Urban Studies

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Urban Studies

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Urban Studies and Planning

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Knowledge and Understanding. After having completed this course, the student has aquired knowledge and understanding of:
    (1) key concepts in urban anthropology;
    (2) the ways in which urban development and sustainable development are intertwined.

    Application of knowledge and understanding. After having completed this course, the student has acquired the competences to:
    (1) apply key concepts from urban anthropology to an ethnographic research in public spaces in Amsterdam;
    (2) combine and compare key concepts in urban anthropology in a written argu-ment.

    Attitude. After having completed this course, the student demonstrates:
    (1) the ability to work in small research teams to carry out a small ethnographic research project;
    (2) to report about the research projects in verbal and written form.

    Cities around the world are centres of economic development, attracting domestic and foreign investors, visitors, and high-skilled and low-skilled migrants. Locked in a global competition for investments, cities need to be developed in a way that they are attractive to investors and become socially and ecologically sustainable. Social sustainability requires that different actors get their fair place in the city, in terms of income opportunities, and a space to dwell, meet, express oneself, and work. Ecological sustainability requires that cities reduce their ecological footprint, compensate environmental damage to the planet, and reuse as many resources as possible. Taking urban space as the focus of our attention in this course, we will go into politics, inequality, lifestyles, and liveability.

    lectures and tutorials

    written exam (50%) and joint research paper (50%).

    There are no requirements, but ideally students have completed the courses Political and Economic Anthropology, and Development and Globalization (for BSc CAO and minor Anthropology), or Development and Globalization and Identity, Diversity and Inclusion (Minor DGC).

    The themes of these courses –politics, inequality, development, globalization, diversity, identity, migration– all return in Urban Studies. In the same vein, Urban Studies is the closing of the minor Development and Global Challenges. For students of the minor Anthropology, the most memorable element will be their first experience with ethnographic fieldwork. While Urban Studies is integrated in all these programmes, the course can also be taken as an elective course of its own. It is the only course on Urban Studies offered in the Faculty of Social Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and it is especially interesting to exchange students who wish to get to know Amsterdam better.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.