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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.

Starting September 2019, the whole bachelor programme will be offered both in 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

  • the course "Personal and Professional Impact" (5 ECTS),

  • 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-DS. Clicking on the title of a course reveals the course description with all information concerning the course. On the right-hand side of this page, under "Files", is an overview of the schedule of each academic year, in order to get an idea about the spreading of your coursework over the year. The exact schedule (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. The propaedeutic phase can be successfully completed if the student achieves pass-marks for each component of the first year programme. Students who fail the propaedeutic phase but receive a Positive Binding Study Advice (BSA) may continue to the second year of the Bachelor’s. 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.

Brightspace will be the digital learning environment of Leiden University as of the 2020/2021 academic year. This means Brightspace will replace the current system Blackboard.
Students attending the first year of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology or resitting courses, will be the first working with Brightspace as their learning management system as of the academic year 2019-2020. Through Brightspace you can access news messages, retrieve study material and hand in assignments. You will need to visit Brightspace on a regular basis to be sure to
have the latest information. Lecturers will assume that all students read the information
provided in Brightspace.

How to login:
The homepage for Brightspace is:
Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

To get access to your courses in Brightspace you need to be registered in uSis for these courses.
Please note: If you used Blackboard before in Leiden, the registration procedure is easier in Brightspace. Only a registration in uSis is enough.

Leiden University app

In this app, you can find most of your personal study information in one place. The Blackboard app will be replaced by the Brightspace app over time. Until then you have to use them both.

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 starting the Honours College in the second semester. These students will in principle continue following the Honours College programme throughout their study. Completion of the Honours College is marked by an Honours certificate, which is added to one's 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-DS programme.

Students should make sure that extracurricular activities are not be followed at the expense of their main study: the most important thing is to complete the propaedeutic phase within one year. After the first year there is plenty of time to follow interesting additional electives!

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Introduction in CA-DS

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

Academic Skills and Tutorship

Tutoring for the First Year CA-DS 0
Academic Writing and (Re) Presentation 5
Data Management and Research Ethics 5
Academic Discourse 5

Research Lab

Social Science Research in Practice 10
Statistics for Anthropologists: Introduction to Quantitative Analysis 5

Second Year

At the bottom of this page is a list of all courses of the second year CA-DS. 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 this page, under "Files", is an overview of the schedule of each academic year, in order to get an idea about the spreading of your coursework over the year. The exact schedule (time and location) of a course 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 is applicable for students who have passed the propaedaeutic phase within one year. Students who may not participate in the second year's Research Lab (because they have not completed all courses of the first year's Research Lab and/or Academic Skills), should use their time to complete "free elective" courses, which are normally followed in the 3rd year. (You may read more about the free elective space on the tab of the 3rd year CA-DS.) Students who do meet the admission requirements for the second year Research Lab but who have not yet completed courses from the first year should take this into account when making their study plan for each semester and consult the study advisor.

The study plan is recorded by enrolment in Usis for the courses of one 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 who have a delay, 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 checked 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.

Required components

In the second year of the Bachelor's programme CA-DS 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.

Elective 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. You may choose one of the three courses offered by our study programme, or with the permission of the CA-DS Examination Board, choose a regional course outside the CA-DS institute. In the latter case you might need to follow multiple courses to obtain 10 EC – in most cases that will be 2 courses of 5 EC. An explanation is given under the tab “Electives” of how to request the approval of the Examination Board, via Usis, for the inclusion of such courses in your programme.

Start thinking about your 3rd year ...

During the first semester of your 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 schedule in the course description of "Tutorate second year BA CA-OS".
Please note that in many cases, students wishing to study abroad during their third year must apply for the exchange in the 1st semester of the second year!

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

Key Issues

Digital Anthropology 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
Displacement and Development: Anthropological Perspectives on South Asia 10
Choice of other regional courses 10

Third Year

The third bachelor year CA-DS (just like the first two years) consists of 60 EC. What is different, is that half of the credits are obtained within the free elective space, while the other half are compulsory components.

Compulsory parts (30 ECTS)

  1. Bachelor’s Thesis with Capita Selecta (15 ECTS)
  2. One of the thematic Exploration-courses (10 ECTS)
  3. The course "Personal and Professional Impact" (5 ECTS)

Free elective space (30 ECTS)

In principle, the elective components should be concentrated in the 1st semester of the academic year. However, in certain cases, when students have had a delay or have made individual study-plans with the study advisor, they can spread the electives over both semesters.
Furthermore, in some cases students must seek approval from the Board of Examiners to add elective courses to the Bachelor programme CA-DS, while in other cases this will not be necessary.

There are 4 possible packages which may be selected to fill the elective space:
1. A Minor from Leiden University or another Dutch university (see also explanation below).
2. A package of electives compiled from courses offered by Leiden University or other Dutch universities - see below the conditions.
3. A combination of 3rd year elements offered by CA-DS: thematic courses, internship, and/or a winter course in the Philippines (see course descriptions below). This means that the free elective space is filled with CADS-coursework, so no explicit approval of the Exam Board is necessary if one chooses this package.
4. Study abroad (see Studying Abroad). Also see the heading "Free electives" below, regarding the choice of courses when studying abroad.

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-DS .

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).

The students who completed the Honors Programme will have this programme registered by the faculty's Student Services Centre and listed on the official graduation transcript.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Labour Market Orientation (for the last year of the BA CA-OS) 0
Personal and Professional Impact for CA-DS 5

Bachelor thesis project

Selected Bibliography [Capita Selecta] and Bachelor Thesis (5+10 EC) 10 + 5

Anthropological & Sociological Explorations (choose one of the following courses)

Digital @nthropology: a Critical Take on Information Society 10
Medical Anthropology 10
Visual Methods 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

Tutoring & labor market preparation

Tutoring & labor market preparation module


Why did you start to study Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology? What can you do with it after your studies? Which direction is in line with your interests? How do you prepare yourself as well as possible for the professional field? These questions are central to the Labor Market Preparation Tutorial module. The trajectory, which runs through the entire bachelor, supports students in their personal search within the multitude of choices and possibilities. The choices you make during your studies - the courses you take, the research assignments you carry out and the questions you ask yourself - determine the start of your future career. In the program Tutoraat and Arbeidsmarktpreparatie you look for your own strengths, wishes and possibilities.

Learning goals

Central to the program are the questions "Who am I", "What do I want?", "What can I do?" And "How do I achieve my goals?". More specifically, the student learns:

  • practical study skills, such as reading, understanding and summarizing academic texts; oral and written communication; preparing and taking exams and time management;

  • practical application skills, such as networking; making a good CV; writing a letter of application and conducting job interviews;

  • linking knowledge, skills and experiences from the educational program to possibilities and wishes in relation to one's own future professional career;

  • making conscious study career choices by means of self-reflection that are in line with personal competences and work wishes.

Educational mode

The Tutoring & labor market preparation module consists of various plenary meetings, group meetings and other activities that are offered throughout the bachelor. Questions that are asked and topics that are central to the student's study and development phase. The activities are largely integrated into the curriculum. Within courses, guest speakers talk about their work field, there are excursions and students carry out practical (research) assignments. The three most important courses that prepare students for the labor market are the Fieldwork NL, Personal and Professional Impact and the possibility of doing an internship.

In addition to meetings integrated into the curriculum, students are advised to participate in extra-curricular activities such as: a practical application training with a focus on networking, making a good CV, writing an application letter and conducting job interviews; the CADS Career Day and FSW Career Day with lectures, workshops and meetings with alumni; information afternoons about studying abroad, minors, master's programs and internships.

The program

First year

In seven compulsory tutor meetings, attention will be paid to: finding your way and place within the university and the CADS bachelor; your motivation, study skills, problems and wishes; opportunities for anthropologists on the labor market.

Second year

In the second year, two plenary sessions will focus on electives, studying abroad, the possibility of doing an internship and study career planning. In addition, attention will be paid to CV development and reflection on one's own wishes and competences

Third year

n the third year you organize the first semester of your choice. Studying abroad and doing an internship are possible. You can also choose to specialize further in a specific theme through optional courses, with a view to, for example, your master's choice. In the second semester you follow the course Personal and Professional Impact, in which you gain practical career skills.

Examination and completion

The Tutoring & labor market preparation 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-DS

Students who have already followed a different degree course may apply for exemptions from certain components of their Bachelor’s CA-DS. 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 Board of Examiners, Cindy Schotte (071-527 3450, room 3A17).

Submission of documentation

Most exemptions are requested for the following three reasons:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Students who have completed courses at other Anthropology programmes in the Netherlands are eligible for exemption from courses of the propaedeutic phase (1st year) or the Bachelor’s CA-DS 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-DS 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-DS 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.