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Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available

About this program

Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Why are some Dutch voters attracted to populist parties? How does climate change affect the lives of people in Bangladesh? What is really behind debates about controversial statues and street names?

During the bachelor's programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at VU Amsterdam, you learn to understand the world by seeing it through other people's eyes.

During the bachelor's programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at VU Amsterdam, you will study universal topics such as migration, globalisation, inequality and religion.

Together with your fellow students from near and far, you will work on local and global anthropological issues and will contribute to solutions to contemporary problems.

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Admission requirements

Applicants holding a non-Dutch pre-university diploma apply via the International Office. We check if your previous education meets a number of requirements. If you do not yet meet the requirements but expect to do so in the future (such as obtaining your diploma), you can already apply. We will evaluate your application and inform you of our admission decision.

Requirements that apply:

1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO-diploma

See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country.

Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it. Applicants who do not meet this criterion may be asked to sit (an) entry exam(s) to prove they are eligible for admission.

2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

Although complete applications are preferred, you can begin your application before you have completed the test and then submit your passing score once you have been conditionally admitted. You can find all accepted tests and scores on our Language Requirements webpage.

3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Mathematics After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO-diploma and whether your mathematics level is sufficient.

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Program content

1st year

  • Academic Citizenship Year 1
  • Academic Skills Lab
  • Core Themes in Anthropology
  • History and Theory of Anthropology
  • Social Research Methodology
  • Ethnographic Monographs
  • Challenges of the 21st Century
  • Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
  • Broader Mind Course Track A
  • Broader Mind Course Track B
  • Ethnographic Research Methodology
  • History of Social Science
  • Research Lab Anthropology

2nd year

  • Academic Citizenship Year 2
  • Development and Globalization
  • Political and Economic Anthropology
  • Identity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Nation and Migration
  • Urban Studies
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Broader Mind Course Track A
  • Broader Mind Course Track B
  • Organizations and Anthropology
  • Global Religion

3rd year

  • Academic Citizenship Year 3
  • Digital Anthropology
  • Bachelor's Project Anthropology
  • Future Anthropology

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


  • Tuition fee for EU: € 2,209
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 8,980

Career paths

You have graduated as an anthropologist, and then what?

After the bachelor's programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, most students decide to continue their education or you can also start working in a variety of jobs.

During your studies, you have learned to understand the complex world of today. You know how to map out, research and understand the differences and similarities among people. With your strong analytical abilities and moral compass, you are therefore attractive to organisations in both the public and private sectors. You have learned to place small details within the bigger picture and know how to bring attention to your findings. You are therefore good at describing and supporting your conclusions. Therefore, a career as a journalist or policy advisor, for example, is a good fit with the bachelor's programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology.

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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