Cities are more relevant than ever. They play an increasingly important role in the issues of this time: climate change, inequality, safety and health. Our Urban Studies programme gives you the opportunity to be a problem solver, teaching you how to develop real-life answers to today’s and tomorrow’s urban challenges.
Why Urban Studies?
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 %. This offers a vast number of social and economic opportunities, but at the same time, the challenges of urban growth are daunting. As a student of our Urban Studies programme, you will develop the academic and practical skills needed to deal with the challenges of urban life.
Work on cutting-edge themes
Urban Studies is built on four themes that cover the major issues of today’s urban reality: the sustainable city, the multicultural city, the safe city and the healthy city. You will have the opportunity to specialise in one or several of these themes in the second or third year.
Take for instance, sustainability: how will we manage when it comes to dealing with issues such as waste and scarcity of natural resources in the cities? And what about the wide range of ethnic and socio-economic groups living in urban areas: how do we keep cities inclusive and just? How do we ensure that cities are safe places to live in, for everyone? And what do we do about the health hazards that come with crowded cities?
Do you want to know all about cities?
In this English taught bachelor’s programme, you will explore a wide range of urban issues, while working both in the class room and in the field: the city itself. You will build a solid academic foundation, studying the theory on urban development, on the development of cities, and on the expected further developments. Additionally, in the course of the programme (second and third year), you will work on real-life urban challenges. Together with our non-academic partners and stakeholders, you will develop policy-relevant solutions for concrete urban problems.
In the course of the programme, you will acquire a solid set of methodological and professional skills in the field of urban studies. They will help you prepare for your future career – whether this career will be in academia, business or the public sector. Field trips to major Dutch cities, our career orientation programme and individual and group-based research projects guarantee valuable, hands-on experience.
Uniquely, you will have the opportunity to tailor the programme according to your personal interests by focusing on one or several of our themes: the sustainable city, the multicultural city, the safe city and the healthy city. In the second year, you will choose your specialisation courses. In the first semester of your third year you will have the opportunity to do an internship, study at a university abroad or do a minor, consisting of a selection of courses of your choice. During the final semester of your study, you will combine a practical course on urban problem-solving with the pièce de résistance of your Urban Studies experience, your final thesis.
Leave your comfort zone!
The challenges that are brought on by urban centres are complex, which means that solutions need to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. The Urban Studies programme at Leiden University brings together lecturers from the humanities, social and natural sciences, and law. You will be taught by expert staff with diverse backgrounds, including history, biology, ecology, philosophy, criminology, psychology, pedagogy, law and linguistics. In this way, you will be encouraged to leave your comfort zone in order to gain a broad, out-of-the-box perspective.
Online Experience Urban Studies
Want to know if Urban Studies is the right study for you? Check out our Online Experience, which consists of online mini-courses with a few assignments, just as if it were real first-year courses.
You can directly register for the Online Experience: this link will take you to the form.