'The learning environment of Urban Studies encourages students to choose a research topic that they are passionate about.' Read what Beatriz Pineda Revilla tells about Urban Studies.
My name is Beatriz Pineda Revilla and I come from Spain. A few years ago, I came across the website of the Research Master’s programme in Urban Studies (RMUS) and immediately got attracted by its multidisciplinary approach to urban issues. At that time, I was working in an urban design office in Amsterdam. Trained as a designer, both in architecture and urban planning/design. After having several years of professional experience, I realised the importance of combining research and practice in order to better understand and design our cities.
Being now in the last semester of the programme, I can say that it was the correct decision. This programme and the University of Amsterdam have fulfilled my expectations and have provided me with the knowledge that I was looking for.
This two-year programme prepares students to go through all the steps of conducting research. During the first year, the emphasis is placed on methodology courses and on the main disciplines within Urban Studies: Urban Geography, Urban Planning, Urban Economy and Urban Sociology. The different nationalities and backgrounds of the students guarantee enriching discussions that reshape and spark new research interests among the students. This learning environment encourages students to choose a research topic that they are passionate about. This personal motivation, together with the dedicated and supportive guidance by the UvA professors, lead the students into the second year of the programme, which is mainly dedicated to conducting research. Having a comparative approach and international orientation, RMUS offers the opportunity to conduct fieldwork abroad while studying a semester at renowned universities all over the world.
For my semester abroad I chose New York. As a passionate of the urban, living in this city had always been one of my dreams. My stay in New York fulfilled my personal and academic expectations and allowed me to broaden my knowledge on my research topic, Urban Agriculture. My interest in Urban Agriculture comes from my childhood. Raised in a family with an agricultural background and with my parents cultivating their own garden as a hobby, I was soon aware of the importance of having access to fresh food in cities. This issue has become more relevant during the last decades, especially in cities with a continuously increasing population, thus the importance to address it both at an academic and a design level. RMUS has allowed me to bridge my academic interests and my personal fascination for the subject.
I would recommend this programme to highly motivated students with a great interest in urban issues. The career prospects after concluding the RMUS are very diverse and range from pursuing a PhD to a career in applied fields, such as becoming a policy maker or researcher in governmental and non-governmental organisations. After concluding the programme I would like to combine my design and research skills to contribute to the improvement of urban planning in our cities.
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