Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (BSc)
About the programme
To maximise your personal development, we ensure tutorials are small-scale and staff members extremely accessible. In year one, you’ll have an average of 12 contact hours, half of which comprise lectures (in English) and the remainder tutorials (optionally Dutch or English).
Our education according to international students
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Bachelor's programme structure
During the first semester, you will learn anthropological theories and terms so you can study people in their daily lives and write about them. These courses pay attention to people’s resilience, creativity and the various ways they express themselves. In the second semester you will be taught hands-on skills in the use of interviews, surveys, and observation as research techniques, always integrating the visual dimension that has become Leiden’s signature. And offcourse you will learn general academic skills, such as how to write well.
These skills will then be applied in a fieldwork workshop, either in Leiden or The Hague. This second semester will consolidate your position as a socially engaged researcher, eager to collate information while not losing sight of people’s concerns and daily lives.
In the second year you can start specialising yourself by choosing between two specialisations: Sustainable Societies (SuSo) or Digital and Audiovisual Ethnography (DAE).
The SuSo track covers two key courses that will broaden your knowledge on sustainability and diversity by showing how they are connected to politics, economy and the environment. The track therefore covers both social forms of sustainability and ecological sustainability. Those of you opting for this track, will take classes that focus on the interplay between economic and ecologic forms. Together with your fellow students from the DAE track, you will also take classes in diversity and power.
The DAE track foregrounds Audio-Visual Ethnography and Digital Anthropology. This track focuses on how to use multimodal methods like documentary filmmaking, drawing and sonic ethnography to do social scientific research. You will also explore debates on how communities worldwide variously and creatively deal with digital affordances; how digitalization helps continue cultural practice and shape social relations anew? What humans do with fake news, hate speech, datasets big and small, or with emergent forms of digital (il)literacy and exclusion?
It is an option to follow both SuSo and DAE. You can use the elective space in the third year to follow the courses of the other track.
In both specialisations you will learn how practical research, creative methods and having a cultural perspective enable anthropologists to make crucial and original contributions to debates on global challenges, such as digitalisation, (lack of) diversity in representation and the impact and creative use of media technologies worldwide.
Besides you will conduct a month-long fieldwork project in or near the Netherlands. You will learn to analyse your own research data from different perspectives, link it to societal debates and present it at a conference in Leiden to which you can invite your research participants.
As of the coming academic year (2024 - 2025) Sustainable Societies (SuSo) will change to People Planet Power (PPP) and Digital and Audiovisual Ethnography (DAE) will become Media Making Movements (MMM).
Year three will give you the freedom to tailor your programme. Next to writing a thesis on a topic of your personal preference, you will follow an elective and a course that will help you choose between continuing your academic studies or entering the professional environment. Study for a semester abroad, follow a minor or do an internship.
The international bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology uses various modes of instruction to augment your learning experience:
- Lectures bring the literature you read to life and build your knowledge of the subject at hand.
- In small (12 to 16 students) workgroup sessions, you delve deeper into and discuss the course materials. These sessions require active participation and attendance is mandatory.
- Practicals challenge you to develop hands-on skills in interviewing, observation and using statistical computer programmes, among others. Attendance is also mandatory in these sessions.
- In the online course environment, you review your peers’ assignments and prepare for examinations with online mock tests and recorded lectures.
Want to read more about the programme’s courses? Take a look at the programme structure.