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Research Master
Urban Studies
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Study programme

The Research Master 's programme in Urban Studies offers a multidisciplinary and (internationally) comparative perspective on urban research. It combines urban geography, economic geography, urban and regional planning, and urban sociology. Next to the core courses on urban studies, we offer a wide range of electives on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodology.

The programme takes two years. Students are expected to obtain 60 ECTS credits in each year of the programme, totalling 120 ECTS.

Year 1

The first year will be spent in Amsterdam. The curriculum of the first year combines thematic and theoretically oriented coursework with research training, with an aim to preparing students for writing their Master's thesis or academic article and for their stay abroad.

  • Year 1 - Courses

    Semester 1

    • Advanced Urban Studies
    • Epistemological and Ontological Issues in Urban and Development Studies
    • Thematic elective
    • Methods elective

    Semester 2

    • Urban Debates
    • Comparative Urban Research
    • Methods elective
    • Urban Lab: Research Proposal
    • Urban Lab: Apprenticeship

Year 2

The second year will consist of a semester abroad followed by a period of thesis writing and research. In addition to coursework at the exchange university,  the second year is devoted to the individual research project, culminating in a thesis or article. The research project must be an international comparative study based on empirical fieldwork conducted in at least two metropolises. For practical reasons, the research will usually deal with metropolises in the Netherlands and the country where students spend their semester abroad.

  • Courses - Year 2

    Semester 1

    • Electives exchange semester
    • Urban Research Project
      -  Part 1: case study 1

    Semester 2

    • Urban Studies in Practice
    • Thesis Seminar Urban Studies
    • Urban Research Project
      -  Part 2: case study 2
      -  Part 3: thesis or scientific article

Semester abroad

The first semester of the second year will be spent in a city abroad. Students will study at a university, following a number of urban studies related courses of their choice (18 ECTS). Moreover, they will conduct the first case study of their Master's research project.

The Urban Studies programme has established a collaboration with 27 (and growing!) universities worldwide that offer excellent programmes in the field of urban studies or its subfields, for instance with universities in New York, London, Hong Kong, Vancouver, Pretoria and Melbourne.

This semester abroad offers students excellent opportunities to experience studying in another environment, to build international networks, and to conduct research in a new environment. 

Course formats

Throughout the programme, we work with the following formats:

  • Interactive working groups and seminars
  • Lectures
  • Excursions
  • Research apprenticeship
  • Individual supervision (Master's thesis or research article).