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Research Master
Urban Studies

Career prospects

An education in the social sciences will impart a broad range of skills that easily translate into a multitude of careers. 

Specific career examples

PhD research positions 

Graduates in Urban Studies are well prepared to continue their career in academia as PhD researchers and advanced positions like assistant professor or post-doc researcher. Graduates claim PhD positions at our own research institute (AISSR) and also increasingly at other Dutch universities and abroad, such as in Leuven, London, Vienna and Kentucky.

In addition, a few other alumni have temporary positions as junior lecturer or researcher in academic institutes, with the prospects of an extended academic career. 

Research positions outside academia 

Also outside academia, we find several alumni in positions in which they either conduct research or are involved in research management. Examples include:

  • a research coordinator at the Deltametropool foundation, 
  • a research coordinator at the Dutch Office for Cultural Heritage (Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed), 
  • a researcher of real estate plans at the publishing company Elsevier, 
  • a researcher at Platform31 (a knowledge and network organisation for urban development).


Several other alumni work in policy practice, for a municipality, a province or a national ministry. In these positions they usually combine policy-making and policy advice with conducting or managing research. For example, alumni of our programme can be found in:

  • the municipalities of Amsterdam, Leiden, Diemen, and Louisville (US); 
  • the city-regional organisation Stadsregio Amsterdam; 
  • the provinces of Noord-Holland, Noord-Brabant and Zeeland; 
  • the Dutch Ministries of Internal Affairs and Infrastructure & Environment.

Private sector 

Some of our alumni have chosen for a career in the private sector. The businesses they work for are logically related to the field of urban studies: real estate development, project development and consultancy or advice for environmental development projects, for example.

Enterprises and freelancers

Finally, especially in the past few years, several alumni have chosen to start their own enterprise or work as freelancers. While some of these self-employed and freelance alumni have only started as such very recently and may see it rather as a temporary solution while searching for employment, others have managed to establish themselves in the market already.

Career support 

To support you in your career goals, the University offers a variety of resources:

GSSS Career Event 

Twice a year the GSSS hosts a Career Event, where you can meet organisation representatives and alumni, and receive helpful tips and feedback about searching for a job as a graduate.

UvA Careers Centre (LAC)

The career advisers at the UvA Student Careers Centre can help students with information, workshops and individual vocational counselling to find out what you want, get insight into your capabilities and competencies, make choices and improve your application skills in order to achieve your goals.

With an increasing number of international students each year, the UvA is truly an international university. UvA graduates from all over the world find their way to interesting careers, whether in the Netherlands or abroad. The Student Careers Centre is specialised in advising international (non-Dutch) UvA graduates about job seeking in the international labour market.