Research course

Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship

Utrecht University · Social and Behavioural Sciences

Entry requirements

Visit our website for more information on: Admission and Application.

Months of entry


Course content

After the wave of pro-democracy protests and social uprisings from Cairo to Kiev, from Syria to Greece, the world has looked with horror at the deaths of thousands of people trying to make their way from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe. Currently, the EU is struggling to respond to this surge of uprooted people, now coined as 'migrant or refugee crisis'. The movement of people raises fierce political discussions about borders and 'sharing the burden', resulting in, on one hand, a call for restrictive policies and on the other hand the emphasis on the moral obligation to welcome these people.
The above reveals tensions between repression and compassion, between boundaries and freedom of movement, between security and solidarity. These issues are at the core of the Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship.

The programme seeks to understand how citizens worldwide are negotiating and restructuring their living environment to be safe and sustainable at the same time, as sustainability is not only about the environment, climate, or economy but also about the social component. It requieres actively involved citizens in various positions. In the programme you’ll focus on the triangle of People, Planet, and Profit.

Innovative methodology

Anthropologists continually focus on cultural diversity and differences based on ethnicity, class, gender, age, and health. This Master’s programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to evaluate these facets of life and their interrelationships. During your studies, you will learn traditional anthropological methods and techniques (fieldwork, participatory observation, and qualitative interviews). However, you will also work with innovative methodologies in the area of narrative digital ethnography and sensory ethnography engaging in cutting-edge combinations of aesthetics, digital media, and ethnography. You will also explore ethical dilemmas and your own social responsibility as an anthropologist.

International fieldwork and research

The programme offers you a comprehensive learning environment with an international and comparative perspective. You will have the opportunity to go abroad for your field research and internship, and you can attend seminars of the research group Sovereignty and Social Contestation, to which international researchers and lecturers are regularly invited. This Master’s programme is offered through the Department of Cultural Anthropology, and numerous of our staff members like Dr Cristina Grasseni, Dr Diederick Raven, Dr Tessa Diphoorn and the Master's Programme Director Dr Yvon van der Pijl participate in the programme.

Programme objective

This Master’s degree programme will train you to work as an academic professional. Along with classic methods and skills, the programme allows you to acquire applied and practice-focused skills, enabling you to flexibly switch between or integrate scientific theory and anthropological professional practice. Take a look at the portraits of our graduates for a better idea of the career prospects.

Do you want to pursue a career as a scientific researcher? If so, the Master’s programme Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation might be a better fit for your goals. This programme concentrates on the issue of power and (violent) conflict versus the state, while the Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship focuses on citizenship in relation to a sustainable living environment.

Information for international students

For more information visit our website.

Fees and funding

UK students
Statutory fee - fulltime 2017-2018: € 2,006 (NL/EU)
International students
Institutional fee 2017-2018: € 15,167 (non EU/EEA)

Visit our website for more information on: Tuition Fees and Financial Support.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr Yvon van der Pijl