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Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology

The bachelor’s programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CADS) 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. Upon successful completion of the bachelor’s programme the title Bachelor of Science (BSc) will be awarded.

Structure of the programme

Structure of the Bachelor’s Programme CADS

The bachelor’s programme in CADS 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 mandatory and elective courses. A number of elective courses (including internships) may be taken outside the programme and are therefore called the ‘free elective space’.

The first year of the programme consists of mandatory courses falling within the following 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 mandatory and elective courses:

  • Three mandatory courses on Anthropological Key Issues (30 ECTS)

  • The mandatory Research Lab, including Fieldwork Research (20 ECTS)

  • An elective Area Studies course (10 ECTS)

The third year consists of writing a thesis, a course focused on personal career development and elective courses within and outside the field of CADS:

  • Bachelor’s Thesis with Selected Bibliography (15 ECTS)

  • One elective third-year bachelor’s course (10 ECTS) offered by the institute CADS

  • The course Personal and Professional Impact (5 ECTS)

  • Free elective courses for 30 ECTS

CADS, or a Minor programme, or a foreign exchange programme, or an internship, or a tailor made package of elective academic courses in other departments.

First Year

At the bottom of this page is a list of all courses from the first year CADS. Clicking on the title of a course reveals the course description with all information concerning the course. The exact schedule (time and location) of a course can be found in the course description under the heading ‘Schedule’.


The first year of study is called the propaedeutic phase (60 ECTS) and completing it successfully is a prerequisite for participation in the second and third year. The propaedeutic phase is successfully completed when the student achieves pass-marks for each component of the first-year programme with a minmum of 45 ECTS. Students who fail the propaedeutic phase but receive a Positive Binding Study Advice (BSA) may continue to the second year of the bachelor’s programme. However, students who have not successfully completed all parts of the ‘First-Year Research Lab’ and ‘Academic Skills’ are not permitted to participate in the ‘Second-Year Research Lab’.

N.B. Completing the full first year (propaedeutic phase) is required to register for the third-year course Selected Bibliography and Bachelor Thesis, as well as the third-year Anthropological & Sociological Explorations courses.


Brightspace is the digital learning environment of Leiden University. Brightspace gives access to course announcements and electronic study material. Assignments will also be submitted in Brightspace. Brightspace informs about announcements and changes in a course. It is advised to check Brightspace on a daily base to remain informed about rooms, schedules, deadlines, and details regarding assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on 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.

For those wishing to achieve more from their studies

Students who achieve high grades (7.5 and higher) in the first semester may consider starting to follow the Honours College in the second semester. Such 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 as a supplement to the bachelor's degree.

Instead of the Honours programme students with good results may consider following elective courses from other programmes. That option is called ‘extracurricular’, which means such courses are additional to the regular CADS programme.

Students should make sure that extracurricular activities are not 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!

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Introductie in CAOS

Culture and Comparison 5
Development and Diversity in a Sociological Perspective 5
Social Theories 10
Culture and Globalisation 5
Mediated Anthropology 5

Academische vaardigheden en tutoraat

Tutoring for the First Year CADS 0
Academic Writing and (Re) Presentation 5
Ethics in contemporary ethnographic research 5
Academic Discourse 5


Anthropological Research in Practice 10
Statistics in Practice 5

Second Year

At the bottom of this page is a list of all courses of the second year CADS. Clicking on the title of a course will reveal the course description which contains all the information about the course. The exact schedule (time and location) of a course can be found in the course description under the heading ‘Schedule’.

Programme Second Year CADS and 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 CADS.) 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 for the 1st semester courses in July/August; registrations are seen as a study plan and are checked by the study advisor. If a study delay is expected, a written study plan must be submitted to the study advisor according to the guidelines. These guidelines will be announced in June by e-mail. The study plan for the second semester will be checked in December and January.

The website of the OSC presents the registration periods per semester
Please Note: other faculties may apply different terms for following elective courses.

Required Courses

In the second year of the Bachelor's programme CADS 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 Courses

In addition to taking the mandatory courses, in the second bachelor's year students must select a 10 ECTS area course in the context of Area Studies. There is a choice between the three courses offered by our staff or, with the permission of the CADS Examination Board, area courses outside the CADS institute. In the latter case the choice may consist of one 10 ECTS course or two 5 ECTS courses about the same area. Under the tab ‘Electives’ is an explanation of how to request the approval of the Examination Board, via uSis, for the inclusion of one or more area courses outside the institute.

Start Thinking about the Third 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 schedule in the course description of ‘Tutoring and Career Orientation Programme Second Year’.

N.B. In many cases, students wishing to study abroad during their third year must apply for an exchange placing in the first semester of the second year!

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Tutoring and Career Orientation Programme Second Year 0

Key Issues

Diversity and Power 10
Digital Anthropology 10
Economy and Ecology 10


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, Migration and Diaspora: Anthropological Perspectives on South Asia 10
Choice of other regional courses 10

Third Year

The third year of the bachelor’s programme CADS (just like the first two years) consists of 60 ECTS. What is different is that half the credits are obtained within the free elective space, while the other half are mandatory components.

Mandatory Courses (30 ECTS)

  1. Selected Bibliography and Bachelor Thesis (15 ECTS)
  2. Disciplinary elective (10 ECTS) (choose one out of four)
  3. The course ‘Personal and Professional Impact’ (5 ECTS)

Free Elective space (30 ECTS)

The elective components should be concentrated in the 1st semester of the academic year. However, in certain cases – for instance in case of a study delay or an individual study-plan confirmed by the study advisor –the electives can be spread over both semesters.

In some cases official approval for adding elective courses to the bachelor’s programme CADS must be obtained from the Examination Board, 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 CADS: thematic courses and/or an internship (see course descriptions below). This means that the free elective space is filled with CADS-coursework, so no explicit approval from the Exam Board is necessary if this package is chosen.
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 the need for a balanced spreading of the study load must be considered; 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 has been obtained, graduation with a BSc diploma is possible. More information about graduation procedure can be found on the website of the Institute CADS .

It is possible to acquire more than 180 ECTS within a bachelor’s programme. If additional coursework is done beyond the 180 ECTS of the CADS bachelor’s programme, their ECTS will be listed on the official graduation transcript as extracurricular education (see also the Elective courses tab).

Any student who completes the Honours Programme will have the programme registered by the faculty's Student Services Centre and listed on the official graduation transcript.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Tutoring and Career Orientation Programme Third Year 0
Personal and Professional Impact for CADS 5

Bachelor thesis project

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

Antropologische en sociologische verdieping (één vak te kiezen uit)

Medical Anthropology 10
Visual Methods in the Digital World 10
States and Citizens 10
Anthropology of Religion 10

Vrije keuzeruimte 30 ECTS: keuze uit verschillende onderdelen

Minor (informatie voor bachelorstudenten CAOS) 30
Free Electives in the Third year CADS max. 30
Individual Internship (NGO, Museum, etc.) 10-20

Tutoring and Career Orientation Programme CADS

Course Description

Why did you choose to study Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology? In which themes or region would you like to specialise? What can you do with your anthropology degree after you graduate? How do you prepare yourself for entering the labour market?

Such questions are central to the Tutoring and Career Orientation programme. The programme, which runs throughout the bachelor’s curriculum, supports students in becoming fully-fledged academics and helps them find their way within the multitude of choices and possibilities.

The choices you make – the courses you take, the research assignments you do and the questions you ask yourself – all influence the start of your future career. In this programme you gain insight into your own qualities, values and wishes in order to help you make the right choices for you.

Course Objectives

Central to the programme are the questions, "Who am I?", "What do I want?", "What are my competencies?", "How do I achieve my goals?". More specifically, the programme focuses on:

  • taking responsibility for your own personal and professional development;

  • finding your way within the university;

  • familiarising yourself with the CADS bachelor's programme;

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

  • reflecting on your study skills, competencies and challenges;

  • making conscious study choices that are in line with your personal competencies and wishes;

  • gaining insight into the connections between the knowledge, skills and experiences you gain from the bachelor’s programme and the possibilities and wishes you have for your future professional career;

  • familiarising yourself with the labour market for anthropologists;

  • gaining and practising application skills, such as networking; creating a good CV; writing an application letter, and attending a job interview.

Mode of Instruction

The Career Orientation programme consists of both curricular and extra-curricular meetings and activities. The content of the meetings and activities is matched to choices and questions relevant to the study phase you are in.

In addition to meetings integrated into the curriculum, students are advised to participate in extra-curricular activities such as the CADS Career Day and FSW Career Day which includes lectures, workshops and meetings with alumni; information meetings about choices within your studies, such as electives, minors, studying abroad, Master's programmes and internships.


First year
In eleven mandatory tutoring meetings, attention will be paid to: finding your way and place within the university and the CADS bachelor’s programme; your motivation, study skills, challenges and wishes; opportunities for anthropologists on the labour market.

Please note: there is a dedicated first year tutoring course in Brightspace containing all the information about the Tutoring programme in the first year.

Second year
In the second year of the bachelor's programme, 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
In the third year students are free to design the first semester according to their own wishes. Studying abroad and doing an internship are possible. Students can also choose to specialise further in a specific theme through elective courses, for example to prepare for a master's programme.
In the second semester students follow the Personal and Professional Impact course to learn more about applied anthropology, reflect on personal and professional development, and think about ambitions for the future.

In addition, in many courses throughout the bachelor’s programme students learn about the value of anthropology in society through guest lectures by anthropologists working outside academia, excursions and practical research assignments. Moreover, the Academic Skills and Research Lab courses in the first and second years teach skills that are indispensable to the development of professional anthropologists.

Assessment Method

The Tutoring and career oeiientation programme is not assessed and no credits are awarded. However, attendance at all tutorials is mandatory and all preparatory and in-class assignments must be executed properly.


Brightspace is used to share information about the Tutoring and Career Orientation programme, internship vacancies, interesting events, inspiring stories, and tips and tricks on career preparation.

Study Material

For this course you need to purchase the following book; either choose the Dutch or English edition:

Bakker, L., M. Cohen & W. Faaij (2020) Antropoloog Gezocht Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press.

Bakker, L., M. Cohen & W. Faaij (2021) Anthropologists Wanted: Why Organizations Need Anthropology Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press.


Tom Legierse

NB. The activities concerning labour market orientation are organised in collaboration with the Career Service FSW. For additional advice and workshops, visit the website.


Requesting Exemptions within the Bachelor’s Programme CADS

Students who have already followed another academic education programme can apply for exemptions from certain courses of the bachelor’s programme CADS. An application for an exemption is made in two steps:

  1. submit the application ‘Exemption’ in uSis,
  2. submit evidence at the Students Service Centre. The required documents are specified below.
  3. The final decision on the petition will be made by the Board of Examiners.

Submission of Documentation

Most exemptions are requested for one or more of the following four reasons:
1. A student has completed an academic bachelor's programme other than CADS and holds a diploma. Such a student may apply for exemption from the 30 ECTS elective space of the 3rd year. This exemption can be applied for only after completion of the propaedeutic phase.
Required documents: a certified copy of the relevant diploma insert within the petition.
2. A student has completed part of an academic bachelor's programme other than CADS. Such student may apply for exemption from all or part of the 30 ECTS elective space of the 3rd year. This exemption can be applied for only after completion of the propaedeutic phase.
Required documents: a certified copy of the an official (stamped) grade list insert within the petition.
3. A student has completed all or part of an academic programme within social sciences, humanities, law or public administration. In such cases too, certain first-year courses might qualify for exemption for , for instance the course Statistics or the course Academic Discourse. Please check the CADS-prospectus carefully before you submit a request for exemption.
4. A students who has completed courses at other Anthropology programmes in the Netherlands might be eligible for exemption from courses of the Leiden bachelor’s programme CADS.
Required documents: an official (stamped) grade list insert within the petition and descriptions of completed courses courses (add Link to website within the petition).

Submission of Petition in Usis

Please contact the Student Services Centre Social and Behavioural Sciences for more information on how to request an exemption.


Addition of Electives and/or Minors to the Bachelor’s Programme CADS

Below is a short instruction, tailored to six situations applicable to students of the CADS Bachelor’s programme about adding electives and minors to a Bachelor’s programme CADS.

It is wise to submit petitions well before the start of the elective in order to know well in advance whether the course will or won’t be approved by the Board of Examiners as part of your bachelor's programme.

Situation 1: Elective courses taken at Leiden University but outside CADS

Please contact the Student Services Centre Social and Behavioural Sciences for more information on the steps to be taken in uSis.

Situation 2: Following a minor at Leiden University

A minor is a coherent package of courses from another programme. A list of Leiden minors can be found elsewhere in the prospectus. Most minors are worth 30 ECTS and have their own study guide code. As soon as enrolment for a minor from another Leiden programme has been approved, the SSC staff will include this minor in uSis. N.B. This means that you must not use uSis to submit a petition for a minor.

Situation 3: Electives or minor followed at another University

Elective courses or a minor followed at other universities are also known as ‘external education’.
For these you must enrol as a guest student at the other university. Please contact the host University on how to enroll for the course or minor programme.

Minors from other universities will be integrated into Leiden programmes as a set of elective courses because only Leiden Minors (with a Leiden study guide code) can be marked as minors in uSis and on official diploma transcripts.

Please contact the Student Services Centre Social and Behavioural Sciences for more information on the steps to be taken in uSis.

Situation 4: Following extra courses

If you have completed more elective courses than mandatory 30 ECTS, or more than one mandatory second-year area course or one third-year elective, the ‘surplus’ of courses can be added to ’Extracurricular education’.
Please contact the Student Services Centre Social and Behavioural Sciences for more information on the steps to be taken in uSis.

Situation 5: Two Bachelor’s programmes at Leiden University

Students following two Bachelor programmes at Leiden University should not submit petitions for Replacement but should instead apply for an exemption from (part of) the free elective space of the CADS bachelor’s programme. For exemption requests, see the tab ‘Exemptions’.

Situation 6: Replacement of the area courses in the second year

Please contact the Student Services Centre Social and Behavioural Sciences for more information on the steps to be taken in uSis.