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Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

The Bachelor of Science programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology trains students to critically examine the processes of culture and development through the lens of the latest theory in the field and both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The language of tuition for this programme in the academic year 2018-2019 is Dutch. However, the literature used in courses is mostly in English and most elective courses are taught in English. The electives are a part of the second and third year bachelor and as such are listed below.
Starting September 2019, the whole programme will be offered in English (though some 1st year's tutorials will be offered in both English and Dutch).

Structure of the programme

The structure of the Bachelor's CA-DS

The BSc programme in CA-DS consists of 180 credits divided over 3 academic years. Each academic year comprises 60 credits or ECTS. (ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System).

The Bachelor’s programme is composed of compulsory and elective components. A number of elective components may be taken outside the programme and are therefore called the "free elective space".

In the first year of the programme students follow only compulsory courses falling within these three categories:

  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (30 ECTS),

  • Research Laboratory (15 ECTS),

  • Academic Skills (15 ECTS).

The second year is a mixture of obligatory and elective courses:

  • three obligatory courses within the Anthropological Key Issue (20 ECTS),

  • the obligatory Research Lab (20 ECTS),

  • an elective Area Studies course (10 ECTS).

The third year consists of writing a thesis and elective courses within and outside the field of CA-DS:

  • Bachelor’s Thesis with *capita selecta *(15 ECTS),

  • one elective course (10 ECTS) offered by the department CA-DS as part of the 3rd year BSc course

  • free elective courses for 30 ECTS; to be obtained by more third-year thematic courses at the department CA-DS, or a Minor, or a foreign exchange programme, an internship, or a package of elective courses in other departments, selected by students.

First Year

At the bottom of this page is a list of all courses from the first year CA-OS. Clicking on the title of a course reveals the course description with all information concerning that course. On the right-hand side of the page, under "Files", is a schematic overview of the schedule of each academic year. The exact time and location of a course may be found in the course description under the heading "Schedule".


The first year of study is called the propaedeutic phase and completing it successfully is a prerequisite for participation in the 2nd and 3rd year and therefore of obtaining a Bachelor's degree. In the propaedeutic phase successfully students must achieve pass-marks for each component of the first year programme. Students who fail the propaedeutic phase but receive positive Binding Study Advice (BSA) may continue to the second year of the Bachelor’s course. However, students who have not successfully completed all parts of the "First-year Research Lab" and "Academic Skills and Tutoring" may not participate in the "Second-year Research Lab.".

The propaedeutic phase must be completed within 2 years, except in cases of registered disability or other special circumstances registered with individual students’ study advisers and acknowledged by the Board of Examiners. Students who have failed to complete all first-year courses by the end of the second year of study may still be given negative BSA.

For those wishing to achieve more from their studies ....

Students who find the first semester’s study easy or who achieve high grades (7.5 and higher) may consider beginning the second semester with the Honours College.Such students will in principle follow the Honours College programme throughout their study and on completion of it will be awarded an Honours certificate in addition to a Bachelor's degree and supplement.

In addition to the Honours programme students may also consider other programmes by following suitable elective courses. That option would be extracurricular, and would have to be followed additionally to the normal CA-OS programme.

Students should ensure that extracurricular activities would not be followed at the expense of main study: the most important thing is to complete the foundation course successfully within one year. Attractive additional elective courses are available in the years following the first year!

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Inleiding in CA-OS

Culture and Comparison 5
Inequality and Development in a Sociological Perspective 5
Social Theories 10
Culture and Globalisation 5
Media Worlds 5

Academische vaardigheden en tutoraat

Tutoring for the First Year Bachelor's Programme CA-DS 0
Scientific Writing and Academic (Re) Presentation 5
Research in Practice 5
Academic Discourse 5


Social Science Research in Practice 10
Culture Deciphered: Statistics in Practice 5

Second Year

At the bottom of this page is a list of all courses of the second year CA-OS. Clicking on the title of a course will reveal the course description which contains all the information about the course. On the right-hand side of the page, under "Files" is a schematic overview of the timetable for each academic year. The exact times and locations of courses may be found in the course description, under the heading "Schedule".

Program 2nd year CA-OS and your study plan

The following programme of the second year of the Bachelor's course is for students who have passed the foundation year within a single year. Students who do not participate in the second year research lab. (because they have not completed all courses of the first year research lab and academic skills), may obtain the necessary ECTS by completing "free elective" courses, which are normally followed in the third year. Students may read more about them on the tab of the 3rd year CA-OS. Students who meet the admission requirements for the second year research lab. but who have not yet completed courses from the first year should take that into account when recording their study plan for each semester.

The study plan is recorded when on enrolment in Usis for the courses of a semester. All students must enrol in courses of the 1st semester in July / August; registrations are seen as a study plan and are checked by the study advisor. Students subject to delays should hand in a written study plan to the study advisor according to the guidelines that will be announced in June by e-mail. The study plan for the second semester will be recorded in December and January.

On the website of the OSC you will find the registration periods per semester
Please Note: other faculties may apply different terms for following elective courses.

Binding Study Advice

Students who did not complete their foundation year in their first year must have done so at the end of the 2nd academic year. More about the Binding Study Advisory Regulations can be found on the website of the university.

Required components

In the second year of the Bachelor's programme CA-OS three compulsory Key Issues courses must be followed, each with 10 ECTS. All parts of the Research Lab. (the two methodological courses and the Fieldwork NL) are likewise part of the compulsory programme. In total 50 ECTS of compulsory education must be followed.

Choice components

In addition to taking the compulsory courses, in the second Bachelor's year students must select a regional course in the context of Area Studies for 10 ECTS. Students may choose one of the two courses offered by our study programme, but may, with the permission of the CA-OS Examination Board, study regional subjects outside the CA-OS institute. In that case it may happen that a student might be required to follow multiple courses to obtain 10 ECTS – in most cases that will be 2 courses of 5 EC. An explanation is given under the tab “Electives” of how to inform the examination committee, via Usis, of the inclusion of such courses in the Bachelor’s CA-OS. Students may send a written request as explained on the page about the Examination Board (right on this page).

Start thinking about your 3rd year ...

During the first semester of the second year information will be provided in the context of Tutorate on completing the third year's optional subjects, internships and studying abroad. See the roster in the course description of "Tutorate second year BA CA-OS".
Please note that in many cases, students wishing to study abroad during the third year must register during the second bloc of the second year!

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Tutoring for the Second Year BA CA-OS 0

Key Issues

Globalisation, Infrastructure, Ideology 10
Economy and Ecology: Dichotomy and Practice 10
Diversity and Power 10

Research Lab

Research Preparation 5
Fieldwork NL 10
Multivariate Analysis: from Data to Report 5

Area Studies

Anthropology and Sociology of Sub-Saharan Africa 10
Anthropology and Sociology of Modern Day South-East Asia 10
Choice of other regional courses 10

Third Year

The third bachelor year CA-OS consists of the previous two years of 60 EC. The difference is that half of them consist of a free elective space and the other half of compulsory components.

Compulsory parts (30 ECTS)

  1. Bachelor’s Thesis with Capita Selecta (15 ECTS).
  2. A thematic and wide subject of students’own choice, from the bottom of the offer (10 ECTS).
  3. An extra elective for 5 ECTS. Following changes in the programme a transitional regulation is in place for students who began the programme in 2017 or earlier. Students should check the course description below to find out which courses are available.

Free elective space (30 ECTS)

Elective components may be concentrated in one semester or spread over the entire academic year. However , in certain cases, for example where students were unable to follow Fieldwork NL, students might already have followed certain free elective courses in the second year of the Bachelor’s programme. Students should therefore seek approval from the Board of Examiners to add those courses to the BA programme CA-OS.
There are 4 possible packages which may be selected to fill the elective space:
1. A combination of 3rd year courses offered by CA-DS: thematic courses, internships, or a winter course in the Philippines (see course descriptions below). This option fills the free choice room in CA-OS. Students wishing to add these courses to the study programme need not submit petitions in Usis.
2. A Minor at Leiden University or another Dutch university (see also explanation below).
3. Course package compiled by yourself at Leiden University or other Dutch universities - see below the conditions.
4. Study abroad (see Studying Abroad Also see below the heading "Free electives".

Also important to know:

When compiling a third-year programme students must consider the need for a **balanced spreading **of study load; that is, 30 ECTS of coursework per semester.

When all components of the Bachelor's programme have been completed and a minimum of 180 ECTS have been obtained, students may then graduate with a BSc diploma. More information about graduation procedure can be found on the website of the Institute CA-OS .

You can also earn more than 180 ECTS within your bachelor's. The extra courses / ECTS will not count for your degree but will be listed on your official transcript as the extracurricular education (see also the Elective courses tab).

Separately from the Bachelor's programme, the Honors Programme, if completed, will also be listed on the student’s official transcript and will be registered by the faculty's student administration.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Labour Market Orientation (for the last year of the BA CA-OS) 0

Bachelor thesis project

Bachelor Thesis + Capita Selecta 10 + 5

Anthropological & Sociological Explorations (a minimum of one thematic courses to choose from)

Digital @nthropology: a Critical Take on Information Society 10
Displacement and Development: Anthropological Perspectives on South Asia 10
Visual Methods 10
Democracy, Human Rights and Social Change 10
Anthropology of Religion 10

Free electives 30 ECTS

Minor (information for students of the bachelor CA-DS) 30
Free Electives in the 3rd year CA-DS max. 30
Individual Internship (NGO, Museum, etc.) 20
Area Study Sustainability Philippines 10
Personal and Professional Impact 5

Extra elective 5 ECTS:

Extra elective - transitional arrangement 5
Media Worlds 5

Career Orientation

Trajectory Labor market orientation and tutoring


Why are you studying Cultural anthropology and development sociology? What can you do with it after you’ve completed your studies? What direction fits your interests? How do you prepare yourself to do the best work you can in the field? Those questions are central to the Labour Market Orientation Tutoring module. The trajectory runs right through the Bachelor’s course to support students in their personal search among the multitude of choices and possibilities. The choices you make during your studies - the courses you take, the research work you do and the questions you ask yourself – will be decisive for the start of your future career. In the Labour Market Orientation and Tutoring section you will not only see the possibilities but discover your own strengths and preferences.

Learning goals

Central to the programme are the questions 'What can I do? What do I want, and How do I achieve my goals?' More specifically, the learning objectives of this course are:

  • to learn the practical skills of both study and time management

  • to make informed choices about your career as a student that match your own competence and work requirements.

  • to learn the practical skills needed to apply for jobs, such as composing a good CV, writing application letters, and networking. You will learn how to get the most from job interviews.

  • to reflect on your own learning and know how to link the knowledge, skills and experience you learn from your courses to the possibilities and to your preferences as they affect your own future professional career.

Educational mode

The Labour Market Orientation and Tutoring course consists of various plenary meetings, group meetings and other activities that are offered throughout the Bachelor’s programme. Questions and topics arise that are central to the student's study and development phase and, to a large extent, activities are integrated into the curriculum. Guest lecturers will tell you about their field of work, excursions will be organized, and students will undertake practical research. The two major study components that students prepare for the labour market are Field Work NL and the opportunities for internships and both are described elsewhere in this study guide (see: the 'Research Lab.' in year two and the 'Individual internship .

The program

First year
In the first year, the question 'What do I want?' is central. We shall reflect on the questions,‘Why did I choose to study anthropology? and‘How does what I have learned match my wishes for the future?’ Study skills too will be considered in the first year. We shall ask,‘How do I learn? How do I plan? How can I make a success of my study?’There will be three obligatory plenary meetings in the first year and one compulsory meeting in a working group to elaborate on those questions.

Second year
In the second year the question 'What can I do?' is central and the theme of 'Choosing'. Attention will be paid to elective courses, studying abroad, the opportunities for internships and planning of your student career. Attention will be given to CV accrual and reflection on students’own wishes and abilities. Questions discussed will be, 'Where do I want to go with this study?', 'What can I do to determine its direction?', 'How can I gain sensible experiences and skills?', 'How can I work on my resume?’, ‘What am I good at?’and ‘How can I make the most of my strengths?’. A compulsory elective afternoon will be organized in the second year and a plenary reflection meeting will be held. In the second year, projects related to labour market orientation are integrated into the courses and students are cordially invited to participate in the CA-OS Career Day, as well as the Job Application Day, the Faculty Career Orientation Day (FLO) and the internship presentations given by the third-year students.

Third year
Central to the third year is the question, 'How can I achieve my goals?' That is addressed with the help of practical training in applying for jobs, with attention given to writing application letters, compiling a CV, networking and interview technique. In addition, an 'Anthropologists Career Day' and information afternoons on the MA programme will be organized for third year students. In total there are three types of activity and each will take up one day or a day: 1) job application training, 2) a Career Day and 3) information about the MA programme.

NB. The Career Day is open to students from other years, and application training too may be followed by interested students following the Master’s programme.

Examination and completion

The Labour Market Orientation Tutorial module is not tested and no credits are awarded. However, specified tasks must be executed properly.

Study material

You do not need to purchase any study material for this course. Information and assignments are provided during meetings.


Coordinator: Simone de Boer MA, tel. 071-5273741

NB. The activities concerning labour market orientation are organized in collaboration with the Career Service FSW. For additional advice and / or specific courses, visit the website.


Addition of electives and minors to your study program CA-DS

This instruction is about adding electives and (external) minors to your bachelor program.
It is important that you read this thoroughly and perform the actions in Usis as described when submitting a petiton in Usis.
Below is a short instruction, tailored to seven situations applicable to students of CA-DS.

It is wise to submit petitions well before the start of the elective. That way you know in advance whether the course will be counted towards your Bachelor's degree or otherwise.

Situation 1: Elective courses taken at the Univ.Leiden but outside CA-DS

In this case, you must add the elective courses in Usis to your study requirements via the "replacement" option. The conditions for recognition of electives to the BA CA-OS are described in detail in the "3rd year" tab. NOTE: this step-by-step plan does not apply to minors; follow the instructions below - Situation 2 ".
1. Write down the course codes of the courses (ending in Y) as they are mentioned in the e-guide - you need them for the next steps.
2. From the Usis start screen, go to the option "My study requirements". Here you see, per academic year, all subjects of CA-OS that you have already completed but also the courses that are on our program but that you have not yet completed.
3. Under the heading "Bachelor year 3 - Elective courses" you will see a number of "dummy subjects". They are called "Implementation of choice room" and "Implementation of choice box VR ...".
4. Click on the dummy box "Add to selection space". On the next screen you will see the button "Submit petitions". When you click that, you get a Petitions menu. There you choose the option "Replacement".
5. You can then apply for multiple elective courses with one petition by adding the course codes one by one via the option "Add course part" in the "Replace with" field. For this it is convenient to have the previously noted codes at hand.
6. After you have saved and submitted a petition, you can not submit any other petitions on the same dummy box. You must then use a different dummy box. If you have already used the dummy subjects from the section "Bachelor year 3 - Electives", you can use the dummy course for applications which is mentioned under "Bachelor year 3 - Further floor" or one of the CA-OS depth courses that you certainly will not follow.

Situation 2: Following a minor at Leiden University

You can also fill in your free elective space with a minor. A minor is a coherent package of courses from another program. A list of Leiden minors can be found elsewhere in the e-study guide. Minors have the size of 30 ECTS and their own study guide code. As soon as you have been enrolled for a minor from another Leiden program, you must make this known via an email to the OSC ( Your minor will then be included in Usis in your requirements.
This means that you do NOT need to submit a Usis-petition for a minor.

Situation 3: Electives or minor followed at another university

Courses followed at other universities are also known as‘external education’.
To be able to enrol at other universities as guest students, it will almost certainly be necessary to provide proof that such study has been approved by the Main course of study. Such proof may be obtained from the OSC for students who have already registered petitions in Usis – provided any such petition has been processed.
Minor courses at other universities will be recognized in Leiden programmes as a collection of elective courses because only
Leiden Minors (with a Leiden study guide code) may be marked as Minors in Usis and on students’official transcripts.

To request recognition of optional courses from external institutions proceed as follows:
1. From the Usis home screen, select the option‘My study requirements’. All completed CA-OS subjects per academic year will then appear, along with uncompleted Leiden University courses.
3. Under the heading‘Bachelor year 3 - Elective courses’ a list of‘dummy subjects" will appear called ‘Implementation of choice room’ and ‘Implementation of choice box VR ...’.
4. Click on the dummy box ‘Add to selection space’to reveal a button ‘Submit petitions’. Click on that button to receive a ‘Petitions menu’. Select ‘External education’.
5. Enter the details of the course and the name of the institution. Students intending to follow multiple courses at the same institution you may add them all to one petition by using the green ‘Add external education’button. However, students intending to follow courses at more than one external institution must submit a separate petition for each institution, using a separate dummy box for each one. If the dummy subjects from the section "Bachelor year 3 - Electives", have been used up, then use the dummy course for applications found under "Bachelor year 3 - Further floor" or use CA-OS depth courses which will not be followed.
5. Petitions will be dealt with but will be fully processed only after the relevant courses have been completed or after submission of an official / stamped grade list intended for the CA-OS Examination Board, or a certificate or examination sheet to the OSC (students should mention that it is an appendix) for the petition filed.

Situation 4: _ Following extra courses

If you have completed more elective courses than 30 ECs (but not within the framework of a second Bachelor's degree), or have done several regional modules or advanced modules, you can add the "surplus" to courses at "Extracurricular education". This makes it visible on your diploma supplement that you have obtained more credits than what is strictly required.
1. From the Usis start screen, go to the option "My study requirements".
2. Click on the "collapse" button at the top. For example, you can see several parts that can be followed, and at the bottom of the BA program of CA-OS, you see the button "Extracurricular".
3. When you click that open and click on "extracurricular space", you will see a number of empty dummy boxes that are all called "Extracurricular study" but have different codes (ending on B2, B3 ...).
4. Click on a dummy box, choose "Submit petitions" and then the option "Replacement" (if you are going to a subject in Leiden that you want to add and have the subject codes at hand) or "External education" (if it concerns courses from other institutions). NOTE: Choose NOT option 3 (extracurricular), although it sounds most logical!
5. After you have saved and submitted a petition, you can not submit any other petitions on the same dummy box. You must then use a different dummy box.

Situation 5: Two bachelors at Leiden University

Students following two courses of study at Leiden University should not submit petitions for Replacement but should instead apply for an Exemption form the free elective space of CA-OS. One of the courses of study might in fact afford exemption, but may not be linked to two study programmes in Usis. For exemption requests, see the tab "Exemptions".

Situation 6: Replacement of the regional modules of the 2nd year

Students should follow the instructions for "Situation 1" or "Situation 3" with the exception that at step 3 do not replace a third-year elective course, but one of the second-year regional courses to be found under BA Year 2: Area Studies. Then click on one of those courses and make further selections via‘Submit petition’to select the option‘Replacement’(to submit a Leiden course) or‘External’education to submit a course followed outside Leiden University).

Situation 7: Extra elective course in the 3rd year: the transitional arrangement

Students should follow "Situation 1" with the exception that a "dummy course" should be selected in step 3 rather than a third-year elective course; suitable dummy courses may be found under the third-year course "BA3: Thesis and career orientation (compulsory 20 EC)". Click on the "dummy box" and continue to select‘Submission’for the option‘Replacement’, or ‘External education’ for course followed outside Leiden University. In the field‘Explanation’ add "transitional arrangement extra elective course 3rd year 2017-18"; students choosing to follow the new CA-OS course Media Worlds should follow those same actions.


Requesting exemptions within the BA CA-OS

Students who have already followed a different degree course may apply for exemptions from certain components of their Bachelor’s CA-OS. Such applications may be made in two steps:
1. submit the application "Exemption" in Usis according to the steps described below,
2. submit evidence at the FSW Education Service Center. The particular documents required are specified below.

Students considering applying for exemptions but who are still in doubt, should contact the secretary of the Examination Board CA-OS, Nina Osterhaus-Simic (071-527 3450, room 3A17).

Submission of documentation

Most exemptions are requested for the following three reasons:

  • A student has completed another bachelor's programme and is in possession of a diploma. Such students may apply for exemption from the whole or part of the free choice space of the 3rd year. Such exemptions may be applied for only after completion of the propaedeutic CA-OS course.
    Required documents: a certified Copy of the relevant diploma.

  • A student has completed all or part of an academic programme within social sciences. In such cases too, certain first-year courses might qualify for exemption. This concerns more generic subjects such as are also offered in other study programmes, such as statistics or writing skills.
    Required documents: an official (stamped) grade list and descriptions of completed courses.

  • Students who have completed courses at other CA-DS institutes in the Netherlands are eligible for exemption from courses of the propaedeutic phase (1st year) or the Bachelor’s CA-OS at Leiden.
    Required documents: an official (stamped) grade list and descriptions of completed courses.

Submission of petition in Usis

  1. From the Usis home screen select the option "My study requirements" which will reveal completed CA-OS courses per academic year, along with uncompleted courses on the Leiden University programme.
  2. Find and select the box for courses from which exemption is to be requested.
  3. Select "Submit petitions" to obtain the Petitions menu, then select "Exemption".
  4. Complete the petition by stating reasons exemption from that course. Students should also state whether the required supporting documents already been submitted.
  5. After saving and submitting a petition, it may be able to choose other courses from the CA-OS programme from which exemption will be requested. Supporting arguments must be submitted for any such further exemptions.
  6. Exemption requests will be processed only after submission and only when accompanied by the supporting documents as stated below.