Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: $ 15.1k / 1 year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 1 April 2017
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 217pts.
  • Duration:
  • 1 year

    Photos of university / #vuamsterdam

    Are you interested in how people experience life and are you not afraid of going ‘out there’ into the nitty-gritty reality of daily life all over this planet? Do you have a critical mindset and are you ready to address global issues? Are you ready to put anthropological knowledge of social reality into practice by engaging in a field research project of your own? Then this master may be the one you are looking for! This master offers you the opportunity to improve your qualitative research skills while analyzing the social and cultural complexity of human communities.

    Anthropology covers the entire world and all major human (social) activities. The master programme of Social and Cultural Anthropology emphasizes the need to apply anthropology to the challenges facing us today, in a globalizing world. You will be part of an international and diverse environment, as this programme attracts students from all over the world. The application of innovative teaching and research is the core of this programme and is aimed at transforming experience and knowledge into concrete action. Besides obtaining theoretically informed scientific knowledge you will also get the chance to make a difference to people’s lives in the world of today.

    This programme gives you the opportunity to gain an in-depth insight in a variety of topics ranging from Islam in Europe, politics and power, urban anthropology, anthropology of crises, to migration, development and globalization, and much more. You will practice your skills by participating in public debates and by writing blogs and articles on current issues in order to communicate anthropological knowledge of the way people live their lives around the world.

    The programme offers an unique approach of combining theoretical orientation, thematic specialization, rigorous skills training, and the experience of intensive field research. It starts with two courses about the Theoretical Orientation on Mobility, Diversity and Development. During this period, you will also start with your Field Research Design. During period 3 and 4, you will engage in a three month field research project of your own. This project will prepare you for doctoral research or anthropological work in various applied fields of expertise outside the university. In period 5 and 6, you will finish your studies by writing your Master’s Thesis in Social and Cultural Anthropology. 

    Programme structure 

    • Our Master’s programme begins with a two-month comprehensive theoretical orientation on Mobility, Diversity and Development.
    • After two months, you choose one out of three MSc profiles: 
      1.   Mobility and Diversity 
      2.   Development and Sustainability 
      3.   City, Space and Politics 
    • From September to December, parallel to our theoretical courses, we offer a module on field research. In this module, you will prepare a complete research proposal and are trained in ethnographic research skills.
    • Our skills training involves a range of qualitative methods for general applicability in real world issues.
    • Visual methods and ethnographic writing are part of our skills training. 
    • You will receive individual supervision throughout the 12 month period. Each member of our department is assigned a student right from the beginning of the Master’s programme.
    • From January to April, you will carry out field research. You are free to choose any topic or region as long as it speaks to the overarching themes, concepts and theories in our Master’s programme. Students can also join one of the many staff projects. 
    • From April to June, you will write your master’s thesis. During the weekly Graduate Seminar and meetings with your individual supervisor, you will receive all the support you need to write the thesis.

    University requirements

    VU Amsterdam requires all international applicants to take an English language proficiency test and to submit their scores before 31 August 2016.

    Applicants who have completed their education in Canada, the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, or Australia are exempt from this requirement, as are those who have obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma (English-taught programs only).

    We accept the following tests and minimum scores:

    · IELTS: 6.5- please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the general one!

    · TOEFL paper- ·based test: 580

    · TOEFL internet-based test: 92

    · Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): A, B or C

    · Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): A, B, C

    · Vu-test English-language proficiency: TOEFL ITP

    NB: for PPE the entry requirements towards English are higher!

    Program requirements

    The Master’s degree programme in Social & Cultural Anthropology 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


    As an international student planning to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.  
    Detailed information about scholarships and deadlines can be found on www.vu.nl/scholarships or www.grantfinder.nl

    The Matthew Schoffeleers scholarships 

    Talented BSc students who graduated in our Department and foreign students wishing to pursue their study in our Master's programme are eligible to apply for the Matthew Schoffeleers Scholarships. The scholarships are intended to cover the (Dutch) tuition fees for the Master programme: €2000,-. 

    There are two scholarships available, one for bachelor students of Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and one for foreign students. Applicants apply for the Master Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and must have earned a BSc degree. 
    Send a motivational letter, a list of course results and a CV before May 13, 2017 to:

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 
    Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology 
    De Boelelaan 1081 
    1081 HV Amsterdam 
    ATTN: Annet Bakker

    Or e-mail the documents in pdf format to: secretariaat.sca.fsw@vu.nl, with 'application Schoffeleers Scholarship' as subject.

    Scholarship for former exchange students at the Faculty of Social Sciences

    The Faculty of Social Sciences of VU Amsterdam offers a small scholarship to students who have studied at the Faculty of Social Sciences of VU Amsterdam as an exchange student, and who wish to pursue an international master’s degree programme at the same Faculty.

    The scholarship amounts to:

    • € 500 (in total) to former exchange students from EEA countries
    • € 3.000 (in total) to former exchange students from non-EEA countries

    We award this Social Sciences Scholarship to a maximum number of 10 students, selection (if necessary) is based on merit. You can apply for this scholarship by submitting your application for the master, and then sending an e-mail to admissionsfss@vu.nl to remind us that you are a former exchange student.

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