This study deals with partial nitrification in a sequencing batch reactor (PN-SBR) treating raw urban landfill leachate. In order to enhance process insight (e.g. quantify interactions between aeration, CO2 stripping, alkalinity, pH, nitrification kinetics), a mathematical model has been set up. Following a systematic procedure, the model was successfully constructed, calibrated and validated using data from short-term (one cycle) operation of the PN-SBR. The evaluation of the model revealed a good fit to the main physical-chemical measurements (ammonium, nitrite, nitrate and inorganic carbon), confirmed by statistical tests. Good model fits were also obtained for pH, despite a slight bias in pH prediction, probably caused by the high salinity of the leachate. Future work will be addressed to the model-based evaluation of the interaction of different factors (aeration, stripping, pH, inhibitions, among others) and their impact on the process performance.