Making sense of the world

Applying anthropology

The minor in Anthropology is a comprehensive introduction to the discipline of social and cultural anthropology. Anthropology is getting more and more urgent as encounters between people of different cultures become more pervasive. The minor challenges students to critically look at culture and the role it plays in the world. Students will learn the core themes of anthropology and use them to engage with current themes such as globalization, migration and urbanization.

Skills for the job market

Students who have completed the minor will have gained a deeper understanding of the cultural and social processes at play in the world. As such they will be able to offer a valuable contribution in policy-making and consultancy work. 

The minor consists of 5 courses that are worth 6 EC each. All courses are taught in English. Below, you find an overview of the courses, with a short description. To get more extensive information about the courses, please consult the study guide.
Development and Globalization
The aim of this course is to get introduced to development sociology and more in particular to gain insight into issues of poverty, global inequality and development. Students will develop an anthropological perspective on developmental issues in the Global South.

Core themes in Anthropology

An introduction to the field of anthropology, in particular the way anthropologists study cultural and social aspects of societies near or far. As this course is new in its current form, it is not yet to be found in the study guide.
History and Theory of Anthropology
This course aims at introducing students into the range of theoretical and methodological perspectives in social and cultural anthropology, their historical development, their philosophical grounding and their relevance for contemporary theory. Students also get a better understanding of the dynamics of paradigmatic change.

Nation and Migration

A course that discusses the relevance of migration in today’s global world, with particular attention to migration in relation to identity concerns, development, and international political issues.

Urban studies
An inquiry into the way cities are developed along the twin goals of social and ecological sustainability. Students will carry out a short ethnographic research project on urban development. This course consists of two parts: (1) During period 1 and 2, this course will consist of working group meetings that are held to prepare for the second part (2) During period 3, the course will consist of a full-time research project.

For specific information about each course, please visit our study guide.

The Minor Anthropology at the VU distinguishes itself by focusing on ‘applying anthropology’, on putting anthropology to use in understanding others and engaging with the social world around you. It provides you with the tools to combine anthropology with other disciplines in a time when cross-disciplinary approaches are ever more important.


  • This minor is NOT intended for Anthropology students.
  • To enter this minor, you must have earned 90 credits, including 60 of the first year.
  • Wo-bachelor students of another university can enter this minor, depending on whether their own university grants permission.
  • This minor consists of 30 EC. 
  • Hbo-bachelor students can attend courses of the minor as electives.
  • The minor is taught in English and available for exchange students.

Please see the application procedure for more details.

If you have detailed questions about the contents of the programme, please contact the minor program director Boris Slijper:

Boris Slijper
T +31 20 5984412

Any questions about the application procedure, please contact the Studentdesk
T +031 20 5985020 (Monday – Friday: 10.30 – 12.30 and 14.00 – 17.00)


Samenvatting Anthropology




1 semester (30 EC)


1 september


Economie, Recht en Bestuur
Gedrag en Maatschappij
Kunst, Cultuur en Geschiedenis
Talen en Communicatie


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