the dubious honour of being “the most dangerous city on earth”, yet now it is seen as one of the most innovative and smartest. You will learn to relate examples like Medellín to contemporary debates about violence and crime, covering aspects that include city governance, the police, gangs and the rise of transnational crime.
In this theme you will study relevant concepts and debates about urban well-being, welfare and health. Important topics include health management, urban youth and mental health problems, how urban diversity impacts health, the roles of welfare workers, educators and psychologists, and how health is represented in art and culture.
In these times of climate change, cities are facing both challenges and opportunities. In the sustainable city theme, you will have the chance to thoroughly investigate this. You will learn about cities’ role in the circular economy, how public policies can combat urban pollution and waste, and how these factors result in cultural and ecological changes.
Would you like to go abroad for a semester? The faculty of Humanities has many contacts with renowned universities all over the world, so there are ample opportunities for you to study at the university of your choice. You can also choose to do an internship abroad.
Urban Studies gives graduates access to a wide range of master’s programmes. A master’s is an important step in directing and building a career. Labour-market surveys show an increasing demand for graduates in the field of Urban Studies. Examples of jobs in this field are: policy adviser urban issues at a local government; crime specialist at a consultancy firm, research officer sustainability at the central government, researcher of health-related urban issues at a university.
Location: The Hague
year programme, 180 ECTS
English-taught programme established
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