Sustainability is one of the key concepts of our times, although a contested one. As the product of concerns about environmental degradation, climate alteration, rising socioeconomic inequalities, increasing mobility, and accelerated change, the term has many different meanings and imperatives: our lifeworlds must be environment-friendly, but also economically viable and socially equitable.
This Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship therefore departs from an integrated understanding. It focuses on the triangle of People, Planet, and Profit, pointing out that sustainability has not only an environmental meaning, yet also an economic and sociocultural one. As such, the programme seeks to understand how citizens worldwide are negotiating and restructuring their living environment to be safe and sustainable at the same time. It incorporates both local and global understandings of the concept of sustainability and, in doing so, scrutinizes various expressions of active citizenship in building sustainability around the world.
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, since anthropology is by definition engaged, you will move also toward engaged anthropology and explore collaborative ethnographic methods, such as participatory action research. In addition, you are introduced to related, innovative methodologies in, for example, the area of narrative and virtual ethnography, engaging in cutting-edge combinations of aesthetics, digital media, and ethnography. You will also discuss ethical dilemmas and your own social responsibility as an anthropologist.
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 research 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.
We offer an intellectually stimulating programme with a variety of work methods, in which you will be challenged to think critically about important and socially relevant themes, to formulate and to share your own arguments. You will formulate a research question that you will develop in a Master’s thesis using the theoretical knowledge acquired in the course modules and the empirical data that you gathered during fieldwork or a research internship.
We expect an active contribution from students in the form of discussions, book reviews, papers and presentations. When preparing for the research, you will work on the research proposal in a tutorial group.
Research locations will be selected in consultation with the supervisor, with a large number of students conducting research in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe (including the Netherlands).
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.
How do people interpret natural disasters and which role does power play in that context? How does mining transform women’s understanding of sexuality and intimacy? How do diaspora organisations affect the development arena? How do people deal with violence and its consequences? The questions are many and complex.
In the first stage, you are confronted with general questions such as "What is culture?" and "What is identity?". You will study many forms of human agency and consider different ways in which people across the world deal with social problems.
During this first stage, you start developing your own research by looking for a topic and supervisor, developing a research focus and preparing empirical research to support your final master's thesis.
You will deepen and further develop your research skills in the second stage of the programme while conducting research for your master's thesis and participating in the Research Seminar.
Experienced professors and early-career researchers of the faculty's research units (IARA & IMMRC) will introduce you to the most recent developments in anthropology. Your own research interests and focus will inform your choice of electives to round out your programme.
Are you eager to broaden your horizons by completing part of your studies abroad? As an anthropology student you can choose to conduct empirical research - fieldwork - in Belgium, another country, or both.
In the second stage, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a (non-)European university within the context of the Erasmus exchange programme. The Faculty has agreements with universities in and outside of Europe and also offers various summer schools.
If you are interested in researching social change or development, you can organise fieldwork and an Erasmus exchange within the framework of the European Certificate in Anthropology of Social Dynamics and Development.
Through empirical research, social and cultural anthropology investigates the differences and similarities between cultures. Thus it wants to shed light on the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape society. This master programme wants to both introduce and specialize students into this fascinating domain. This double goal is reflected in the programme's structure. The latter further emphasises
A graduate in the Master of Science in Social and Cultural Anthropology is capable of designing and carrying out original research and communicating its findings. Also, s/he has the ability to critically evaluate existing research. To this purpose, s/he has a solid and active knowledge of anthropological methods and techniques, of the existing cultural and ethnological diversity and of past and current anthropological paradigms, themes and theories.
Graduates of anthropology find employment in numerous areas including:
Despite strong forces of globalisation, socialcultural sameness does not increase. Power tensions and violent conflicts continue to persist and even erupt.
To answer this question, we need an anthropological analysis of the relation between cultural diversity and power within the process of sociocultural transformation. The Master's programme Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation (CASTOR) equips you with the knowledge and skills to make this analysis.
This programme was rated in 2017 as the Best Master’s Programme out of a total of twelve MA programmes in anthropology and development studies.
This two-year Master has a strong international focus, and it introduces you to the complex interplay of cultural diversity and power in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. You’ll conduct ethnographic fieldwork abroad.
Several courses offer an interdisciplinary setting, in which you can explore topics that relate not only to anthropology, but also to other areas, such as political sociology, social justice, and psychology.
The Master's Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation prepares you for a research career, in academia (including further PhD training), in other research institutes or in private companies. On the foundation of your Bachelor’s degree, this Master’s programme trains you to operate as a qualified cultural anthropologist. As a science practitioner you'll develop the academic skills and knowledge necessary to initiate and develop groundbreaking research on the relationship between cultural diversity and power within the process of sociocultural transformation. Being educated at Utrecht University guarantees that you are equipped with a strong methodological basis.
If you wish to have a career that is less focused on research, then the Master's programme Cultural Anthropoloy: Sustainable Citizenship might interest you. The substantive focus of this programme is on citizenship in relation to a sustainable environment, while the Master's Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation focuses on issues of power, (violent) conflict and the state.
The Master of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies (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 development 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 multiple 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 mainstream Western perspective 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 international debates, our graduates go on to a large variety of jobs in ngo’s, international organisations, development cooperation, education, social and medical services, advisory organisations, international relations, enterprises, and research.
During the programme, students have the opportunity to carry out an internship and acquire international experience. The internship can be included in the curriculum provided that it covers at least 6 weeks and starts after classes have finished (end of June). Students taking up the internship can only complete the CADES programme after 1 and a half years.
Ideal prospective students have an interest in advocacy, policy or educational assignments in the international and/or intercultural cooperation context. They are interested in anthropological and cultural-specific views on sustainable development and opt for an interdisciplinary academic preparation towards a better understanding of development paradigms.
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:
CADES offers students a broad international and interdisciplinary background with which to confront developmental issues from an anthropological perspective. Graduates find employment in:
This MSc provides a thorough grounding in anthropological theory and analysis, an understanding of ethnographic approaches to the study of social worlds, and a strong foundation in research practices. Flexible in its structure, the programme enhances students’ employability by focusing also on the interface between anthropological research and professional practices.
The programme aims to develop knowledge and understanding of major theoretical, ethnographic and methodological debates in social anthropology. Students develop an understanding of human cultural worlds through in-depth historical study, gain knowledge of specific societies and specialist approaches, and enhance their independent research skills through practical training in research methods.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, small group presentations and discussion, tutorials, laboratory and practical work, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, and video, film and web based courses. It includes a research seminar series with invited speakers. Assessment is through unseen examination, essays, and the research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social and Cultural Anthropology MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent students on the course have pursued careers in fields including government, business, development, social research and consultancy, and the media, as well as in academia as professional anthropologists.
Recent career destinations for this degree
In addition to the analytical, interpretative and writing skills honed by its core academic training, the course includes a unique orientation towards the interface between anthropological research and professional practice, allowing students to focus on the anthropology of professions including medicine, development, education, the law, the creative industries. Our close co-operation with UCL’s bespoke careers services, provides opportunities for internships and placements during the programme or following its completion.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise.
Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.
Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.
The Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology focuses on the everyday practices of people to situate them within complex challenges. You will study people who may live lives that are economically fragile, in environments damaged by pollution or disaster or feel they lack the rights of full citizens in the country where they live. You will learn to research how these people acquire the resilience that allows them to cope with them, and how they maintain continuity in a world that is often difficult to handle.
Through the experience of ethnographic research, you will learn how to enter, participate in and understand another world. To this end, our staff members co-opt students into their own research specialities and train them to work in field research sites that they select and organize together. Intensive coaching by individual supervisors, course teachers, and field research trainers prepares students for your personal field research project. This also speeds up the process of settling in a field site, understanding its research context, and acquiring the skills of reporting results to an audience in an academically responsible way.
The Master’s programme in CA/DS offers a unique set of choices: you can join staff members in their Global Ethnography research specialties; you can work with a company, a museum or an NGO in a Policy in Practice project; or you can set up a Visual Ethnography project (subject to previous training). Staff members are actively involved in our ‘Field Research and Training’ opportunities in West Africa (Ghana), Southeast Asia (the Philippines) and the Netherlands, because they offer students the most effective road to a good research result. Alternative sites become available, however, through Global Ethnography projects.
The MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics is an interdisciplinary programme in anthropology, directed at students from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social and political sciences, artists, and professionals in the media and cultural sectors.
The objective of the MA is to address contemporary issues in culture and politics from an anthropological perspective, drawing on the commitment of the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths to build a public anthropology.
The MA is organised around a critical investigation of the central thematic concepts of its title: 'culture', 'power', and 'politics', as well as 'anthropology' itself.
Each of these terms are posited in this programme as questions for critical reflection and students are encouraged to pursue independent research projects that investigate the meanings attributed to these terms in contemporary social contexts.
The programme is particularly interested in the intersections of 'culture' and 'power', and the consideration of what may be called 'cultural politics'.
In addition to the core modules, options can be selected from several departments and centres.
The MA is made up of:
*Students who have a first degree in anthropology can replace Anthropological Theory with an additional option module.
Dissertation – a thorough critical discussion of existing knowledge in a relevant area; reports; take-home papers. Options may require a presentation or production of visual material.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 1st in the UK for effective teaching* 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 30th in the world for this subject area***
Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.
As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.
Find out more about the Department of Anthropology.
*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017
The programme is great preparation for any role that involves research and communication. Graduates have pursued opportunities in journalism, other media, policy, education and public debate; they have also gone on to research degrees, either at Goldsmiths or elsewhere.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
This Economic and Social Research Council approved MA provides training in research methods with a focus on methods used by researchers in anthropology. At the end of this course, you will be well-prepared to go on to do research in Anthropology or a related discipline. Most students expect to move on to a PhD. The course includes training in qualitative and quantitative methods needed by researchers in social sciences and draws on expertise within the Department of Anthropology to provide specialised training in either sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, the anthropology of development or cultural evolution (depending on your chosen pathway). It is affiliated to the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding to British and European Union students interested in taking the course preparatory to moving on to a PhD at Durham.
The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete a dissertation in September. This is often a pilot project for a PhD project.
Students take core modules on qualitative and quantitative methods. Further modules are chosen from within each specialist pathway.
The programme is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars and workshops, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lectures deliver key information on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in lectures and gathered from independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. They give students an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research in Anthropology, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues.
Full-time students have on average 8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week and are also expected to attend weekly departmental seminars and research group seminars (hosted by our Social Anthropology Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/socialanthropology, our Anthropology of Health Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/health and our Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/evolutionary, depending on their particular interests. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work. Throughout the programme, all students meet fortnightly with their degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Furthermore, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. Students work closely with leading academics (usually their expected PhD supervisors) to develop an original piece of research for their dissertation, and guidance on the dissertation is also provided by the dissertation leader. Before the academic year starts, we make provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival, we have induction sessions, including field trip, and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Degree Tutor for the MA. Students also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.
Students with a postgraduate qualification in Anthropology pursue a diverse array of careers in areas such as conservation, tourism, public health, health research and management, captive primate care and zoological research management, local government research and management, education (secondary, further and higher), social care, social research, in addition to academia.