Do cities fascinate you? Would you like to gain insights into the nature and origin of problems and learn more about, and 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-taught programme? If all these questions elicited a yes, then our Urban Studies bachelor's is definitely for you.
Currently, some 70 per cent of Europe's population live in cities and in a few decades this is expected to hold true for the whole world. In the Urban Studies programme you will learn how cities are currently coping with economic growth, social cohesion, safety and sustainability, and how they'll do so in future. And all this in an international classroom in the Netherlands' political capital, The Hague.
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.
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. Also in year two, you will broaden your methodology skills and learn more about the job market by doing your own research and setting up a project for an external partner.
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.
Job market surveys have highlighted an increasing demand for students in the field of urban studies, particularly those who have been trained in an interdisciplinary programme that includes social and cultural perspective on cities and urbanisation processes.
After graduating as an urban specialist you will acquire invaluable skills that can be applied in private, public and non-profit sectors alike. These skills include critical thinking, communication, data collection and analysis, methodology, and designing research programmes that relate to urban problems and their solutions.
You could, for example, work for a consultancy firm as a policy advisor for urban issues or as a financial crime specialist with local government. Alternatively, you could be a strategic researcher in sustainability with central government or a researcher of medical urban issues with a university.
Do you want to apply for the bachelors programme Linguistics at Leiden University? Find out how to apply by following the step-by step guide.
Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Together with academics and fellow students from all over the world, you will actively address these challenges. We keep an open mind, do not shy away from difficultdiscussions and allow one another the space to disagree. We expect the same active, open-minded and critical attitude from you.
We challenge you to look beyond your own boundaries. Leiden University welcomes anyone who wants to achieve their full potential. Our modest community size in the historical cities of Leiden and The Hague creates a highly personal and committed atmosphere. Together, we map out a learning path that suits you and your ambitions. You will also be encouraged to conduct research in cooperation with eminent and enthusiastic scholars. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose!
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