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Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Open day

Want to know whether this really is the right programme for you? The information and activities on this page can help you find out.

Missed our information session?

Did you miss our information session during the UvA Bachelor's Week? Or would you like to review the presentation at your own pace?

Student for a day

Want to check if this Bachelor’s is your perfect match? Become a student for a day by joining a current student in an actual lecture. Ask your questions and experience what it’s like to study at the UvA.

What makes this programme unique?

Associate professor Tina Harris talks about what makes Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology unique. And student Ava van Waes tells you what she likes most about the programme.

What is this programme about?

The programme director Milena Veenis and others tell you about Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology.

Explore your campus

Want to see where you will be studying? Explore the campus in our virtual map, or plan a visit and experience it yourself using the interactive app.

Frequently asked questions
  • What does an average week look like in the first year?

    In the first year of the Bachelor's there are around 12 contact hours per week. This means that your classes amount to 12 hours a week, these are either with your entire cohort or in smaller tutorial groups on campus. Please note that the total study load amounts to 40 hours per week. This means that the remaining hours are spent on self-study, for example by reading literature before a lecture, preparing a presentation or by working on assignments.
    You follow different types of courses, in the first year often one theory course and one practical course at the same time. At the start of the academic year, you will delve into the history of anthropology and learn more about influential founders and relevant concepts in Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. In addition, in the course Ethnographies and Academic Writing you build academic writing skills as you learn how to read and write an ethnography. You kick off the second semester with Introduction to Development Sociology, which provides insights into the dynamics of societies by connecting global developments at the macro level to the micro level of everyday lives of local people. At the same time, you will be introduced to qualitative research methods and techniques in the Anthropological Research Methods, during which you will conduct your first fieldwork research in a small group. In the later years, the number of contact hours decreases to about 8 hours per week, while the time spent working independently increases.


  • How many fellow students can I expect in the first year?

    In the first year, you can expect between 180 - 200 fellow students.

  • What is the ratio between international and Dutch students?

    The ratio between international and Dutch students in this program is approximately 50-50.

  • How many students receive positive binding study advice (BSA)?

    To receive a positive BSA at this programme, you must obtain at least 42 of the 60 credits in the first year of your enrolment. In the academic year 2021 - 2022, almost 80% of the first-year students of this program received a positive BSA.

  • What is the difference between Sociology and Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology?

    Bachelor’s within the Social Sciences are all researching topics related to (a diversity in) social realities, looking at themes such as power, language, nationalism, gender, sexuality, sustainability, religion and spirituality. However, the way each discipline approaches a theme differs.

    Sociologists regularly work with:
    Statistics through quantitative research (standardised questionnaires to make statements about the experiences of larger groups of people)

    Anthropologists, on the other hand, specialise in:
    Qualitative research (researching smaller groups of people in depth to understand how someone voices their personal experiences through face-to-face contact)

    For example, an anthropologist conducts a fieldwork project that follows a group of people for a year to fully understand the research group. For a more extensive comparison, see also the web page of the Bachelor Sociology for more information about this programme.

  • What makes Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at the University of Amsterdam unique?

    The UvA's Social Sciences rank high in the rankings of (international) universities. They are considered the best in the Netherlands and #64 worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject. We offer an up-to-date and relevant study programme and encourage students to think critically and independently. The UvA’s anthropology department is the largest in the Netherlands, allowing us to offer a wide variety of thematic specialisations. In addition, within the Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, you can choose between the English or Dutch-English track. It is possible to switch language variants until halfway through the second year.

  • How much freedom do I have to explore my own interests within and outside Anthropology?

    The Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at the UvA has interesting and relevant specialisations such as applied anthropology, visual anthropology and medical anthropology. In the second year, you choose a regional course and two specialisation courses from a list of options that year. That year, you also get the opportunity to choose an elective of your choice for your first time. Within the Bachelor’s there are a total of 30 ECTS available that you can spend as you see fit. For example, you can choose to follow courses part of a different Bachelor’s, complete a minor at another university, do an internship or study abroad.

  • I am enrolled at a Dutch University of Applied Sciences. Will this Bachelor’s be difficult?

    Are you following a Dutch HBO (University of Applied Sciences) Bachelor’s programme in a field related to the social sciences, and does anthropology appeal to you? Then you can choose to follow our fast-track Bachelor’s programme (verkort bachelorprogramma voor hbo’ers). We see no differences in the performance of students with a background in applied sciences versus students with a background in pre-university education (vwo). We understand that you may nevertheless be nervous about the level of the Bachelor. However, the design of the programme takes into account a learning curve of students. This means that you will be supported in developing academic skills. During the first year, for example, you have your own mentor who also supervises you during the tutorials. If you need more support, the University of Amsterdam offers various free workshops and training courses to its students to further develop study skills.

  • Does this programme have its own (study) associations?

    Cul is the magazine for and by students of the Bachelor Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. You can work within the creative editorial team, or you can join Cul as a guest editor. In addition to having a great time, involvement with Cul offers you the chance to further explore your anthropological interests and improve your (academic) writing skills. For previous editions and more information on how to join Cul, visit Cul's website. Our study association CASA is also closely involved in the programme. They organise educational, social and career-oriented activities, such as a social activity during the introduction day for new students, excursions, drinks and a textbook sale.

  • How difficult is it to find student housing in Amsterdam?

    Amsterdam is a very popular place to live. Students (Dutch and international), as well as many others are looking for places to stay, and therefore affordable housing is scarce. In this tight housing market, UvA International Student Housing has a limited number of rooms (approx. 3000 units) reserved, which can accommodate roughly half of the newly incoming international students every semester for one year only. This means that the other half must find a place on their own. Do not underestimate this, it often takes weeks or even months to find suitable accommodation. It is not a smart idea to only start searching when you arrive in Amsterdam for your studies. Therefore, we encourage everyone to start in time, and look for accommodation independently, even if you also applied for the UvA Housing service. Please note that the UvA urges you not to come to Amsterdam for your studies unless you have secured proper housing. An accommodation (with registration) is especially important for non-EU students, as it will allow you to apply for a residence permit. For more information on UvA Housing, please visit the website.


Keep me informed

In autumn and spring you can attend live online information sessions. Do you want us to keep you informed on news and upcoming events?