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Cultures and Development Studies

Course Description

The Master of Cultures and Development Studies programme (CADES) aims to enhance the multidisciplinary and intercultural expertise and skills of students and professionals involved in or interested in advisory, policy or educational assignments in the international and intercultural cooperation sectors. Rooted in contemporary social and cultural anthropology, the programme draws on various disciplines and fields of study and deploys a wealth of relevant perspectives. Its approach builds on current insights into the complex dynamics of on-going economic and informational globalisation and the development of alternative modernities, inter alia.

Following multi-sited research conducted at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA) and the Interculturalism, Migration and Minority Research Centre (IMMRC), the programme counters the universalising Western master-narrative of modernisation and stimulates an integrated approach to development issues. Taking this into account, the programme does not offer its students a practical toolkit, but rather tends to question whether available tools are suitable and applicable in any given context.

Having learned to relate domain-specific knowledge within
the evolving North-South debate, our graduates go on to a large variety of jobs in NGOs, international organisations, development co-operation, education, social and medical services, advisory organisations, international relations, enterprises,and research. Join them, and let this programme hone your critical scientific attitude
in your own on-going effort to promote culture-sensitive development.

This is an advanced master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The aim of the programme is to increase the student's interdisciplinary and intercultural expertise with a view to fulfilling advisory, policy-making and educational functions within international and/or intercultural development and cooperation. This is achieved by providing them with conceptual and practical experience in the processes of information transmission, international cooperation, globalization and cultural assertiveness. The programme places the accent on anthropology, but is relevant to various academic disciplines.

By the end of the programme, the student will have acquired:
- knowledge and understanding of the scholarly framework in which intercultural problems can be clarified with respect to various academic and social themes;
- skill in the analysis of practical and theoretical problems from an intercultural perspective; setting up, executing and evaluating research projects; drafting diagnoses, plans and recommendations; use and/or design of instruments for the optimization of situations in practical situations; critical reflection on the content of practical interventions; linking theoretical concepts to practical acts; guiding and developing innovations;
- the skills necessary for adequate communication and reporting.

[[Career paths]]

CADES offers students a broad international and interdisciplinary background with which to confront developmental issues from an anthropological perspective. Graduates find employment in:

o NGOs
o international organisations
o development cooperation
o education
o social and medical services
o advisory organisations
o international relations
o private and public enterprises
o research

Entry Requirements

Applicants should be holders of a master's degree. The board of admission will assess the equivalence of a four years bachelor's degree case by case. Applicants should have outstanding academic results. Relevant professional experience is an asset. Sufficient knowledge of English is a prerequisite and needs to be proved. More: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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