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MA Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Leiden University
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Start dates
September 2019  (English)
September 2020  (English)
September 2021  (English)

Program description

MA student

Earn an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University

Are you interested in graduating by using audio-visual methods or doing a multi-media project? Then join Leiden's MA program in cultural anthropology and development sociology!

What you'll get

  • Acquire ethnographic skills at the field schools in South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa or the Netherlands
  • Specialize in economic sustainability, environmental challenges, or visual and material culture
  • Work with a company or organization doing a policy-oriented research internship
  • Take the option to graduate with an audiovisual online project at the only CA-DS program in the Netherlands offering visual ethnography

In this masters program, you'll learn to understand the everyday practice of individuals, groups and communities from the inside out, and analyze how you can situate them within complex processes of global social change.

The MA program at Leiden is tailored to students needs, and displays a broad range of theoretical, methodological and regional interests, and is renowned for its internationally oriented expertise and the two unique specializations:

  • Global Ethnography: Our globalizing world increasingly demands a comparative and holistic approach to all things cultural. In the specialization, you'll do three months of individual research into the ways global processes manifest themselves in particular and local instances, in remote places as well as close to home.
  • Sociology of Policy in Practice: The specialization in the sociology of policy in practice teaches you to think along with companies, NGO’s and other organizations to help them respond to the challenges they are facing in our rapidly changing times.

You obtain relevant working experience by conducting a three-month research-oriented internship, in close collaboration with both our Leiden staff and members of your host organization. The Leiden Institute of CA-DS ensures half a century and more of expertise on South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

As a student, you can enjoy the possibilities of this wide network of international contacts and conduct your own research in one of Leiden's field schools abroad, located in Indonesia (Java) or Ghana, or in the Netherlands. Master students are not strictly limited to these regions and field schools. If you have sufficient expertise, local contacts and linguistic skills, it is possible to focus on another region and do your fieldwork there. 

All specializations can be combined with the methodological track ‘Visual Ethnography as a Method’ Although admission to this track requires certain minimal skills in visual ethnography (which can be obtained at the Institute CA-DS in the pre-master phase), you will be able to improve your use of audio-visual methods like photography, video and audio, both in research and in reporting through course work and your own independent research project.

Career opportunities

As a CA-DS master, you will be fully equipped with the scientific skills required to independently design and execute fundamental and applied research.

Admission requirements

  • A BA/BSc in Cultural Anthropology-Development Sociology or a BA/BSc degree with a major in cultural anthropology development sociology, or an equivalent from a recognized university

*(Students with a Professional Bachelor (HBO) Diploma, can not be admitted to this master’s program). Basic training in the anthropological research process and methodology (research proposal, fieldwork and data analysis).

  • Proof of proficiency in English: IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 600/250 (100 for the internet-based TOEFL), evidenced by an appropriate test
  • This requirement does not apply if you have: Completed your education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or An International Baccalaureate, or Dutch VWO diploma Students who have a BA in CA-DS from Leiden University are directly admissible


Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

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With a long and rich history, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Students may choose to study from 7 faculties and 3 campuses, watch this video to learn what Leiden can offer you!

About school

Leiden University

Services & Facilities

Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programs. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world.  The university is comprised of...

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Contact info

Leiden University

Rapenburg 70
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

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