Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology 24 months Postgraduate Program By KU Leuven |Top Universities
Subject Ranking

# 101-130QS Subject Rankings

Program Duration

24 monthsProgram duration

Tuitionfee

2,277 EURTuition Fee/year

Scholarship

YesScholarships

Program overview

Main Subject

Development Studies

Degree

MSc

Study Level

Masters

Study Mode

On Campus

Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology studies the socializing, meaning-making and world-building practices of humans in different places, networks and settings, around the world. Social and cultural anthropologists study social processes from the perspectives of the actors involved. Combining an insider's and an outsider's point of view, anthropologists actively engage and theorize the differences and similarities between people across the globe.

About the programme 

What is the impact of globalisation on family life? What kind of symbols and rituals shape our daily life? What is superdiversity and what does it mean for the social dynamics of the city and its infrastructure? How do people shape their religious identity by means of social media? This is just a small selection of questions that the programme engages with. 

As an aspiring anthropologist, you study issues such as the impact of colonisation, the making and unmaking of identity, the relation between people and their environment, the calibration of agency with instiutions and political economies. You will be taking the perspective of the actors involved, placing emphasis on their daily experience. This angle adds a different dimension to phenomena such as globalisation, ecology or migration. 

Such a power-sensitive, agency-driven, collaborative approach is reflexively practiced in the Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven. The programme offers students exciting pathways and critical insights into the fundamentals of the discipline, and invites them to pursue their own scientific interests and societal concerns in individual research projects. Drawing on the cutting-edge research conducted at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, the masters provides an ample research outlook, informed by – but not limited to–  its regional focus on Europe, Northern and Central Africa.

Strengths

  • The programme trains you in empirical and comparative research methodologies, which challenge your familiar ways of being-in-the-world and the prejudices you hold about yourself and others.
  • Throughout the programme you develop your own research focus by  conducting fieldwork, critically analyzing data and writing on this particular topic in your final master's thesis. 
  • Depending on your research topic, students have the opportunity to engage in qualitative research in many different locations around the world, possibly in combination with an Erasmus exchange or a summer school.
Programme structure

  • The Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology is a two-year programme of 120 credits.
  • During the first year students gain insight into the basic concepts and theoretical foundations of the discipline. The programme starts with a preparatory package covering a historical and thematic introduction to anthropology and ethnography. This introduction is accompanied by a set of mandatory in-depth courses on the basic components of the discipline.
  • A research trajectory spanning the two years offers training for a 6-week individual ethnographic fieldwork project, which results in the final master thesis. Here, students explore ethnographic methods and theories, research design, data interpretation and analysis, as well as reporting and thesis writing.
  • In the second year, students deepen their interests through an vast array of electives, both from within and outside the social sciences, and work towards their master thesis in consultation with their supervisor.
Career perspectives

Graduates of Anthropology find employment in numerous areas. Anthropologists are especially valued as highly critical professionals, who know how to analyse complex situations from different angles. They are well-versed in setting up, executing and evaluating (research) projects independently. Educated in a highly diverse and international programme, graduates are able to communicate and report adequately in an intercultural environment. Our alumni are employed as

  • diversity experts
  • cultural and political formation consultants
  • employees in non-profit organisations
  • educational consultants
  • healthcare workers
  • policy advisers
  • researchers
  • youth workers
  • professors
  • directors of socio-cultural organisations
  • journalists 

Program overview

Main Subject

Development Studies

Degree

MSc

Study Level

Masters

Study Mode

On Campus

Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology studies the socializing, meaning-making and world-building practices of humans in different places, networks and settings, around the world. Social and cultural anthropologists study social processes from the perspectives of the actors involved. Combining an insider's and an outsider's point of view, anthropologists actively engage and theorize the differences and similarities between people across the globe.

About the programme 

What is the impact of globalisation on family life? What kind of symbols and rituals shape our daily life? What is superdiversity and what does it mean for the social dynamics of the city and its infrastructure? How do people shape their religious identity by means of social media? This is just a small selection of questions that the programme engages with. 

As an aspiring anthropologist, you study issues such as the impact of colonisation, the making and unmaking of identity, the relation between people and their environment, the calibration of agency with instiutions and political economies. You will be taking the perspective of the actors involved, placing emphasis on their daily experience. This angle adds a different dimension to phenomena such as globalisation, ecology or migration. 

Such a power-sensitive, agency-driven, collaborative approach is reflexively practiced in the Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven. The programme offers students exciting pathways and critical insights into the fundamentals of the discipline, and invites them to pursue their own scientific interests and societal concerns in individual research projects. Drawing on the cutting-edge research conducted at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, the masters provides an ample research outlook, informed by – but not limited to–  its regional focus on Europe, Northern and Central Africa.

Strengths

  • The programme trains you in empirical and comparative research methodologies, which challenge your familiar ways of being-in-the-world and the prejudices you hold about yourself and others.
  • Throughout the programme you develop your own research focus by  conducting fieldwork, critically analyzing data and writing on this particular topic in your final master's thesis. 
  • Depending on your research topic, students have the opportunity to engage in qualitative research in many different locations around the world, possibly in combination with an Erasmus exchange or a summer school.
Programme structure

  • The Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology is a two-year programme of 120 credits.
  • During the first year students gain insight into the basic concepts and theoretical foundations of the discipline. The programme starts with a preparatory package covering a historical and thematic introduction to anthropology and ethnography. This introduction is accompanied by a set of mandatory in-depth courses on the basic components of the discipline.
  • A research trajectory spanning the two years offers training for a 6-week individual ethnographic fieldwork project, which results in the final master thesis. Here, students explore ethnographic methods and theories, research design, data interpretation and analysis, as well as reporting and thesis writing.
  • In the second year, students deepen their interests through an vast array of electives, both from within and outside the social sciences, and work towards their master thesis in consultation with their supervisor.
Career perspectives

Graduates of Anthropology find employment in numerous areas. Anthropologists are especially valued as highly critical professionals, who know how to analyse complex situations from different angles. They are well-versed in setting up, executing and evaluating (research) projects independently. Educated in a highly diverse and international programme, graduates are able to communicate and report adequately in an intercultural environment. Our alumni are employed as

  • diversity experts
  • cultural and political formation consultants
  • employees in non-profit organisations
  • educational consultants
  • healthcare workers
  • policy advisers
  • researchers
  • youth workers
  • professors
  • directors of socio-cultural organisations
  • journalists 

Admission requirements

Undergraduate

0+

Admission criteria

For the most recent – and only official – information on the admission requirements, please check our webpage.

Student profile

For our Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology, we are looking for students that can combine an insider's and outsider's viewpoint on people and society.

  • You hold an academic bachelor, preferably in the social sciences, human sciences, humanities or equivalent fields. 
  • You have an interest in contemporary, world-wide, social phenomena, and the motivation to professionalise your critical involvement with ethical and cultural issues.   
  • Proficiency in English at all levels (writing, speaking, reading) is essential. 
  • You are inspired by sharing ideas and developing a project with other students.

2 Years
Sep

Tuition fee and scholarships

Domestic Students

1,116 EUR
-

International Students

2,277 EUR
-

One of the important factors when considering a master's degree is the cost of study. Luckily, there are many options available to help students fund their master's programme. Download your copy of the Scholarship Guide to find out which scholarships from around the world could be available to you, and how to apply for them.

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