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Cultural and Social Anthropology

The Master’s programme in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the UvA is a broadly focused one-year Master’s programme in which you design and conduct high quality anthropological research. Questions of globalisation, identity and authenticity, migration, citizenship, but also of transnational relations, development, and myths of progress are at the heart of this programme.

Contemporary Cultural and Social Anthropology aims to understand and explain particular ways of living and behaving in societies all over the world, among different groups of people. How do people relate to each other and their social and material environment?

The Master’s in Cultural and Social Anthropology is a broad, one-year programme in which you design and conduct your own high quality anthropological research. After completing a period of twelve weeks of fieldwork, you are expected to write a well-argued thesis. This programme is designed to transform you into an active participant in the production of anthropological knowledge and the principles and practices of the discipline. A distinctive feature of this programme is the relative freedom in choosing the topic for your Master’s thesis. As there is a wide range of regional, thematic and theoretical specialisations among the Cultural and Social Anthropology staff who will support and supervise your project, almost all interests can be accommodated within the programme.

For students who wish to conduct research that has an applied character, we offer the possibility to specialize in Applied Anthropology. If you wish to apply for the specialization Applied Anthropology, please follow the normal steps for an application for the MSc programme Cultural and Social Anthropology. In your motivation letter you can indicate that you wish to specialize in Applied Anthropology. A second track we offer is Visual Anthropology.

Why study Cultural and Social Anthropology in Amsterdam?

The Master’s in Cultural and Social Anthropology is a broad, research-oriented programme which equips you with the necessary skills and competences for a future career in research or in the field. Furthermore, the University of Amsterdam, a major research university, offers a Master’s programme taught by one of the highest ranking anthropology departments in continental Europe. The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) of Amsterdam provides a vibrant and international academic community. The GSSS values diversity in both research and academic content, academic staff and the student population.

Focus on research

While conducting fieldwork and writing your thesis, you are supervised by a member of the academic staff  who is actively involved in anthropological research on an international scale. At UvA's Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR) , research is conducted on themes that include the mobility of people, goods and ideas, and the search for identity in a modern globalised world.


In a world of increasing globalisation, the Master’s degree in Anthropology equips you with highly relevant skills, such as knowledge of qualitative research methods, including participant observation and interviewing, and the ability to:

  • independently devise, implement, evaluate and report on a large-scale project
  • develop networks
  • write well and argue cohesively
  • present your own work and ideas effectively
  • attune to the complexity and diversity of the anthropological discipline
  • understand and deal effectively with intercultural interactions and situations
  • obtain in-depth knowledge on a given topic in a short period of time. 

Ambition in research?

For students interested in pursuing a larger research project, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in the Social Sciences.

Degree certificate

Upon successful completion of Cultural and Social Anthropology, students receive a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology. 

Specialisation tracks

Next to this Master's programme in Cultural and Social Anthropology, there are two English-language specialisation tracks in Cultural and Social Anthropology:​

Key facts

Cultural and Social Anthropology
Diploma MSc Cultural and Social Anthropology
Type Regulier onderwijs
Vorm Voltijd
Studielast 60 EC, 12 maanden
Voertaal Engels
Start Februari, september
CROHO-code 66614