Social and Cultural Anthropology: VU University Amsterdam

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Postgraduate degree
Social and Cultural Anthropology: VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anthropology and Archaeology
Course Language(s) 
Course Beginning 
1 year
App Deadline 
1 June (Dutch Bachelor’s degree students)/ 1 April (EEA country students)/ 1 March (non-EEA country students)
31 - (0)20-5988636
31 - (0)20-5986800


Course Description

The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at VU University Amsterdam has developed an intensive Master’s programme in anthropology and human security. Their programme addresses the multiple dimensions of human security and insecurity (economic, socio-cultural, political, etc.) – dimensions that are sometimes entangled in contradictory ways. The focus is on peoples' own attempts to achieve material, physical and emotional security, and on how these often clash and create new insecurities. Various aspects and manifestations of human security and insecurity are covered, such as livelihood, risk-taking, sustainable development, migration and belonging, and religion and security.

The Master SCA enables students to develop and strengthen their research capabilities, while anchoring in the theoretical paradigm of human security. The programme explores issues such as poverty and migration, sustainable development, religion and identity.

You will option for one of two specializations:

  • Constructing Identities and Notions of Belonging
  • Development and Social Transformations

Career prospects

The extent of occupational flexibility encouraged by this programme reflects the emphasis on diversity, independent thinking and global, holistic knowledge that characterizes the study of anthropology. As an anthropologist, your research and analytical skills together with cultural understanding qualify you for a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from research in academic or non-academic institutes, to NGO or government agency work in development, aid, governance, consulting for private enterprises, and journalism.

The intensive training and hands-on in-the-field research experience you will gain from this programme will stand you in good stead to compete with other trained social scientists. Prospective employers include UNESCO, War Child, UNICEF, local and national government institutions, local and national newspapers, national and international companies, and non-governmental organizations. Other areas in which you will be able to find employment are human resources, intercultural communication, tourism and the museum sector.

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