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Key Topics in Urban Studies

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This two-week online course will introduce participants to the field of Urban Studies through a series of lectures from a team of experts on key topics in the multidisciplinary study of cities, combined with video tours, live seminars, readings and assignments. Since more than half of the world's population currently lives in cities, analyzing them from multiple perspectives is extremely important to understand the cities of today, and identify the challenges of tomorrow.

There are still a few spots remaining in this course for summer 2021.

If you're interest in joining us this summer, please do not postpone applying: submit your application via the how to apply page as soon as possible so we can process your application in time for the start of the course. If you have questions, email us at

  • Programme at a glance

    Mode of instruction:                                                                                                                                           


    Online (2 weeks)

    Academic dates: 


    Monday 12 July - Friday 23 July 2021

    Academic fee:


    €750 read more about what is included.



    4 European Credits. Read more about credits and credit transfer

    Final admissions deadline:


    1 June 2021. Admissions for this course are processed on a rolling basis. 

    Who is this programme for?


    For current university students (Bachelor, Master) and professionals from any discipline. A general interest in urban studies from a variety of perspectives is essential. 


  • Programme description

    More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, and the UN projects this number to rise to 68% by 2050. Consequently, many societal challenges are inextricably linked to the urban context: understanding how urban environments are planned, governed, experienced, and contested, becomes indispensable to address current and future challenges.

    This course introduces students to key topics in Urban Studies by covering a wide range of perspectives that aim to enhance our understanding of cities, and their links to social, spatial, political, economic, and cultural dynamics.

    The course not only familiarizes students with key academic debates in Urban Studies, but also highlights their practical relevance for urban development, governance and policy making. While international in scope, Amsterdam serves as recurring case to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of urban complexity, and the creation of sustainable and just cities.

    This programme will (tentatively) include the following topics: 

    • Urban mobility and the right to the city
    • Urban psychology and sensescapes
    • Housing, gentrification, and inequality
    • Urban planning, governance, and property development
    • Citizen participation and urban social movements
    • Placemaking 

    Students will dive into these topics through a series of (pre-recorded) expert lectures and city ‘tours’, live seminars led by the Academic Director, (group) discussions, brief in-course assignments, and a host of materials including readings, podcasts, and best-practices.

  • Academic director (tentative)

    Dr. Thea Dukes is an urban/political geographer and a psychologist. She coordinates and teaches various courses in the Interdisciplinary Social Science programme (ISW), with a strong focus on urban issues (such as Contemporary debates, Perspectives on Amsterdam and Age, City & Work). Her main research interests relate to the urban as a political arena, combining insights from various disciplines like Human Geography, Sociology and Psychology. Topics relate to, for example, area-based urban policy, urban governance, sense of belonging, the multisensory city and the contestation of space.

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying in Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our summer community. Get a feel for our summer school vibe and our academic and social community, and learn about studying with us through the eyes of past summer school students. 

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Facts & Figures
Mode Online
Credits 4 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction English
Starts in July