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Special pre-Master's
for HBO graduates
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30 EC
in ethnographic fieldwork
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International students

Sustainability is one of the key concepts of our times, although a contested one. As the product of concerns about environmental degradation, climate alteration, rising socioeconomic inequalities, increasing mobility, and accelerated change, the term has many different meanings and imperatives: our lifeworlds must be environment-friendly, but also economically viable and socially equitable.

Explore the relationship between citizenship and social sustainability

This Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship departs from an integrated understanding. It focuses on the triangle of People, Planet, and Profit, pointing out that sustainability has not only an environmental meaning, yet also an economic and sociocultural one. As such, the programme seeks to understand how citizens worldwide are negotiating and restructuring their living environment to be safe and sustainable at the same time. It incorporates both local and global understandings of the concept of sustainability and, in doing so, scrutinizes various expressions of active citizenship in building sustainability around the world.

Innovative methodology

Anthropologists continually focus on cultural diversity and differences based on ethnicity, class, gender, age, and health. This Master’s programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to evaluate these facets of life and their interrelationships. During your studies, you will learn traditional anthropological methods and techniques (fieldwork, participant observation, and qualitative interviews).

However, since anthropology is by definition engaged, you will move also toward engaged anthropology and explore collaborative ethnographic methods, such as participatory action research. In addition, you are introduced to related, innovative methodologies in, for example, the area of narrative and virtual ethnography, engaging in cutting-edge combinations of aesthetics, digital media, and ethnography. You will also discuss ethical dilemmas and your own social responsibility as an anthropologist.

Learn to integrate theory and practice

Programme objective

This Master’s degree programme will train you to work as an academic professional. Along with classic methods and skills, the programme allows you to acquire applied and practice-focused skills, enabling you to flexibly switch between or integrate scientific theory and anthropological professional practice. Take a look at the portraits of our graduates for a better idea of the career prospects.

Do you want to pursue a career as a scientific researcher? If so, the Master’s programme Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation might be a better fit for your goals. This programme concentrates on the issue of power and (violent) conflict versus the state, while the Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship focuses on citizenship in relation to a sustainable living environment.

International context

The programme offers you a comprehensive learning environment with an international and comparative perspective. You will have the opportunity to go abroad for your field research and research internship, and you can attend seminars of the research group Sovereignty and Social Contestation, to which international researchers and lecturers are regularly invited. This Master’s programme is offered through the Department of Cultural Anthropology. Courses are taught by staff members with strong international reputations and standing like Dr Tessa Diphoorn and Dr Deana Jovanović and the Master's Programme Director Dr David Henig.

Intellectually stimulating programme

We offer an intellectually stimulating programme with a variety of work methods, in which you will be challenged to think critically about important and socially relevant themes, to formulate and to share your own arguments. You will formulate a research question that you will develop in a Master’s thesis using the theoretical knowledge acquired in the course modules and the empirical data that you gathered during fieldwork or a research internship. 

We expect an active contribution from students in the form of discussions, book reviews, papers and presentations. When preparing for the research, you will work on the research proposal in a tutorial group.

Research locations will be selected in consultation with the supervisor, with a large number of students conducting research in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe (including the Netherlands).

Above-average quality

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In the renowned 'Keuzegids Masters 2021', Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citzenship received a second highest score out of six one-year MA programmes in Cultural Anthropology in the Netherlands.

The programme got a high above-average assessment for the component of internationalisation and a above-avergage assessment for the component of guidence. 

Exclusively for Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship 

This Master's programme of Utrecht University distinguishes itself from similar Master’s degree programmes by offering you:

  • The ability to operate as a holistic specialist in the field of anthropology.
  • The option to select a specialty from a wide range of cultural anthropological perspectives and cross-border issues of sustainability and citizenship.
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that enhance the anthropological core of your programme.
  • The knowledge and skills to switch between or integrate theory and practice.
  • An independent field study within the Netherlands or abroad.
  • An environment where you will develop not only as a researcher, but also as a facilitator who acts as a consultant and supports the work of others in various national and international professional fields.
  • The ability to join The Students of Cultural Anthropology Journal (SCAJ). At the SCAJ students gain experience reviewing and publishing one another's written work. With this, SCAJ connects different years of study and creates an interactive learning environment to which all students are welcome to contribute.

World-class university in a lively student city

Choosing Utrecht University means choosing one of the best universities in the country with several renowned international rankings  and twelve Nobel Prize laureates

Located in the middle of the Netherlands, Utrecht is a medieval city with a centre small enough to explore on foot, yet large enough to host world-class festivals, fashionable shops, modern architecture and fascinating museums. Find more about what student life is like in Utrecht! 

Key facts

Culturele Antropologie (MSc)
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
1 year

Check the deadline that applies to you

Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2022-2023: € 2,209

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2022-2023: € 17,500

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Graduate school: 
Social and Behavioural Sciences