Urban Studies deals with the complex reality of urban centres from a number of perspectives drawn from spatial planning, social and economic geography, and institutional approaches.
Contrary to the earlier ideas about the global economy becoming increasingly 'footloose', large cities and metropolitan areas will remain the most important economic hubs of this part of the world. In other parts of the world like China, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, cities are still growing very fast because of migration from the rural areas to the cities. Some of the largest cities of 'the global South' are becoming serious competitors in the global economy too. Both in the North and South, cities are becoming more international and interconnected. Our programme combines the disciplines of urban geography, economic geography, urban and regional planning, and urban sociology, to provide a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to urban change. An important theme throughout the programme is the international comparison of urban phenomena, as exemplified by a comparative methodology course and the requirement of an international comparison in the Master's thesis. A unique feature of the programme, related to this focus on international comparison, is the semester abroad at one of our exchange partner institutes in Europe, North America or East Asia.
The Master 's programme in Urban Studies is two years long, and consists of a core introductory course, a number of research methodology and thesis preparation seminars, a research apprenticeship, one elective, a semester of fieldwork abroad, a written thesis and a research article. Students are expected to obtain 60 ECTS credits in each year of the programme, totalling 120 ECTS. The first year will be spent in Amsterdam and the second year will consist in a semester abroad followed by a period of thesis writing and research.
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 and for their stay abroad. Half of the second year is devoted to the individual thesis project. The Master's thesis must to be 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.
Upon successful completion of all coursework and the thesis, students will receive an officially accredited Master's degree in Urban Studies, and the title Master of Science.
The focus of the programme is on comparative urban studies. The research methodology taught in the first year therefore focuses mainly on international comparisons of urban phenomena. Next to this we offer a wide range of electives on quantitative and qualitative methodology.
Throughout the programme, we work with the following formats:
Grade average: The programme seeks students with excellent academic records and who are able to handle heavy course loads. Study results obtained in previous education should demonstrate that a student is able to attain and maintain an excellent level, especially in the fields relevant to the programme. Undergraduate studies should be completed with an overall grade average of at least a B+/A- /3.5 (American system), first class Honours degree (British system), B (ECTS system), 7.5 (Dutch system) or equivalent.
Previous education: The Research Master's Programme in Urban Studies seeks students with an academic Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in a discipline closely related to the programme, such as human geography, urban and regional planning and political science. Those applicants who hold a higher professional Bachelor's degree obtained at a university of applied sciences (HBO) will first need to complete a relevant academic Bachelor's degree before applying to the Master's programme. Completion of a relevant Bachelor's degree however, does not automatically lead to admission. Selection tends to be highly competitive reflecting the number and quality of applications received for each selection round.
Additional subject: The programme is intended for students who have an active interest in research and wish to pursue a career in research. Applicants are expected to have a solid basis in social sciences research methodology of at least 30 ECTS credits earned during previous study.
Language test: All non-native speakers of English (including Dutch students) applying to one of the English-taught programmes offered by the Graduate School of Social Sciences, are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. All students must be able to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in classroom discussions and undertake written work in English. For more information, please visit our website.
Written request: All applicants are required to submit a statement of motivation.
Grade list: All applicants are required to submit official transcripts of each higher education institute attended, listing all courses and examinations already completed and currently enrolled in, and grades and credits obtained.
Knowledge minimum: Applicants are expected to have a solid basis in the field of urban studies of at least (an equivalent of) 30 ECTS credits earned during previous study.
Additional language requirements:
No work experience is required.
Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands
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A modern university with a rich history, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) traces its roots back to 1632, when the Golden Age school Athenaeum Illustre was established to train students in trade and philosophy. Today, with more than 30,000 students, 5,000 staff and 250 study programmes (Bachelor's and Master's), many of which are taught in English, it is one of the larger comprehensive universities in Europe.