The Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology teaches students how to do research into the ways in which people experience and cope with global problems at the small scale of their everyday. You will study people who may live lives that are economically fragile, in environments damaged by pollution or disaster or feel they lack the rights of full citizens in the country where they live. However, they manage to survive, keep up hope and laugh with each other despite these difficulties. You will learn to research how people acquire the resilience that allows them to cope with them, and how they maintain continuity in a world that is often difficult to handle.
Through the experience of ethnographic research, you will learn how to enter and participate in another world, and to understand it without becoming trapped in the stereotypes of our own. To this end, experienced researchers co-opt students into their own research specialties and train them to work in field research sites that they select and organize together. Intensive coaching by individual supervisors, course teachers, and field research trainers prepares students for your personal field research project. This also speeds up the process of settling in a field site, understanding its research context, and acquiring the skills and art of reporting results to an audience in an academically responsible way.
The Master’s programme in CA/DS offers a unique set of choices: you can join staff members in their Global Ethnography research specialties; you can work with a company, a museum or an NGO in a Policy in Practice project; or you can set up a Visual Ethnography project (subject to previous training). The staff members who supervise these projects are experienced and enthusiastic ethnographers who are proud of the way their MSc transfers skills to students. Staff members are actively involved in the Field Schools in West Africa (Ghana), Southeast Asia (Indonesia and the Philippines) and the Netherlands, because they offer students the most effective road to a good research result. Alternative sites become available, however, through (for example) Policy in Practice projects.