BA P22 CADS p3
Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology 

Do you often wonder why people are so different? Would you love to learn first-hand why people behave the way they do? Do you empathise with individuals, groups and communities anywhere in the world who cope with pressing issues? 

Combining hands-on research with academic training, the bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology is a three-year programme that provides you with insights and skills relating to cultural and social differences. At Leiden University, we study culture as the set of ideas, values and behaviour that people find important, which makes the work of anthropologists indispensable for understanding today’s gender issues, social media use, food habits, social justice movements, labour relations, religious expressions, etc.

This programme will challenge you to explore different cultures by entering the mindsets of different people. You will be stimulated to delve deeper into areas that fascinate you, varying from climate change to racism, and from homelessness to child labour. You’ll also commit to a personal theme, acquiring a deep and critical view on knowledge and expertise on a particular group of people.

Bart klein

 Bart Barendregt 
Associate Professor  

‘My Digital Anthropology course questions the myth that new digital technology makes the world a cleaner, better connected and more efficient place. We’ll focus on concealed aspects, like how digital transformation drives social exclusion between and within societies and we’ll discuss how anthropologists can contribute to a fairer and more sustainable world.’

Curriculum: BSc Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology 2023 vs 2

Why study Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology in Leiden?

  • You will explore current social themes concerning diversity, digitalisation, and sustainability;

  • You will have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork and live for a month with the people you study;

  • You can enjoy a unique training in qualitative and quantitative research methods;

  • From the second year onwards you will specialise in two different tracks, namely People, Power and Planet (PPP) or Media Making Movements (MMM).

Diversity, digitalisation, sustainability

The programme revolves around three themes:  diversity, digitalisation, and sustainability. You will learn how anthropologists analyse these themes and their impact on people’s daily lives. Topics can typically include diversity on the work floor, international schools’ use of social media, and how indigenous groups approach human rights.


While being trained as a socially engaged young professional with a wide range of research and writing skills, you will be constantly stimulated to make the right choices. At Leiden University there is more to being an anthropologist than just reading about people or talking to the political elite. We have a strong tradition of teaching the skills that will allow you to function as an independent professional in complex situations. As part of your fieldwork, which can vary from how nuns experience femininity to what squatters think of housing to the unique challenges faced by fishermen, you will spend a month living with the people you will be studying. The programme also combines visual and digital methods with your research.

International and small-scale 

In keeping with anthropologists’ global outlook, this programme is highly international. All lectures and readings are in English, while tutorials, workshops, fieldwork training, exams, and written assessments are optionally in Dutch or English. Advanced language courses in Dutch and English are also available at the Academic Language Centre for a small fee.

Your future career 

Graduates work in the areas of policy making, project management, consultancy, communication and research, in both the public and private sector. Examples include: environmental consultant for a non-profit organisation, diversity officer for a municipality, and communications advisor for a commercial company. What all these positions have in common is that they are now filled by alumni whose career paths were influenced by their fascination for people, and differences
between them.

Compulsory matching

It is important to us that you are sure Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology is the right programme for you. To this end, you will therefore follow an online matching procedure that compares your expectations and skills with the content of the programme. It results in a non-binding advice as to whether the programme is a good fit for you. 

P23 foto CADS

Location: Leiden


year programme, 180 ECTS


English-taught programme established


largest lecture size


maximum tutorial size