MSc in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology - Sociology of Policy in Practice



What will I learn?

The Master’s specialisation in Sociology of Policy in Practice teaches you to think along with organisations to help them respond to the challenges they are facing in our global and quickly changing societies.

The master's specialisation in Sociology of Policy in Practice aims to address challenges faced by NGO's, government bodies, and commercial companies in relation to culture and diversity in today's globalised world. Particular emphasis is placed on complex processes of diversity, sustainability and digitalisation. This specialisation enables you to gain relevant working experience by conducting a 3 month research internship in the Netherlands or in Ghana. Field schools on location provide you with practical support and on-the-spot coaching.

Sociology of Policy in Practice focuses on policy-oriented research. It enables you to gain relevant working experience by conducting a three-month research internship in Ghana or the Netherlands.

Programme structure

The master's specialisation in Sociology of Policy in Practice is a one-year (60 EC) programme. It's built up in the following way:

In the fall, you choose one of our research internships, we introduce you to the internship provider and after a mutual agreement, you are placed at the specific organisation. In the winter, you conduct ethnographic research during a three-month internship. In the spring, you follow the Thesis Seminar to analyse your data. In the summer, you complete the programme with a written thesis and report your findings to your internship provider.

Course overview

  • Large Issues, Small Places (10 EC)
  • Research Design for Sociology of Policy in Practice (5 EC)
  • Research Proposal for Sociology of Policy in Practice (5 EC)
  • Policy Oriented Research Internship (20 EC)
  • Thesis seminar for Sociology of Policy in Practice (5 EC)
  • Master thesis project (15 EC)

Career prospects

Graduates of the master's specialisation in Sociology of Policy in Practice are proficient in analysing and reporting global vulnerabilities and local forms of resilience.

Skills after graduation

Graduates of this master's specialisation are independent, critical thinkers with a problem solving, creative mind set and the ability to express themselves very well. Their ability to apply mixed methods, combined with a comparative and holistic approach is a set of skills that are highly valuable in a fast changing globalising world. Your thorough knowledge of societies, people’s drives and motivations in everyday life reality within and outside an organisation makes you suitable for a lot of positions.

Career options

Cultural anthropologists and development sociologists are well-known for their curiosity for ‘the other’, for the unknown. They are specifically skilled in observing and analyzing social situations from different angles; approaching global as well as local issues open minded, yet having the ability to come up with creative solutions based on academic foundations. Their analytical qualifications and social science skills are wanted in all sectors: business, non-profit and governmental.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 Year)

Tuition fees
€17,716.00 (15,53,899) per year
Application deadline

Expected October 2023

More details

Start date

Expected February, September 2024


Leiden University

Rapenburg 70,



2311, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants need a BA or BSc degree (or equivalent) to be admitted to any of Leiden University’s master’s programmes. English-language proficiency: IELTS - 6.0; Toefl (internet based): 80 (component score: 20); Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE), or C1 Advanced (CAE): Cambridge component score of 169.

For international students

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID card
  • A copy of a Dutch residence permit (if applicable)
  • CV (résumé)
  • Language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts
  • Letter of motivation

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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