Anthropology researches the complex composition and interplay of economic, political, social and cultural dynamics, through the critical and reflexive engagement of the researcher.
As an anthropologist, you study the social and cultural processes of societies from a bottom-up, actor-centred and situational perspective. Doing fieldwork is at the heart of anthropological research and allows for a combination of multiple, specific qualitative methods such as participant observation, in-depth interviews, life histories, audiovisual data collection, etc. A critical and reflective attitude, from the moment you define a topic, throughout the writing process, is what makes anthropological research distinct.
Possible questions you may encounter: How do people shape their religious experiences by using contemporary social media and mobile technology? What is the legacy of colonialism and in what ways does it reveal itself in the contemporary world? How do people deal with physical, symbolic, structural and emotional violence and its consequences? What are the effects of superdiversity on the development of a city? How do newly arrived migrants create kinship relationships?
This 2-year master’s programme is divided into two key stages:
In the first stage, you are introduced to larger, more general questions such as "What is culture?" and "What is identity?". You study many forms of human and non-human agency and consider different ways in which people across the world deal with social problems, embedded in particular infrastructures.
You acquire insight into the basic anthropological concepts and theoretical approaches, as well as into the methodological principles and practice of fieldwork. At this stage, there is an emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge and skills as well as the espousal of an anthropological attitude which challenges you to critically analyse perspectives of others, and in doing so, change your own.
In the second stage of the programme, you further enhance your research skills while conducting research for your master's thesis. In the Research Seminar, experienced professors and early-career researchers of the faculty's research units (IARA & IMMRC) introduce you to the most recent developments in anthropology and guide you in the process of data analysis and writing. The electives in your individual programme, are informed by your particular research interests, but also allow you to explore new territories.
Why study this programme?
The programme trains you in empirical and comparative research methodologies, which challenge your familiar ways of being-in-the-world and the prejudices you hold about yourself and others.
Throughout the programme, you develop your own research focus through conducting fieldwork, critically analyzing data and writing on this particular topic in your final master's thesis.
Depending on your research topic, students have the opportunity to engage in qualitative research in many different locations around the world, possibly in combination with an Erasmus exchange or a summer school.
Graduates of anthropology have developed the ability to familiarize with other’s perspectives, as well as the scientific rigor to translate their observations in realist representations. They are well-versed in independently setting up, executing and evaluating (research) projects and, educated in an international setting, they are skilled in communicating and reporting effectively in an intercultural environment. Their professionalized sensitivity to the complexity of issues of difference, spatiality, movement … makes them valued in numerous fields, both specialist and related:
The Social and Cultural Anthropology programme is offered at KU Leuven.
Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
Minimum required score:
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Minimum required score:
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The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.
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