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Fieldwork for ‘Visual Ethnography as a Method’


Admission requirements

Students cannot start their field research unless the following conditions have been met:

  • Submission of the approved final research proposal

  • Submission of the approved budget

  • Submission of the completed declaration of liability

  • (if relevant) Proof of language proficiency (declaration by the supervisor)

Research projects

Students are required to make their choice of research topic and fieldwork-location by “October 1st.” Research proposals of students taking Visual Ethnography as a Method conform to the same structure as those of other MA students. The proposal specifies a clear research question, and explains how that question is embedded in current anthropological theory. The research proposal also includes a review of academic literature relevant to the topic of the research. Furthermore, the research proposal specifies the techniques that will be used to gather data to answer the research question, and concomitant ethical considerations. For students taking Visual Ethnography as a Method, techniques include, but are by no means limited to, the use of audiovisual tools. The research proposal should also provide an outline of the proposed audiovisual and textual output of the research project.

MA students taking Visual Ethnography as a Method are normally only allowed to conduct fieldwork in the Netherlands. In rare cases, an exception can be made for students who are permanently residing abroad, to do research in their home country.

The Institute for CA/DS has a limited number of high-end video camera’s available, and students will normally be required to share the use of a recording set throughout their fieldwork period. Students are expected to work in pairs, and help each other out with the recording of sound and so on. The time of the video recordings made during MA fieldwork should not exceed 15 hours.

Students organise their fieldwork themselves. This includes establishing contacts in the field, and (where required) organising accommodation. It also includes, where necessary, acquiring research permission from local authorities.

MA students taking Visual Ethnography as a Method are conducting fieldwork during the months of January and February (one month less than available to regular MA students). Students are expected to regularly report to their advisor in the course of the MA fieldwork.

Financial matters

MA field research can be a costly endeavour for the student, as it will usually involve travel and the costs of additional accommodation. These expenses are not covered by the tuition fee for the MA programme.

To ease the financial strain various funds can be applied for:

  • Funds of the Institute CA/DS:
    If all requirements for fieldwork are met, the student can apply for a 50% subsidy toward the costs of accommodation and transport, up to a maximum of € 365,- (requires prior permission from the secretariat and the declaration of costs incurred against original receipts).

  • In some cases a student can request the student counselor for supplementary subsidy. Information can be obtained at the following address: Kaiserstraat 25, Leiden, tel. 5278011.

  • Other funds:
    At the student centre Plexus students can consult the so-called “Book of Funds”. This book contains information on all funding organizations in the Netherlands. Relevant funds can also be found through the scholarship website of the International Office (in Dutch).
    Frequently, students of CA/DS manage to obtain grants from LUF and LUSTRA. Students are at times also successful in acquiring financial support from smaller, private funds and trusts. Since most of the information about funds is in Dutch, foreign students are likely to require assistance from their Dutch fellow students when looking for relevant information.


The fieldwork is rated “pass” based on performance in the research setting.


January & February 2012


Fieldwork coördinator dr. Jan Jansen: room 3A36 (Pieter de la Court building), tel. 071-527 3996, e-mail: