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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.

Practical Information

Structure of the Bachelor’s Programme CADS

The bachelor’s programme in CADS consists of 180 ECTS, divided over 3 academic years. Each academic year comprises 60 ECTS (ECTS stands for European Credit Transfer System) and consists of mandatory and/or elective courses.

  • Browse the Prospectus tabs corresponding to Year 1, 2 and 3 for specific information on the Bachelor's Programme CADS

  • Programme Structure


Brightspace is the digital learning environment of Leiden University. Assignments are also submitted in Brightspace. Brightspace informs about announcements and changes in a course. It is advised to check Brightspace frequently to remain informed about rooms, schedules, deadlines, and details regarding assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on Brightspace.

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 courses in Brightspace, you need to be registered for these courses.

Course and Exam Registration

First year students are automatically enrolled in the courses and exams of the first year. However, you still need to confirm your participation for exams in MyStudymap.

Second- and third-year students need to register for courses and exams (and confirm their participation in exams) in MyStudymap themselves.

Study Support and Advice

Among your courses in Brightspace is the Bachelor CADS Education Module. This module includes information about the study programme, various types of support for study-related or personal problems, relevant CADS news, and important announcements. Use this module to stay up to date and to inform yourself of available facilities and resources.

Your Study Advisor is your first point of contact if you have questions about the CADS programme, your study planning, or study progress.

Year 1

Year 1

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 more information about the course. The exact schedule (time and location) of a course can be found in the course description under the heading ‘Schedule’.


  • First-year students are required to pass at least 45 ECTS in their first year in order to receive a positive Binding Study Advice (BSA) at the end of the academic year. If you receive a negative Binding Study Advice, you must stop your studies and may not register in the same programme at Leiden University for the coming four years. If you are worried about your study progress, or if your studies are hindered by personal circumstances, please get in touch with your Study Advisor as soon as possible.

  • A number of first-year courses need to be completed successfully before you are allowed to take the second-year ‘Research Lab’ courses. Please carefully read the course descriptions to review any admission requirements.

  • Completing the full first year (propaedeutic phase, 60 ECTS) is required to register for the third-year course Selected Bibliography and Bachelor Thesis, as well as the third-year Anthropological & Sociological Explorations 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 joining the Honours College in the second semester. Students will in principle continue in the Honours College programme throughout their studies. 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 also consider following elective courses from other programmes. For more information, please contact your Study Advisor.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Introduction in CADS

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

Academic Skills and Tutorship

Tutoring for the First Year CADS 0
Academic Writing and (Re) Presentation 5
Ethics in Contemporary Ethnographic Research 5
Academic Discourse 5

Research Lab

Anthropological Research in Practice 10
Statistics in Practice 5

Year 2

Year 2

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 more information about the course. The exact schedule (time and location) of a course can be found in the course description under the heading ‘Schedule’.

Bachelor’s Specialisations

In the second year, students choose one of two specialisations which runs through their second and third year of studies. Students receive information about these specialisations and are asked to submit their specialisation choice during their first year.

  • Sustainable Societies (SuSo)

  • Digital and Audiovisual Ethnography (DAE)

Some second-year courses are the same for both specialisations, others are specific to or tailored to that specialisation. The overview below indicates which courses are applicable to each specialisation and which courses are taken by students from both specialisations. The courses Research Preparation and Fieldwork NL are taken by all students but are tailored to each specialisation. In these courses, students will learn to undertake research, related to a theme specific to their bachelor specialization. In Fieldwork NL, for example, students will work in theme groups specific to their specialisation.

Programme Second Year CADS and Study Plan

The programme of the second year below is applicable to students who have passed the propaedaeutic phase (year 1) within one year. Students who may not participate in the second year Research Lab (because they have not completed all courses of the first year's Research Lab and/or Academic Skills) should make an alternative study plan (if needed in consultation with their Study Advisor). For example, they could use their time to complete "free elective" courses, which are normally taken in the 3rd year. (You can read more about the free elective space on the tab ’Year 3’.) 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.

If a study delay is expected, a written study plan must be submitted to the study adviser according to the guidelines. These guidelines are communicated in June by e-mail. You can find a study plan format on Brightspace in the Bachelor CADS Education Module.

Start Thinking about the Third Year

During the second year, the CADS Tutoring and Career Orientation Programme consists of two information meetings about the third year's optional subjects, internships, and studying abroad. More information can be found 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!

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

Key Issues (DAE track)

Digital Anthropology 10
Visual Anthropology 10
Diversity and Power 10

Research Lab (DAE track)

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

Key Issues (SuSo track)

Economy and Ecology 10
States and Citizens 10
Diversity and Power 10

Research Lab (SuSo track)

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

Area Studies (DAE & SuSo)

Regional Dialogues 10
Choice of other regional courses 10

Year 3

Year 3

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)
  3. Personal and Professional Impact (5 ECTS)

Free Elective Space (30 ECTS)

The elective space should be concentrated in the first 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 adviser – 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 Board of Examiners.

There are 4 possible options to fill the elective space (please review the course overview below for more information):

  • A minor from Leiden University or another Dutch university;

  • A package of electives compiled from courses offered by Leiden University or other Dutch universities;

  • Studying abroad. Also see the heading ‘Free Electives in the Third year CADS’ below, regarding the choice of courses when studying abroad;

  • A combination of third-year elements offered by CADS: thematic courses and/or an internship.

Students taking two Bachelor’s programmes at Leiden University can apply for an exemption from (part of) the free elective space of the CADS bachelor’s programme. For exemption requests, see the tab ‘Exemptions’.

If you have completed more elective courses than the mandatory 30 ECTS, the ‘surplus’ of courses can be added to ’Extracurricular education’ in uSis. Please contact the SSC for more information on the steps to be taken in uSis.

Additional information

When compiling a third-year study plan, the need for a balanced spreading of the study load must be considered; a recommended study load (full-time) 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 can be found here.

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, the additional ECTS will be listed on the official graduation transcript as extracurricular education (see 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.

Course 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 ECTS) 10 + 5

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

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

Free Elective Space 30 ECTS

Minor (information for students of the bachelor CADS) 30
Free Electives in the Third year CADS 30
Individual Internship (NGO, Museum, etc.) 10-20


Requesting Exemptions within the Bachelor’s Programme CADS

Students who have already followed (part of) 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 documentation to the Students Service Centre. The required documents are specified below.

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. In this case, students 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 (attached to the petition).

  2. A student has completed part of an academic bachelor's programme other than CADS. In this case, students 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 an official (stamped) transcript(attached to the petition).

  3. A student has completed all or part of an academic programme within the social sciences, humanities, law or public administration. In this case, students may also apply for exemption from specific first-year courses (e.g. Statistics or Academic Discourse). Please check the CADS Prospectus carefully before you submit a request for exemption.
    Required documents: a certified copy of an official (stamped) transcript (attached to the petition) + descriptions of the completed course(s) (website link, attached to the petition).

  4. A student who has completed courses in other Anthropology programmes in the Netherlands might be eligible for exemption from courses of the Leiden bachelor’s programme CADS. Please check the CADS Prospectus carefully before you submit a request for exemption.
    Required documents: a certified copy of an official (stamped) transcript (attached to the petition) + descriptions of the completed course(s) (website link, attached to 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.

Tutoring and Career Orientation

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 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 the 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 Orientation 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.


Dr. S.R.J.J. Hölsgens

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