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Masters Degrees (Ethnobotany)

We have 5 Masters Degrees (Ethnobotany)

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Ethnobotany is essentially interdisciplinary, involving knowledge of plants and their ecology in the context of their cultural, social and economic significance. Read more
Ethnobotany is essentially interdisciplinary, involving knowledge of plants and their ecology in the context of their cultural, social and economic significance.

Ethnobotany is the study of the interrelationship between people and plants, particularly the way in which plants impact on human culture and practices, how humans have used and modified plants, and how they represent them in their systems of knowledge. This programme combines anthropological studies of human-environment interaction and sociocultural knowledge of plants in different parts of the world with ecology, conservation science, environmental law and biodiversity management. It also covers plant conservation and sustainable management practices, taxonomy, and economic botany.

The programme is taught collaboratively with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (a World Heritage Site).

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/189/ethnobotany

Why study with us?

- One-year Master's programme.

- First programme of its kind in the world and only graduate course in UK and Europe.

- Study with the largest research group for Ethnobotany in Europe.

- More than 25% of our graduates complete PhD programmes.

- Integrates field methods with theoretical perspectives.

- Jointly taught with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and partners with The London School of Pharmacy, The Eden Project and the Endangered Languages Archive at SOAS.

- Research active lecturers, recognised as being world-leading and internationally excellent (REF2014), with wide geographical expertise.

- Field trips to the ancient woodlands of the Blean, the Powell-Cotton Museum and the Eden Project.

Applicants might also be interested in reading more about the Annual Distinguished Ethnobotanist Lecture (http://www.kent.ac.uk/sac/events/lectures-seminars/ethnobotany-lecture/index.html) and our Ethnobotanical Garden (http://www-test.kent.ac.uk/sac/research/research-centres/ethnobotany_garden.html).

This programme draws on the combined strengths of three academic centres. At the University of Kent, the Centre for Biocultural Diversity (http://www.kent.ac.uk/sac/research/research-centres/cbcd/) has pioneered research and teaching in ethnobotany and human ecology; it has been rated excellent for teaching, and its work in anthropological approaches to the environment flagged for excellence in the most recent HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise.

Careers

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. Studying anthropology, you develop an understanding of the complexity of all actions, beliefs and discourse by acquiring strong methodological and analytical skills. Anthropologists are increasingly being hired by companies and organisations that recognise the value of employing people who understand the complexities of societies and organisations.

As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

Since 1998 we have trained nearly 150 students through our MSc programme. More than 25% of these have moved on to undertake research degrees in some area of ethnobotany (for example, Kent, Oxford, Sussex, Vienna, Florida, Tulane, British Columbia, McGill), or have taken up positions which utilise their training and knowledge, for example, in NGOs such as the Global Diversity Foundation, at the Harvard Museum of Economic Botany, conservation education, at various Botanical Gardens around the world (for example, Kew, Edinburgh, New York, Auckland, Beirut), at the United Nations Environment Programme, and in the pharmaceutical industry. Some have gone on to work in universities or start their own organisations and businesses.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives. Read more
Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives.

All of our Anthropology Master’s programmes are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as having research training status, so successful completion of these courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

We welcome students with the appropriate background for research. If you wish to study for a single year, you can do the MA or MSc by research, a 12-month independent research project.

If you are interested in registering for a research degree, you should contact the member of staff whose research is the most relevant to your interests. You should include a curriculum vitae, a short (1,000-word) research proposal, and a list of potential funding sources.

About the School of Anthropology and Conservation

Kent has pioneered the social anthropological study of Europe, Latin America, Melanesia, and Central and Southeast Asia, the use of computers in anthropological research, and environmental anthropology in its widest sense (including ethnobiology and ethnobotany).

Our regional expertise covers Europe, the Middle East, Central, Southeast and Southern Asia, Central and South America, Amazonia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Polynesia. Specialisation in biological anthropology includes forensics and paleopathology, osteology, evolutionary psychology and the evolutionary ecology and behaviour of great apes.

Course structure

The first year may include coursework, especially methods modules for students who need this additional training. You will work closely with one supervisor throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress. If you want to research in the area of applied computing in social anthropology, you would also have a supervisor based in the School of Computing.

Research areas

- Social Anthropology

The related themes of ethnicity, nationalism, identity, conflict, and the economics crisis form a major focus of our current work in the Middle East, the Balkans, South Asia, Amazonia and Central America, Europe (including the United Kingdom), Oceania and South-East Asia.

Our research extends to inter-communal violence, mental health, diasporas, pilgrimage, intercommunal trade, urban ethnogenesis, indigenous representation and the study of contemporary religions and their global connections.

We research issues in fieldwork and methodology more generally, with a strong and expanding interest in the field of visual anthropology. Our work on identity and locality links with growing strengths in customary law, kinship and parenthood. This is complemented by work on the language of relatedness, child health and on the cognitive bases of kinship terminologies.

A final strand of our research focuses on policy and advocacy issues and examines the connections between morality and law, legitimacy and corruption, public health policy and local healing strategies, legal pluralism and property rights, and the regulation of marine resources.

- Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Work in these areas is focused on the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. We conduct research on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge as well as local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. Current projects include trade in materia medica in Ladakh and Bolivia, food systems, ethno-ornithology, the development of buffer zones for protected areas and phytopharmacy among migrant diasporas.

- Digital Anthropology: Cultural Informatics, Social Invention and Computational Methods

Since 1985, we have been exploring and applying new approaches to research problems in anthropology – often, as in the case of hypermedia, electronic and internet publishing, digital media, expert systems and large-scale textual and historical databases, up to a decade before other anthropologists. Today, we are exploring cloud media, semantic networks, multi-agent modelling, dual/blended realities, data mining, smart environments and how these are mediated by people into new possibilities and capabilities.

Our major developments have included advances in kinship theory and analysis supported by new computational methods within field-based studies and as applied to detailed historical records; qualitative analysis of textual and ethnographic materials; and computer-assisted approaches to visual ethnography. We are extending our range to quantitative approaches for assessing qualitative materials, analysing social and cultural invention, the active representation of meaning, and the applications and implications of mobile computing, sensing and communications platforms and the transformation of virtual into concrete objects, institutions and structures.

- Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology is the newest of the University of Kent Anthropology research disciplines. We are interested in a diverse range of research topics within biological and evolutionary anthropology. These include bioarchaeology, human reproductive strategies, hominin evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, modern human variation, cultural evolution and Palaeolithic archaeology. This work takes us to many different regions of the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, the United States), and involves collaboration with international colleagues from a number of organisations. We have a dedicated research laboratory and up-to-date computing facilities to allow research in many areas of biological anthropology.

Currently, work is being undertaken in a number of these areas, and research links have been forged with colleagues at Kent in archaeology and biosciences, as well as with those at the Powell- Cotton Museum, the Budongo Forest Project (Uganda) and University College London.

Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (KORA) offers a variety of osteological services for human remains from archaeological contexts.

Careers

Higher degrees in anthropology create opportunities in many employment sectors including academia, the civil service and non-governmental organisations through work in areas such as human rights, journalism, documentary film making, environmental conservation and international finance. An anthropology degree also develops interpersonal and intercultural skills, which make our graduates highly desirable in any profession that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

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Research within this area centres on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge and is supported by members of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity (http://www.kent.ac.uk/sac/research/research-centres/cbcd/index.html). Read more
Research within this area centres on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge and is supported by members of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity (http://www.kent.ac.uk/sac/research/research-centres/cbcd/index.html).

We research local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. The Centre has an Ethnobiology Lab and Ethnobotanical Garden, and extensive collaborative links, including with the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), and Eden Project.

MSc by Research
This course is a one-year full time or two-year part-time programmes. You research and write a thesis under the supervision of one or two academic staff.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/204/ethnobiology

Course structure

The first year may include coursework, especially methods modules for students who need this additional training. In general, you work closely with one supervisor throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress.

Study support

- Postgraduate resources

The School has a lively postgraduate community drawn together not only by shared resources such as postgraduate rooms, computer facilities (with a dedicated IT officer) and laboratories, but also by student-led events, societies, staff/postgraduate seminars, weekly research student seminars and a number of special lectures.

The School houses well-equipped research laboratories for genetics, ecology, visual anthropology, virtual paleoanthropology, Animal Postcranial Evolution, biological anthropology, anthropological computing, botany, osteology and ethnobiology. The state-of-the-art visual anthropology laboratory is stocked with digital editing programmes and other facilities for digital video and photographic work, and has a photographic darkroom for analogue developing and printing. The biological anthropology laboratory is equipped for osteoarchaeological and forensic work. It curates the Powell-Cotton collection of human remains, together with Anglo-Saxon skeletons from Bishopstone, East Sussex. The ethnobiology laboratory provides equipment and specimens for teaching ethnobiological research skills, and serves as a transit station for receiving, examining and redirecting field material. It also houses the Powell-Cotton collection of plant-based material culture from Southeast Asia, and a small reference and teaching collection of herbarium and spirit specimens (1,000 items) arising from recent research projects.

Kent has outstanding anthropology IT facilities. Over the last decade, the School has been associated with many innovatory projects, particularly in the field of cognitive anthropology. It provides an electronic information service to other anthropology departments, for example by hosting both the Anthropological Index Online and Experience-Rich Anthropology project. We encourage all students to use the Centre’s facilities (no previous experience or training is necessary).

Anthropology at Kent has close links with the nearby Powell-Cotton Museum, which has one of the largest ethnographic collections in the British Isles and is particularly strong in sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asian material. It also houses an extensive comparative collection of primate and other mammalian material. Human skeletal material is housed at the Kent Osteological Research and Analysis Centre within the School.

Anthropology, together with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) form the School of Anthropology and Conservation.

- Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/tstindex.html) for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subjectspecific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Research areas

Work in these areas is focused on the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. We conduct research on ethnobiological knowledge systems, ethnoecology, and other systems of environmental knowledge, as well as local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. The Centre has an Ethnobiology Lab and Ethnobotanical Garden, and extensive collaborative links, including with the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), and Eden Project.

Careers

As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research.

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. Studying anthropology, you develop an understanding of the complexity of all actions, beliefs and discourse by acquiring strong methodological and analytical skills. Anthropologists are increasingly being hired by companies and organisations that recognise the value of employing people who understand the complexities of societies and organisations.

Many of our alumni teach in academic positions in universities across the world, whilst others work for a wide range of organisations.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Phytopharmaceutical Science, the development of drugs from plants and other natural compounds, is now a significant area of research for the development of new medicines with a sound historical basis. Read more
Phytopharmaceutical Science, the development of drugs from plants and other natural compounds, is now a significant area of research for the development of new medicines with a sound historical basis. Many drugs listed as conventional medications are derived from plants and were originally administered in plant form.

Over recent years, in their search for novel therapeutic agents, there has been a huge rise in interest from the global pharmaceutical industry centred on the isolation and evaluation of compounds from plants used in medical treatment derived from traditional medicine sources.

Based on the increasing importance of this emerging area of natural product science this programme of study will enable individuals with specific expertise in the regulation and development of plant-based medicines to pursue a career in the rapidly expanding phytopharmaceutical industry or a government regulatory body.

The MSc in Phytopharmaceuticals is a taught postgraduate programme which provides an in depth study of natural products, their analysis, value as medicines and regulatory issues controlling their production and sales.

As a MSc Phytopharmaceutical student, you will:

receive a high quality programme which will provide you with the expertise to work in the pharmaceutical industries emerging area of natural product science
be supported throughout your studies by our experienced, dedicated team of staff
study in excellent facilities, including new refurbished laboratories with the latest analytical equipment and Medicinal Herb Garden.

Programme structure

Phytopharmaceuticals is multi-disciplinary. You will study, plant chemistry, phytochemical analysis, analytical methods, quality control, toxicology, ethnobotany, herbal therapeutics, legislation and regulation of herbal products, and research methods.

In order to be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma, a student shall have passed the two specialist modules, the optional module and the core module; or one specialist module, the research project and the core module (120 M Level credits). Students obtaining 60 M level credits (by the core module and either specialist module or the research project) may be considered for the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Life Sciences.

In order to be eligible for the award of the Masters degree, a student shall have passed both specialist modules, the optional module, the research project and the core module (180 M level credits).

You will be assessed throughout the programme in practical work and theory. Coursework varies and includes laboratory work, data analysis, essays, presentations and examinations.

Career opportunities

Feedback from industry suggests that natural product science is an expanding area of interest resulting in new employment opportunities for qualified individuals with specific expertise in the regulation and development of plant based medicines. Opportunities also exist in teaching, writing and horticulture.

You may also be interested in UEL's MSc Pharmaceutical Science programme.

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This new MSc programme equips you with the ability to excavate and analyse human remains. Learn the practical skills needed to recover human remains in the field. Read more
This new MSc programme equips you with the ability to excavate and analyse human remains.

Learn the practical skills needed to recover human remains in the field. Gain the theoretical knowledge needed to reconstruct biological profiles from hard tissue, supported by laboratory based training.

You learn from a team of internationally respected academics with extensive professional experience. You have the opportunity to access one of the largest human skeletal collections in the UK, with extensive skeletal pathology and accompanying radiographs. The collection is curated by the Skeletal Biology Research Centre, in the School's Human Osteology Research Laboratory.

The programme is suited for students from a wide range of BA and BSc backgrounds. This MSc will provide a firm foundation for continued work, or PhD research, in anthropology, archaeology and related forensic fields.

For more information about this new MSc programme please contact the programme director Dr Chris Deter:

About the School of Anthropology and Conservation

With specialisation in forensics and paleopathology, osteology, evolutionary psychology and the evolutionary ecology and behaviour of great apes Kent is one of the largest institutions for biological anthropolgy. The School also houses the Skeletal Biology Research Centre (SBRC) which brings together innovative research, novel methodologies and international collaborations. Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (KORA) is an enterprise unit based within SBRC offers osteological analyses of human skeletal remains.

Kent has pioneered the social anthropological study of Europe, Latin America, Melanesia, and Central and Southeast Asia, the use of computers in anthropological research, and environmental anthropology in its widest sense (including ethnobiology and ethnobotany). We maintain an active research culture, with staff working in many different parts of the world.

Our regional expertise covers Europe, the Middle East, Central, Southeast and Southern Asia, Central and South America, Amazonia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Polynesia.

Careers

Higher degrees in forensic anthropology create opportunities in many employment sectors including academia, archaeology, police sector, the civil service and non-governmental organizations through work in areas such as human rights. A forensic anthropology degree also develops interpersonal and intercultural skills, which make our graduates highly desirable in any profession that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

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