Urban Studies

Master in Sociology

Prof. Dr. Jack Burgers,
Coordinator of the programme

“Although modern technology makes it possible to de-concentrate human activities, what we actually see is the agglomeration of relevant economic and cultural institutions and developments in cities. In Urban Studies we try to grasp the causes and consequences of this phenomenon in order to provide a solid basis for urban policy.”

What is this specialisation about?

Contemporary society is highly urbanized: the majority of the world population lives in cities and urban populations are growing rapidly all over the globe. Central in this specialisation are the two main features of present-day cities: the increasing diversity of their populations and the inequality of their economies.

This specialisation aims at addressing urban developments and issues in such a way as to both understand urban dynamics theoretically in an encompassing and comparative way, and to provide insights in the possibilities and impossibilities of policies of urban management and urban renewal in the broadest sense of the word. Students will get acquainted with both the main scientific theories on urban diversity and inequality, and the policies devised to deal with contemporary urban problems, as migration and ethnic conflict, and the international competitiveness of cities.

Completion of the programme will make students well prepared for a successful career in urban policymaking, urban research, advice, and academia.

Why choose this programme?

  • The programme offers an international comparative perspective;
  • Linking macro developments as globalisation and individualisation to concrete, everyday urban life worlds;
  • A theoretically based, practical and policy focus on urban problems.


The programme consists of 60 ECTS. Three core courses and a thesis together add up to 45 ECTS focused on the specialisation Urban Studies. The remaining 15 ECTS is devoted to two electives. Please click on one of the courses in the programme overview below to see the course descriptions. 

Block 1
Sept - Nov

Block 2
Nov - Jan

Block 3
Jan - March

Block 4
March - May

The City as Habitat: The Dynamics of Urban Populations

7.5 ECTS

Cities in a Globalized World: International Migration and The World Economy

7.5 ECTS

Urban Governance and Politics: The City as Political Arena

7.5 ECTS






7.5 ECTS


7.5 ECTS


7.5 ECTS

Total study load: 60 ECTS

The curriculum is subject to alteration. No rights may be derived from this information (including the information via the links).

Mode of education

Each core course is composed of a series of lectures and small-scale tutorials. The lectures present the main theoretical and empirical insights about the topic of the course. In the tutorials, students learn to analyse and apply these insights by discussing and presenting various assignments in small groups.