Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology: Global Connections, 2011-2012

This MA specialization examines transformations of states, markets and political participation in the context of global connections. This implies looking at how international institutions and corporate bodies (whether through the World Bank, IMF or private financial institutions and multinational companies) influence the way states deal with or respond to issues of:

  • poverty and development,
  • political and economic security, and
  • domestic and international markets.

It also examines how different groups of people (within and between nation-states) respond to such policies. This specialisation emphasizes the multi-scalar connections between the economic and the political, between institutional and non-institutional policy-making and the responses by social movements, by the everyday politics of ordinary citizens or with the creation of alternative markets.

Students will develop a firm foundation in the anthropology and ethnography of global politics which is combined with the more performative and pragmatic directions nowadays taken in economic anthropology and sociology with the analysis of currencies and commodities. It combines issues that are politically relevant and urgent in the current world situation with local day-to-day events.


Schematic time-table for the September-intake of the programme Global Connections:
time-table GC
Room numbers and other details can be found in course descriptions below.

Visual Ethnography as Method

Students who start in February cannot make use of ‘Visual Ethnography as a Method’.

The Institute for Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology now offers ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ as a part of the MA programme. ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ is a methodological option, embedded within the MA CA/DS. This option qualifies students for the use of audiovisual methods as a part of anthropological research. Skills are acquired through coursework as well as the conduct of an independent academic research project. This methodological option within the MA combines anthropological theory and hands-on audiovisual practice.

Admission to ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’

‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ is only accessible to a limited number of qualified students. Students taking ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ can only start by September 1st (not by February 1st). The MA admissions committee assesses and prioritizes applications. Students who would like to be placed for ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ need to write an application that includes reference to the criteria mentioned below:

  • The completion, with good results, of the BA course Visual Methods or equivalent. Visual Methods is accessible within the regular BA programme of CA/DS. If required, students from abroad can incorporate Visual Methods in a pre-Masters programme. Please enclose copies of the relevant course certificates with your application.

  • The viability of the proposed MA research project. Viability depends on the topic chosen, but also significantly on the location at which fieldwork is to be conducted. For ‘Visual Ethnography as a method,’ students are only allowed to do fieldwork at a site where they have a good command over the language. Dutch students are therefore normally not allowed to conduct fieldwork outside the Netherlands. Please enclose an outline of the MA research project envisaged (450 words max.) with your application.

  • If, considering the earlier study trajectory, a student can be expected to complete the MA option ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ on time, that is, within one year. Please add a copy of your BA grade sheet with your application.

Deadline for applications June 1st; the decisions of the MA admissions committee will be communicated by July 1st. Presently, no more than twelve (12) students can be admitted annually.

Study trajectory ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’

Students taking ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ with some adjustments follow the regular CA/DS MA programme. (1) In November, students do not enrol in the second part of their chosen elective course, but take the course ‘Visual Ethnography: Fieldwork Preparations.’ (2) The MA fieldwork is limited to two months: January and February. (3) In March, students take the course: ‘Visual Ethnography: Analysis and Editing.’ The MA trajectory ‘Visual Ethnography as a method’ is concluded with the completion of a short film in combination with a paper.
See also: schematic time-table
(time of the classes highlighted in red is prone to change)


Students who start in February cannot take part in the track ‘Visual Ethnography as a Method’.

Schematic time-table for the February-intake of the programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (all three specialisations): Time-table February
Room numbers and other details can be found in each course description.

Meer info

The Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University covers one year. Successful completion of the MA program involves completion of all its components:

  • three compulsory courses
  • two elective courses
  • research proposal
  • field-research (fieldwork)
  • MA thesis (in case of “Visual Ethnography as a Method” the thesis has audiovisual & textual components)

The MA programme starts in September of each year. There is also a possibility to start the program in February each year, but students who wish to do so should realise that this involves an alteration in the order of the courses of the MA programme. Students who start in February cannot make use of ‘Visual Ethnography as a Method’ nor take part in the ‘Museum Anthropology’ pilot.