About us

This is the informal blog of the PhD programme URBEUR – Urban Studies, organized by the University of Milano-Bicocca. Here one can find information about courses and seminars; the scientific work of PhD Students and Alumni; news and events; ideas and discussions on urban studies and sociological issues.

URBEUR is an international Doctoral Programme networked with a number of outstanding European Universities: University of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Delft, Lièges, London, Leuven, Oulu, Paris, Wien. It offers scholars, researchers and professionals a programme of study designed to deliver a broad and thorough grounding in the field, along with the skills to develop specific areas of expertise. It provides for the development of methodological skills for qualitative work as well as for quantitative analysis. Special emphasis is placed on the acquisition of interdisciplinary competences, thorough knowledge of comparative approaches, and the language skills necessary to work at a professional level in a global environment.

The programme trains highs-level researchers and experts for careers in universities and other research institutions, as well as in international and national institutions and organizations. More than 50% of our Ph.D. graduates hold an academic position in Italy or abroad, where they are able to carry out research projects, usually along with teaching responsibilities. 

Thanks to its interdisciplinary and international structure, URBEUR has been recognized by the Ministry of University and Research as an Innovative Doctoral Programme. In line with the strategies identified by the National Research Plan 2015-2020, starting this year it offers two PhD scholarships with executive path (so-called Innovative-Intersectorial Ph.D Programme) through two agreements with two social enterprises that provide double supervision and joint definition of research programs on the topics of urban regeneration and social housing.

Teaching activities

In the first year, intensive teaching classes and seminars are designed to provide:

  • in-depth knowledge of the social sciences, focusing in particular on new theoretical and research directions in urban sociology, the transformations of local and national welfare systems, globalisation processes and their impact on cities, the new inequalities, urban segregation, and urban policies in general; impact of new technologies, social innovation and networks; environment, space and society.
  • advanced quantitative and qualitative methodological skills, suitable for conducting territorial comparative research;
  • acquisition of language skills necessary to perform at a professional level in a global environment.

Instruction is in English and encompasses specific methodological and thematic modules organised in four broader thematic areas: Cities, Territories and Policies (coordinated by prof. Lavinia Bifulco), City and Culture (coordinated by prof. Fabio Quassoli), Inequalities and the City (coordinated by prof. David Benassi) and Methodology in Urban Studies (coordinated by prof. Marianna d’Ovidio)

Methodological modules:

  • Social research design
  • Quantitative methods for the social sciences
  • Techniques for spatial analysis: Geographic Information System and spatial data, Big Data analysis and representation, visual research methods
  • Ethnography and qualitative research methods

Thematic modules:

  • Global cities and urban transformation models
  • Urban welfare and changing citizenship
  • Urban Mobility
  • Housing
  • Social change, inequalities and local systems
  • City and difference
  • The flâneur: narrating and walking through the city

Co-tutorships and joint degrees with partner universities as well as long term research stays at European universities are encouraged.

Tuition fees are very low and scholarships are adequate to cover living expenses in Milan. Scholarships are increased by 50% for authorised research time spent abroad.

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