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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

Explore the relationship between citizenship and social sustainability

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.

This Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship therefore 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

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).

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.

  • Inge Dekker
    "The (pre)Master’s helped me to transform my ideas and feelings about the world we live in into research questions, concepts, and arguments."
  • Luc Lauwers
    "During my Master’s I got the chance to unravel the idea of 'Europeannes' and how it relates to important concepts such as identity and nation."


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MSc
  • Master's degree in: Culturele Antropologie
  • Programme: Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
1 year
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
Application deadline:

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Tuition fees:
Social and Behavioural Sciences
Graduate school:
Social and Behavioural Sciences