Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Program Description

Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Are you interested in Anthropology and topics like development aid, culture, identity, religion and sustainable development? Do you aim to graduate with a university masters’ degree? Then the masters’ programme Social and Cultural Anthropology could be just what you are looking for. Millions of people worldwide live in poverty and war. How do they give meaning to their existence and what strategies do they use to reach a better standard of living and a sense of freedom? Migration seems to be a last resort for desperate people. What do refugees and persons seeking asylum find in their new home country and in what way are they welcomed by the local peoples?

Study programme

The Master SCA enables students to develop and strengthen their research capabilities, while anchoring in the theoretical paradigm of human security. The programme explores issues such as poverty and migration, sustainable development, religion and identity.

The programme begins with a comprehensive theoretical orientation on human security. Halfway through this orientation, you will specialize in one of two profiles: Constructing Identities and Notions of Belonging or Development and Social Transformations. The former leans towards cultural anthropology, the latter towards sociology of development.

In the second semester students conduct fieldwork research for their master thesis a country of their choice for approximately 3 months. Watch the movies made by students during their fieldwork.

Career prospects

Our programme is designed to help you meet the demands of a world in which job descriptions are undergoing rapid change. Anthropologists play an important role in many fields relating to development, governance, social work, culture and education that rely on analysts and researchers who have a deep and nuanced understanding of intercultural sensitivities and cultural identity formation.

The extent of occupational flexibility encouraged by this programme reflects the emphasis on diversity, independent thinking and global, holistic knowledge that characterizes the study of anthropology. As an anthropologist, your research and analytical skills together with cultural understanding qualify you for a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from research in academic or non-academic institutes, to NGO or government agency work in development, aid, governance, consulting for private enterprises, and journalism.

The intensive training and hands-on in-the-field research experience you will gain from this programme will stand you in good stead to compete with other trained social scientists. Prospective employers include UNESCO, War Child, UNICEF, local and national government institutions, local and national newspapers, national and international companies, and non-governmental organizations. Other areas in which you will be able to find employment are human resources, intercultural communication, tourism and the museum sector.

International students

Applicants with an international Bachelor’s degree

The Master’s degree programme in Social & Cultural Aanthropology is an international programme. To gain admission, you must hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university in Anthropology or a related discipline. You must have had qualitative social sciences research methodology and good grades. You also need an excellent working command of English, and prove it with either the IELTS test (given by the British International English Language Testing Service; minimum score 6.5), or the TOEFL (the American Test of English as a foreign Language; minimum score 580 paper based, 237 computer based, or 92 Internet based). Exemptions from the language test requirement are only made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated July 12, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 year
Full time
1,984 EUR
Apr. 1, 2017
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Apr. 1, 2017
End date Request Info
Duration 1 year
Price 1,984 EUR
for EEA students; €13.400 for Non-EEA