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Immerse yourself in familiar and unknown worlds

Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Discover what is happening beneath the surface

Why is the gap between the rich and the poor growing? What if you were born in Mali? And why do some people label refugees as profiteers?

In a world where the differences between people seem to increase, you look for ways to help people better understand one another. You will immediately start working with issues from your own environment, city, country and region. Your own senses will be your research tools: you will observe, interview and sometimes follow people for months. Your goal is to discover what is going on beneath the surface.

The bachelor's programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology brings you in contact with people from different backgrounds. The programme itself is also diverse and international, and that is reflected in the classroom. ‘Internationalisation at home’, as it is so beautifully called. Your fellow students come from all over the world and have a variety of different backgrounds. You will learn from and with one another. And unlike at many other universities, you will also work with students from other disciplines to find solutions to societal challenges such as globalisation, diversity and digitisation.

At VU Amsterdam, you will have the time and freedom to develop your own profile and choose what you find interesting. The VU also works closely with organisations and companies so that you can apply your knowledge and skills in the real world. You will work on new ways to solve current social issues in global and local contexts. You will also explore how people live, as well as what choices they make and why. And you will immediately use your knowledge to make a difference.

Would you prefer to follow this programme in Dutch? Take a look at Culturele Antropologie en Ontwikkelingssociologie.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Facts and Figures

First year

In the first year, you will become familiar with important themes in anthropology, such as culture, ethnicity, nationalism, power, religion and inequality. You will work on different techniques that you will use for the rest of your studies, such as open interviewing, observing and academic writing.

Second year

In the second year, you will explore anthropological themes more in depth, including economics, politics, development anthropology, diversity, religion and migration. You will also do two research projects on issues related to large cities and organisations. During the second semester, you will take the course Social Sciences for Society along with students from other disciplines. You will also choose one of the three major themes from Social Sciences: globalisation, diversity or digitisation. In lectures and workgroups, you will look for solutions to societal challenges.

Third year

The first semester is yours to design. You can study abroad, do an internship, complete a minor or follow electives. During the second semester, you will learn more about digital anthropology, work on practical research as part of a team, and write a bachelor’s thesis based on your own ethnographic research.

Change your future with the Anthropology programme

Change your future with the Anthropology programme

After the bachelor’s programme, you can further specialise by following a master's programme. 

When you graduate as an anthropologist, you could work as a researcher at a civil society organisation, as a cultural specialist in the public or private sector, as a journalist, or as a policy advisor at a national or international institute.

Discover your future prospects
Myrthe van den Broek