Students walking over college square

Urban Development - Public Administration

  • Degree


  • Start date


  • Location


  • Duration

    5 Months

A growing number of people live within cities all around the world. The ageing and migrating population, climate change and technical and digital innovations are just a few examples of social issues that demand novel solutions. In our English-taught programme, you learn how to manage, shape, plan and design our changing cities and their environment.

This is an exchange programme from the School of Governance, Law and Urban Development.
Group of students working as a team

Team work

During the programme, you and students from other Urban Studies courses work together to carry out projects. You will be trained to become an interdisciplinary ‘urban professional’, who knows how to connect people, design places, take a businesslike approach and define policymaking.

Group of students hanging out outside

Expanding skillset

Working with students of Climate & Management, Urban design and Urban Development and Planning courses, you will learn how to be creative and innovative in designing ideas and solutions to tomorrow’s urban challenges. Additional courses on Research and (intercultural) Communication will be taught to further develop your competencies as a young urban professional. 

Two students hanging out in the sunshine

Develop cities together

You will become adept in gaining support for your policies and designs from local residents, politicians, businesses and authorities.

Apply now

If you would like to apply for this exchange programme, please click on the button below.

Apply now Application deadlines


Course content



At the School of Governance, Law and Urban Development, we use teaching, skills training workshops and projects to teach students how to become urban professionals. All subjects relate to Urban and Regional Development. During projects, students from different disciplines work in teams and with professionals on real-life projects in what we call our CityLab. You will be trained to be a multidisciplinary ‘urban professional’, who knows how to connect people and places. You can analyse existing situations but also look to the future. Focussing on your in-depth knowledge and skills, you can respond in an agile way to a rapidly changing society. Working closely with other students from different backgrounds, you will learn how to think creatively and come up with new ideas and solutions to tomorrow’s urban and regional challenges which involve economic, social, spatial and sustainability issues.

The awareness of the effects of international and European law on cities, municipalities and regional governments is increasing. More and more it is recognized that cities, municipalities and regional governments as well as Member States, have a major responsibility in executing EU law. Therefore it is important to study the basics of international and EU law and to understand the impact it has on policies related to urban challenges. Students learn about the nature of the international and European legal order and how it is related to the national legal order of especially the Netherlands; international and European treaties as important subjects of international law; institutional and legal framework of the EU, most important characteristics of primary and secondary EU law, dispute settlement and law enforcement; latest developments in better regulation within the EU and the relevance of this subject for cities and regional governments. A study trip to Brussels including visits to some of the EU institutions is an integral part of this module. During this study trip students will get to experience the EU institutions and the field of international relations first-handedly.

The position of policy and politics in a rapidly changing international context has big influences on how we live. Cities, municipalities and national and regional governmental actors became important actors in international trade as well in international relations and the EU is finally leaning towards a true urban policy. This changing position brings various new challenges for cities but also for other participants. More and more it is recognized that cities and its people need to be involved in public affairs to make policies successful. This module deals with the relations of the city in Europe, Europe in the world and the world in the city. This means that attention will be drawn to the role these actors have in Europe and what challenges cities in Europe are faced with. The European Union can have an important role in dealing with the challenges in a common way and therefore it is important to understand the functioning of the EU in a structural and practical way. Important policy areas such as the Urban Agenda and other policies related to urban challenges will be discussed. The position of cities within European networks and on a global scale will be discussed, and attention will be given to how challenges on a global scale are related to urban challenges as well as how globalisation influences the challenges on urban level.

  • Research skills 2 - As a specialist in urban planning, your professional field often presents quantitative or statistical information. This type of information could be included in a research report or a policy proposal, in which numbers and graphics are used to illustrate a (social) phenomenon. As a professional you must be competent to determine the quality of the content of this type of information. This competence requires limited methodical and statistical insight.  The underlying research theory often has a rather abstract nature. This means it could be a significant task to see through statistical information. In order to simplify the understanding of the quantitative research theory, it is best to train this in a context-rich area.
  • Effective Communication -2: A fundamental part of the Urban studies programme is the CityLab assignment where students apply for authentic (real life) research projects from external clients (see below). To be able to work in multicultural groups with people with different specialisations such as Public Administration, Urban Design and Urban and Regional Planning requires proper intercultural communication skills. In Effective Communication II students will learn the importance of cultural differences and the manner in which their own culture affects their own beliefs and way of working qand how cultural differences can lead to enhanced creativity. Professionals who would like to improve the quality of urbanised areas must have a proper understanding of co-operation with people from many nationalities and cultures. Students can improve their intercultural competence by practising in multicultural groups by means of the CityLab assignments.

Apply them in real-life cases

Saxion CityLab Assignments - (2 projects and a small assignment)

CityLab is one of the unique aspects of Urban and Regional Planning. This is the environment in which Urban and Regional Planning students work together with students of Public Administration and Urban Design to develop competences, based on their joint work on authentic practical assignments in the social and spatial domain. CityLab starts in the second period of the first semester and proceeds, to the graduation phase in the second (final) academic year.

Co-creation and applied research in CityLab: An essential feature of CityLab is the possibility for co-creation between clients, lecturer-researcher, readers and students. The CityLab focus with regard to content is dedicated to lines of research, which have been selected in due consultation with the Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Development, like Climate and Energy, and Transition in urban areas.

  • City Lab (9 EC)
  • Portfolio assignment (3 EC)
  • Research skills (3 EC)
  • Effective communication in an intercultural context (3 EC)

  • European policy and politics (3 EC)
  • European and international law (3 EC)

Free electives (you can choose 2)

  • Urban models (3 EC)
  • Urban land use and mobility (3 EC)
  • System & flows (3 EC)
  • Sustainable area development (3 EC)

  • You will work together with other international but also Dutch students and will learn from each other’s perspectives on urban and natural places
  • You will work with business professionals on real-life projects in the City Lab
  • Develop a critical professional approach towards urban development in Europe in order to contribute to sustainable development in urban areas
  • Living technology: you will learn to design SMART solutions 
  • Additional courses on research and intercultural communication
  • High-quality supervision by instructors who mostly are from the workfield
  • You will get to know the Dutch way of living and its national and professional culture in urban planning
Study in Holland _ Deventer.jpg

Your student life in the city of Deventer

Hanseatic city, Koekstad, Boekenstad, but of course the most important: student city. The narrow streets with nice boutiques and the Brink make Deventer very cozy. It is a city where you are quickly known, but where there is always something new to discover.
More about Deventer