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Masters Degrees (Media Anthropology)

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A wide range of students with different interests and backgrounds come to this programme from world over in order to explore why media matter. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

A wide range of students with different interests and backgrounds come to this programme from world over in order to explore why media matter. They are highly qualified with very diverse international interests. It is particularly suitable for:

- Students with a degree in media or cultural studies
- Students with a degree in the social sciences or humanities wishing to acquire a broad understanding of media and cultural studies with special reference to Asia or Africa
- People with professional experience in film, television, journalism, advertising or public relations
- Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist media-related topics along with regional or language-based study
- Students without a previous degree in Anthropology looking for an MA conversion degree to serve as a qualification for pursuing a further research degree in anthropology

Our world is inescapably and continuously transformed through a proliferation of media. The MA in Anthropology of Media at SOAS takes up the challenge of understanding how and why media matter. The programme uniquely combines anthropology, media and cultural studies with specific regional expertise in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It provides students with critical skills, research methods, a wide-ranging understanding of media and the opportunity to pursue original research projects. The MA in Anthropology and Media is the first and still the only programme in Europe that specialises in bringing together contemporary anthropological concerns with media and cultural studies.

The MA in Anthropology of Media is a recent and rapidly growing field within the larger academic discipline of Anthropology. It both incorporates and challenges the well-established anthropological concerns with visual culture and ethnographic film through a more extensive examination of contemporary media practices. Along with the parallel disciplines of media and cultural studies, Anthropology of Media is now widely recognized as playing an increasingly important and critical role in current debates about media. It provides an alternative approach, which puts the emphasis upon studying the multiple relationships between people and media and thus seeks to anthropologise media and cultural studies. More than just focussing on media texts or technology, Anthropology of Media is marked by the centrality of people and how they relate to media.

The SOAS programme in Anthropology of Media is designed to provide a detailed introduction to the study of media in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and their diasporas. We also use the theoretical and methodological contributions of Anthropology to build upon and challenge Euro-American media and cultural studies. The programme stresses ethnographic approaches to media as cultural practices in social and political contexts where people inhabit, create and engage with media worlds.

Special Features

The Department cultivates several specialist strengths which distinguish it from other anthropology departments in the UK. The most obvious of these is that all members of the Department are specialists on Africa and Asia. Particular attention is given to teaching and researching regional ethnographic areas of expertise. All staff members are simultaneously attached as anthropologists to this Department and as regional specialists to their appropriate regional studies centre within the School.

SOAS also offers strong interdisciplinary support for the study of media including the Centre for Media and Film Studies and a highly regarded Department of Music. We have a dedicated multi-media suite, a radio station and satellite access to a wide range of world television. Further, the Library houses a major collection of books and journals on world media as well as extensive audio-visual materials.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/maanthofmedia/

Programme Overview

The programme consists of four units in total: three units of taught examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words. Some courses may be taught in other departments in the school.

Core Courses:
- Comparative Media Studies - 15 PAN C009 (1.0 unit).

- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Anthropology of Media and the candidate’s supervisor.

- Additionally all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.

Foundation Course:
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit). This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.

Option Courses:
- The remaining unit(s) of your programme, either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may then be selected from the Option Courses list below.

- Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.

- However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department. No more than 1 unit in total of these courses may be selected.

- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 119kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/maanthofmedia/file39767.pdf

Destinations

A Masters in the Anthropology of Media at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will endow students with specialist understanding of producers, audiences, and other cultural and social aspects of mass media. Over the years the SOAS department has trained numerous leading anthropologists who have gone on to occupy lectureships and professorships throughout the world. Equally, students gain skills during their degree that transfer well to areas such as information and technology, government service, the media and tourism.

Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including analytical and critical skills; ability to gather, assess and interpret data; high level of cultural awareness; and problem-solving. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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From analysing the theories of intellectual heavyweights such as Foucault and Bourdieu, to unpicking a global campaign, explore the hinterland between the big three promotional professions and the media and society on this innovative MA. Read more

From analysing the theories of intellectual heavyweights such as Foucault and Bourdieu, to unpicking a global campaign, explore the hinterland between the big three promotional professions and the media and society on this innovative MA.

Right now the roles within public relations, advertising and marketing are converging. So this MA isn’t about studying ads – it’s about becoming a professional who can understand the dynamics of power that exist between these professions, and critically intervene in today’s media landscape. 

At its core this masters looks at how we can better serve society by improving communications across these disciplines, and how we can develop as professionals who can adapt within a challenging media world. You’ll learn how to reflect on the intellectual theories of the past and apply them to the present, so you plan the first decade of your career.

The questions we explore

We want you to understand the power struggles that exist between these three professions so we look at public relations, advertising and marketing as inter-related disciplines, drawing on theoretical and professional debates around issues such as globalisation and homogenised consumption. We also discuss current industry expectations looking at the crossovers that exist between creativity, management and strategy.

We’ll tackle some of the big things that are changing when it comes to the way the world works - aspects such as globalisation, the control of knowledge, digital technologies, and the way content is created. You’ll also get an introduction to media and cultural theory, which lies at the intersection between the promotional professions, media and society.

The processes we use

This is a theory-based programme, but it also offers vocational elements, so you can take practice-based options in subjects ranging from online journalism and social media campaigning, to design methods and media law and ethics. You'll also get the latest insights from industry professionals across a range of sectors through our visiting speaker series in the Spring.

The approach we take

We take fields such as sociology, anthropology media and cultural studies to understand how public relations, advertising and marketing get together, where they overlap and where the tensions lie. This means we might take an anthropological perspective on how the promotional professions work together to develop a product – not just in terms of its messaging – but in terms of how it was conceived and came to market in the first place.

It’s important to mention that this isn’t a business studies-style MA; it’s a rigorous, academic programme investigating promotional workers and their use of media in today’s campaigns and debates. 

Modules & structure

Throughout the core components of the degree, you'll examine the very wide range of ways in which public relations, advertising and marketing is represented in society, together with the skills and techniques enacted by practitioners in their day-to-day roles. You will be encouraged to develop your critical and analytical skills, but also to think creatively and become more confident in your aesthetic judgment.

Goldsmiths prides itself on its innovative and critical approach, and you will be encouraged to immerse yourself in its wider intellectual environment in order to deepen your understanding of the cultural infrastructure surrounding branding and promotional media.

Core modules

Option modules

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Below are some examples of modules that are currently running. For a full list, please contact the Department of Media and Communications.

Assessment

The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Skills & careers

From account executives to digital copywriters and from product managers to media planners and sponsorship coordinators, our graduates enhance their careers by working across disciplines, across countries, and across everything from social media and content generation, from sponsorship and events marketing, to corporate communications or government communications.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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The degree is suitable for students with an interest in anthropological approaches to diverse aspects of tourism as a cultural force in the contemporary world, from sustainable development to cultural heritage. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The degree is suitable for students with an interest in anthropological approaches to diverse aspects of tourism as a cultural force in the contemporary world, from sustainable development to cultural heritage. Our students come from all over the world, following BA study, a masters degree in another field, or work and travel experience. This combination of diverse backgrounds and skills creates a uniquely stimulating intellectual environment. Many of our graduates go on to a PhD; others pursue careers in research and consulting; NGOs; museums and other cultural institutions; travel-writing; alternative tourism enterprises; and government agencies.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-of-travel-and-tourism/

Programme Overview

The SOAS MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism enables students to pursue specialist interests in global voluntary mobility while gaining advanced training in social and cultural anthropology in a world-leading department. Combining a rigorous set of core courses with options to suit each student’s unique interests, the programme is designed to accommodate students with or without a prior degree in Social Anthropology.

Students will develop expertise in anthropological theory and practice; learn to undertake ethnographic research; and gain comprehensive grounding in the anthropological study of travel and tourism, including issues of development, political economy, cultural change, heritage, cross-cultural encounter, representation and meaning, space and place, commodification, and interconnections between diverse histories and cultures of travel worldwide.

Tourism is not only a culturally and historically shaped form of travel, but a complex social field that spans the globe, comprised of diverse actors, institutions, activities, and modes of interaction that overlap with and cross-cross other forms of global interconnection. As a whole, it comprises the world's largest industry and the single greatest peacetime factor moving people around the globe.

Both a manifestation and a medium of globalisation, tourism has profound significance in multiple realms of human life—economic, environmental, material, social, and cultural. This makes it an ideal lens through which to explore core themes in contemporary social anthropology, such as identity and alterity, political economy, development, heritage, locality, representation, imagination, commodification, and the global circulation of people, objects, ideas, images, and capital.

The MA programme draws upon:

- the emerging body of theoretically sophisticated, ethnographically rich work involving tourism and travel;

- a thorough grounding in the history and contemporary theoretical trends of social-cultural anthropology;

- close engagement with noted and rising scholars in the field, via the programme's Colloquium Series in the Anthropology of Tourism and Travel, as well as opportunities for informal dialogue with visiting anthropologists and sociologists of tourism;

- other areas of expertise in the Department of Anthropology, including anthropology of development, migration and diaspora, museums and material culture, anthropology of food, global religious movements, anthropology of media, human rights, and anthropology of globalisation;

- the unparalleled concentration of area expertise among SOAS' academic staff, covering Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, together with their diasporas;

- the opportunity to engage with numerous other units at SOAS, such as the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, the Food Studies Centre, and the Centre for Media Studies, among many others; and

- the vibrant intellectual and cultural life of the School, the University of London, and the city of London itself—a global tourist destination inviting study on a daily basis.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Director of Studies, Dr Naomi Leite, at an early stage of their application in order to seek advice on the most appropriate options for study.

View a sampling of past MA dissertation titles (http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-of-travel-and-tourism/ma-anthropology-of-travel-tourism-dissertations.html)

View profiles of alumni and current students (http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-of-travel-and-tourism/student-profiles.html)

Language Study

Beginning in 2016-27, the MA programme will also be available as a 2- or 4-year (full- or part-time) MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism with Intensive Study of Arabic, Japanese, or Korean (other languages likely to be added). For information, contact Director of Studies Dr Naomi Leite.

All SOAS MA students, regardless of department or degree, are entitled to register for one language course for free through our Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). This course is additional to your regular syllabus and is not for credit. Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others are often offered. You must sign up before instruction begins and space fills quickly. Learn more and reserve your place here: Language Entitlement Programme (http://www.soas.ac.uk/languagecultures/studentinfo/language-entitlement-programme/)

Email:

Programme Structure

The SOAS MA in the Anthropology of Travel and Tourism is designed to offer students a chance to pursue specialist interests via a considered selection of courses to suit their individual needs. It provides:

1. a broad-based MA programme for students with some background in issues of tourism/travel who wish to enhance their knowledge in light of contemporary anthropological research.

2. a special-interest MA which will enable students to study topics involving tourism/travel in-depth, in relation to a specific theoretical approach or region.

The programme consists of four units, comprised of a combination of full-year (1 unit) and half-year (.5 unit) courses.

Teaching & Learning

The learning environments making up the MA programme in Anthropology of Travel and Tourism run the gamut from lecture halls to intimate seminar rooms, suiting a wide range of learning styles. Study a language; take a course (or two) in anthropology of human rights, development, globalisation, religion, or gender, among many others; choose a course in another department that catches your interest and contributes to your dissertation plans, from world music to development studies.

The academic staff in the Department of Anthropology are dynamic, experienced teachers who are widely recognised for their expertise and enjoy working directly with students. Renowned scholars from other institutions also come to share their knowledge: nearly every day of the week, the SOAS Anthropology Department has a public lecture series running, including series in the general Social Anthropology, Anthropology of Food, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and, of course, Anthropology of Tourism and Travel.

In addition to these formal settings for learning, our students also learn from one another. Hailing from around the globe and bringing diverse life experiences to bear on their studies, all MA students in the Department of Anthropology can take courses together, making it a rich environment for intellectual exchange. Students also benefit from campus-wide programmes, clubs, study groups, and performances.

Many students in the MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism opt for hands-on learning via the half-unit Directed Practical Study in Anthropology of Tourism course, with placements in leading UK-based NGOs like Equality in Tourism and Tourism Concern, among others, as well as in private tour operator firms, providing background material for future research.

While students in the MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism may take a language course for credit, all SOAS MA students, regardless of department or degree, are also entitled to register for non-credit free courses in a single language through the Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Destinations

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (https://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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How we live with difference is the key issue of our time. Issues relating to race and ethnicity, whether immigration, Islamophobia, #blacklivesmatter, or media diversity, are at the forefront of public debate. Read more

How we live with difference is the key issue of our time. Issues relating to race and ethnicity, whether immigration, Islamophobia, #blacklivesmatter, or media diversity, are at the forefront of public debate. The MA in Race, Media and Social Justice will equip you with critical and theoretical tools to unpack and deepen your understanding of contemporary debates on race, ethnicity and racism.

Goldsmiths is a centre of pioneering critical race scholarship and you will be taught by leading figures in the field. This interdisciplinary degree will introduce you to a range of different theoretical and philosophical approaches to race and ethnicity, including postcolonial and critical race theories, poststructuralist approaches, and theories of intersectionality.

The focus on the cultural industries which underpins the degree enables you to apply these theories to understand why representations of race and ethnicity take the shape that they do in news, film and social media. A series of industry talks from BAME practitioners working in the industry is designed to expand your practical as well as academic insight into issues of diversity in the media and other sectors.

This MA is taught across two departments - Media and Communications and Sociology – that are recognised as world-leading in their respective disciplines. As a postgraduate student you will join the active intellectual community at Goldsmiths, while learning the skills that you will be able to apply to a range of careers, from media, to policy, to charity/NGOs and other forms of social enterprise.

Modules & structure

Core modules

You will study these core modules:

Option modules

You also take 60 credits of option modules from within the Departments of Media and Communications and Sociology, or relevant modules from other departments at Goldsmiths such as Theatre and PerformancePolitics and International RelationsEnglish and Comparative LiteratureCentre for Cultural Studies and Anthropology.

Examples of modules that may be of particular interest to students on this course include:

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills

This degree will equip you with the ability to recognise and negotiate sensitive ethical issues in research and representation. You will also hone your ability to listen and speak to diverse audiences.

As a graduate from this degree you will develop excellent critical thinking and teamwork skills. The practical and research elements of the course will also equip you with the skills to design and implement projects. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers across many sectors.

Careers

The knowledge and skills you will graduate with from this degree will mean you are well-equipped to enter a diverse range of roles, particularly in relation to issues of equality, diversity and social justice. This could include governmental and public administration roles, NGO and charity work, policy work, and business and communications. Moreover, the emphasis on media will suit graduates interested in careers in creative and cultural industries.



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The media play an important role in entertaining and informing the public – but they also make up a huge industry that employs thousands of people worldwide. Read more

The media play an important role in entertaining and informing the public – but they also make up a huge industry that employs thousands of people worldwide. This programme will give you an insight into both aspects of the media industries, as you analyse their cultural and economic dimensions.

You’ll explore the full range of media production, from individual bloggers to huge corporations. Taking an international approach, you’ll study the development of contemporary media to understand current trends. It’s a truly interdisciplinary programme, drawing on communication and cultural studies, economics, anthropology, business and management studies, sociology, politics, law, literature, art history and music.

Guided by leading researchers in the field, many of whom are involved in our Media Industries Research Centre, you’ll gain an insight into how television, film, music, online media, newspapers, magazines and advertising are produced, and what it’s like to work in each industry.

Our School has a range of fantastic facilities to support your studies. The 58-seat Phil Taylor Cinema is equipped with Dolby Digital sound and high-definition projection facilities, as well as projectors for 16mm and 35mm film.

You can also work on your own projects in our 44 editing suites, equipped with Avid Media Composer editing software and Adobe Creative Cloud. The fully equipped TV studio also has a large green screen area, lighting and photo-flash facilities. We also have a track and dolly, sliders, Glidecam and various cranes, and you’ll have access to a new photographic dark room.

We also run a loans service where you can borrow a range of HD digital camcorders and various Canon stills cameras to help with your project work.

Course content

You’ll develop your knowledge of the full range of media industries through core modules that run in each semester.

You’ll be introduced to issues and debates in media studies as well as the impacts of developments such as digitalisation and marketisation. Then you’ll explore the organisational dynamics of industries such as television, film, music, digital media, newspapers, magazines and advertising to consider what it’s like to work in them.

Throughout the year, you’ll also be preparing for your dissertation through the Dissertation and Research Methods module. Your dissertation is a major independent research project on a topic of your choice, which you submit at the end of the year.

Alongside the compulsory modules, you’ll be able to tailor the programme to suit your own interests by selecting from a range of optional modules on topics such as television narrative, identity and media, political communication, cultural policy, international film industries and public relations, among others.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll complete the MA over two years, instead of one, taking fewer modules each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation and Research Methods 60 credits
  • The Media Industries 30 credits
  • Media Production Analysis 30 credits 

Optional modules

  • Technology, Media and Critical Literacy 30 credits
  • Communication and International Affairs 30 credits
  • Feminism, Identity and Media 30 credits
  • Media, Culture and Globalisation 30 credits
  • International Film Industries 30 credits
  • Innovations in Political Communication 30 credits
  • Politics and the Media 30 credits
  • Communication and Public Opinion 30 credits
  • Multimedia Journalism 30 credits
  • Communication and Development 30 credits
  • The Cultural History of Promotional Communication 30 credits
  • Radio Technologies, Industries and Cultures 30 credits
  • Identity, Culture and Technology 30 credits
  • Urban Narratives 30 credits
  • Cultures of Contemporary Photography 30 credits
  • Cinematics and Photography 30 credits
  • Rhetoric and Public Speaking 15 credits
  • Managing Business Across Cultures 15 credits
  • International Organisations: Context, Theory and Practice 15 credits
  • Writing for Professional Purposes 15 credits
  • Cultural Policy: Models and Debates 30 credits
  • Critical Debates in Culture and Place 30 credits
  • 'Race', Identity and Culture in the Black Atlantic 30 credits
  • Researching Inequality in the Media 30 credits
  • Reality TV: Truth or Fiction 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Media Industries MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Media Industries MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

MA modules will use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, group learning and project work, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, as an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the subjects introduced in lectures and seminars, and to develop your skills in analysis and research. You should anticipate spending at least 20 hours per week on independent study associated with your modules.

Assessment

We use different methods to assess your progress, depending on the modules you choose. These are likely to include essays, video or photography work, presentations or project work and reports.

Career opportunities

This programme will prepare you for a variety of careers in the management and production of media content, both in the UK and worldwide. You’ll also be equipped to work in communications in broader contexts such as communications and media policy, PR or other cultural and creative industries.

You’ll also be well placed to pursue your research at PhD level, and even pursue an academic career.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.




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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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Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. Read more

About the course

Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. International agencies, governments and NGOs are working more intensely than ever before to deliver appropriate policies and interventions.

Anthropology has played a key role in the emergence of new perspectives on humanitarian assistance and the livelihoods of populations caught up in extreme circumstances such as famines, natural disasters and wars.

On the one hand, this has led to a radical re-thinking of what has been happening, but on the other hand, it has led to anthropologists sometimes playing controversial roles in agendas associated with the "war on terror".

This course examines these contemporary issues and debates, and explores their implications. It also sets them in the context of anthropology as a discipline.

The course will appeal to graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, geography, law and development studies. It is suited for those interested in critically assessing the policies and practices of international development and humanitarian assistance to war-affected regions from an anthropological perspective.

It will provide the necessary training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs (such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund), international agencies (such as the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme) and the civil service (such as the UK Department for International Development).

It will also provide a useful stepping stone for those seeking to undertake doctoral research in international development.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

You will discover how the apparent insights and skills of anthropologists have a long history associated with ethnographic work on economics, education, health, deprivation and conceptions of suffering dating back to the origins of the discipline.

Course Content

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Anthropology of International Development
Dissertation in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War

Optional

Dept. of Social Sciences, Media and Communications (Anthropology)
The Anthropology of Childhood
The Anthropology of Youth
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
Dept of Politics, History and Law
Globalisation
Dept of Clinical Sciences
Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation
Young Lives in the Global South
International Development, Children and Youth
Brunel Law School
Minority and Indigenous Rights
The United Nations Human Rights Regime
Theory and Practice of Human Rights
The Migrant, the State and the Law
Brunel Business School
International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance

Part-time

Year 1

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Anthropology of International Development
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory

Year 2

Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Dissertation in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War

Special Features

While its approach is anthropological, this degree offers genuine multi-disciplinary possibilities by drawing on modules from Politics, Health Sciences, Law and Business.

Students will have the opportunity to explore the multiplicity of issues arising from critical shifts in global policy across the following key themes:

The ways in which economic anthropologists have enhanced our understandings of livelihoods in ways that are dramatically different to dominant approaches in economics.
The hazards and limitations of relying solely upon biomedical interventions to alleviate suffering and sickness.
The ostensibly positive relationship between education and development, and the role of education as a vehicle for eradicating illiteracy and lowering fertility and mortality rates.

An exploration of such themes together will make it possible for students to think and engage in new and critical ways about the relationship between anthropology and development.

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to a 15,000 word dissertation.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching

You will be taught via a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and film.

Assessment

Assessment is variously by essay and practical assignment (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise). A final dissertation of approximately 15,000 words based on fieldwork in the UK or abroad, is also required. There are no examinations.

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Professionally validated by the National Youth Agency, this programme brings together community development and youth work practice with the research methods and theoretical preoccupations of anthropology. Read more

Professionally validated by the National Youth Agency, this programme brings together community development and youth work practice with the research methods and theoretical preoccupations of anthropology.

This programme is fully endorsed by the National Youth Agency for pay and qualification purposes.

This MA is the first of its kind in the country, combining academic and professional qualifications. It is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in youth and community work and who need a professional qualification. 

Taught jointly by the Departments of Anthropology, and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, the programme reflects the common concerns of lecturers in both disciplines.

Established in 1992, it is the first of three pathways, with an additional MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Development launched in 2012 and an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Arts launched in 2015. The three pathways entail different placements but are taught together, providing much opportunity for exchange of ideas and collaboration amongst students.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Pauline von Hellermann (Department of Anthropology)or Dr Kalbir Shukra (Department of Social and Therapeutic Studies)

Modules & structure

The MA combines an academic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorial assignments with practical experience.

Modules are taken over one academic year if you are studying full-time, and two years if you are studying part-time (part-time study only available to home/EU students).

Full-time students attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the rest of the week on fieldwork placements and library studies.

Part-time students attend on Thursdays in one year and Tuesdays in the other and spend some of the week on fieldwork placements and library studies

The Department of Anthropology teaches two of the core components of your degree: Contemporary Social Issues and Anthropological Research Methods.

  • The Contemporary Social Issues module runs through the Autumn and Spring Term, with lectures and student-led seminars alternating on a weekly basis. In the autumn it explores key analytical concepts in anthropology and related social sciences relevant to youth and community work, such as class, gender, race and culture. The Spring Term addresses more specific contemporary social issues affecting communities and young people, such as transnationalism, mental health, gentrification and new media. The module is assessed by a take-home exam in May.
  • Anthropological Research Methods is taught in the Spring Term. Here, you will become familiar with ethnographic research and writing. Through literature and practical research exercises (five days of fieldwork is attached to this module), you will learn about different methods of data collection including surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation and participatory research. It combines weekly lectures and seminar-based work with the completion of a small individual project in the second term. Assessment is by essay, combining project material with theoretical literature.

In addition we strongly encourage all students, in particular those without a background in anthropology, to sit in on other MA option courses offered by the anthropology department, such as Anthropological Theory, Anthropology of Development, Anthropology of Violence, Anthropology of Art and Anthropology and the Environment.

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies runs the three fieldwork modules, which involve placements that, are supported by seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials.

This MA pathway entails a total of 400 hours. This is divided between 20 hours of observations and 380 hours of placements, consisting of three placements with at least two different organisations. The accompanying teaching is divided into three modules.

  • Fieldwork I: Perspectives and Approaches (80 hours practice) In this module you explore key themes, principles, values and competing perspectives underlying youth work and community development. The value of experiential learning approaches and critical pedagogy in informal learning and community development are explored alongside group work principles, processes and theories. You consider your own values and reflect on your practice perspective.
  • Fieldwork 2: Critical Practice (150 hours practice) In this module you critically analyse the changing context of community development and youth work practice, develop as critically reflective practitioners and learn how to recognise and challenge discrimination and oppression. Key themes include ethical dilemmas faced in practice, youth participation and methods of engaging communities with a view to facilitating ‘empowerment’.
  • Fieldwork 3: Management, Enterprise and Development (150 hours practice plus twenty hours observations) This module advances critical understanding of the management of projects, staff and resources, the legal context of community and youth work, how to produce funding bids, prepare budgets and grapple with the issues and processes involved in developing a social enterprise as well as monitoring and evaluation. 

All three modules are currently assessed by an essay, documents completed by the student in relation to the placement and community development national occupational standards learning, a report by the placement supervisor and a fieldwork contract form.

The final placement also involves an assessment of the observations. Overall, at least 200 hours of all fieldwork must be face-to-face with the 11 - 25 year age group.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Skills & careers

Our graduates find work directly or indirectly related to the disciplines relatively quickly after graduating, or even while on the programme. The majority of our students gain work in youth work or community work. Examples of recent graduate employment include:

  • Full-time health youth worker for a London Borough, leading on LGBTQ awareness and homophobic bullying
  • Community Centre based youth worker
  • Mentoring and Befriending Co-ordinator at a civil society equalities organisation
  • Community Development Worker in a social work team in Hong Kong

Some seek and gain work in a wide range of other settings, often shaped by the particular interests that they develop during their time with us, such as working with refugees or with disability groups. Others join social enterprises to bid for contracts, join newly developing cooperatives or established NGOs in the UK and abroad.



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This Anthropology MA provides an understanding of the ways in which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. Read more
This Anthropology MA provides an understanding of the ways in which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. It attracts students with diverse backgrounds and study/work experiences which makes for a lively and challenging atmosphere.

The degree is designed to provide students with a fairly detailed knowledge of anthropology, development issues, research methods and either an ethnographic region (and/or language) and/or thematic interest in health/gender/food/ media. Advice will be given to match the choice of optional components to the requirements, interests, and qualifications of individual students whose background may be in general social science, regional, language or other studies. While the focus of the degree is on development issues and practice, its disciplinary orientation remains anthropological.

Students explore the contribution of anthropology to contemporary development debates, for example, on donors/aid agencies and NGOs, poverty, migration and development, dominating discourses, human rights, violence and complex emergencies, refugees, gender, social capital and community action, health, climate change, the ‘market’ (as a core metaphor of globalised development), whether there are alternatives to the market, the role of business in development (corporate social responsibility and markets for the poor) and the importance of ethical, professional conduct by anthropologists. Anthropological studies provide the basis for understanding issues of state and governance in development, as well as the meaning of community development, and of popular ‘participation’ and ‘empowerment’. Throughout the programme, the role of, and opportunities for anthropologists as professionals in development is discussed, in part through a dedicated series of seminars in term 2.

Note: (1) Students registered in other departments who wish to take this course MUST write to the Director of Study for this course for permission to take it.

The programme consists of four elements: three assessed course units and a dissertation of 10,000 words.

The degree’s core course – ‘Anthropology of Development’ – provides an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of anthropological perspectives on policy and practice in contemporary international development, and gives a theoretical overview of the relationship between development and anthropology. The course examines the politics of aid, shifting aid frameworks, and concrete intervention programmes, bridging the disparate worlds of planners and beneficiaries. This involves close reading of anthropological monographs/studies which examine the nature of policy-making, bureaucracy and programmes in a variety of sectors – health, agriculture, water and others – while always paying close attention to the specific cultural contexts of intervention. Students should note that the course is continuously assessed which each term students are expected to write 1 book review, 1 essay and sit a 50 minute examination. This form of assessment has been found to be much fairer to overseas students whose first language is not English. While continuous assessment requires students to organize their studies efficiently from the very beginning of the year, we have found that a much higher proportion of our students graduate having achieved a distinction.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship scheme (http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/soas-hakluyt-scholarship.html) has been extended to cover the MA Social Anthropology of Development.

Note (2). Students registered in other departments at SOAS, notably in Development Studies, must apply in writing/email to the Director of Studies for permission to take this course as part of their degree.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/masocanthdev/

Structure

Overview
The programme consists of four units in total: three units of examined taught courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words.

Core Courses:
- Anthropology of Development - 15PANC090 (1.0 unit).

- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Social Anthropology of Development and the candidate’s supervisor.

- Additionally all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.

Foundation Course:
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit). This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.

Option Courses:
- The remaining unit(s) of your programme can be selected from the Option Courses list below.

- A total of either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may be selected.

- Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.

- However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department. No more than 1 unit in total of these courses may be selected.

- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 134kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/masocanthdev/file39771.pdf

Employment

A postgraduate degree in the Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised with a particular focus on how anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. Over the years the SOAS department has trained numerous leading anthropologists who have gone on to occupy lectureships and professorships throughout the world. Equally, students gain skills during their degree that transfer well to areas such as information and technology, government service, the media and tourism.

Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including analytical and critical skills; ability to gather, assess and interpret data; high level of cultural awareness; and problem-solving. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Digital technologies are now ubiquitous in nearly every part of our lives, and today's students need to become proficient with digital technologies as research and communication tools. Read more

Digital technologies are now ubiquitous in nearly every part of our lives, and today's students need to become proficient with digital technologies as research and communication tools. The Digital Anthropology MSc at UCL combines technical skill with anthropological research methodologies in order to train students for research and involvement in this emergent world.

About this degree

Students gain skills training in digital technologies, from internet and digital film editing to e-curation and digital ethnography; study the anthropological theories of virtualism, materiality/immateriality and social networks; and develop an understanding of the consequences of digital culture through the ethnographic study of its social and regional impact in a global and comparative context.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Digital Anthropology and Digital Anthropology Practical

Optional modules

  • Art in the Public Sphere
  • Mass Consumption and Design
  • The Anthropology of the Built Environment
  • Advanced Topics in Digital Cultural
  • Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
  • Practical Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking
  • Digital Infrastructure: Materiality, Information and Politics
  • Anthropology and Photography
  • Social Construction of Landscape

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practicals and laboratory sessions. It includes a weekly seminar series, with invited international speakers. Assessment is through essays, methodology practicals, written examination and the substantial research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Digital Anthropology MSc

Careers

In addition to its importance for careers such as in media, design and museums, digital technology is also integral to development, theoretical and applied anthropology. Companies and institutions collaborating with the MSc are: British Telecom, UCL Computer Sciences, UCL Information Studies, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Skype, Intel, the British Museum, NESTA, NOKIA, the Home Office and Inventi V.

The programme is also developing relationships with: Cultural Informatics Research Centre for the Arts and Humanities (CIRCAh), Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Centre for Museums, Heritage and Cultural Studies, UCL Interaction Centre, UCL Digital Humanities and UCL Urban Laboratory.

Employability

New media and technology companies are showing considerable interest in Digital Anthropology as a degree that qualifies students for positions in all fields of user interaction and research. In the last few years students graduating from the MSc have been recruited by the best international agencies doing research on users' digital practices. In the non-profit sector students have joined organisations involved in policymaking, open access and citizen journalism. The subject is also a good grounding for students who are interested in continuing to a variety of PhD programmes.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Digital Anthropology MSc at UCL is becoming a world leader in the training of researchers in the social and cultural dimensions of information technologies and digital media.

UCL Anthropology is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK and offers 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. The programme combines ethnographic methods, critical thinking and practical explorations of the digital world and encourages in-depth research to develop the next generation of understanding about the impact, consequences, aesthetics and politics of digital technologies and infrastructures.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology

68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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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. Read more

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'.

  • How and when does 'culture' become apprehensible as 'political'?
  • How and when does 'power' operate upon or within 'culture'? Is it even tenable to uphold and retain this distinction?
  • If so, what are the analytical or interpretive benefits?
  • What may be the disadvantages or pitfalls?
  • If not, what is implicated in the politicisation of 'culture' or the culturalisation of 'power' and 'politics'?
  • How can these concerns be studied in the ongoing struggles over 'culture' in everyday life?

In addition to the core modules, options can be selected from several departments and centres.

Modules & structure

The MA is made up of:

  • Anthropology and Cultural Politics (30 credits)
  • Anthropological Theory (30 credits)
  • Option modules [within the Department of Anthropology, or the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Media & Communications, Politics, or Sociology] (60 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

*Students who have a first degree in anthropology can replace Anthropological Theory with an additional option module.

Assessment

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.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

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***

Anthropology

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

Skills & careers

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



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This is the unique Masters-level programme offered that specifically addresses Critical Media and Cultural Studies of the non-Western world. Read more
This is the unique Masters-level programme offered that specifically addresses Critical Media and Cultural Studies of the non-Western world. The degree introduces students to the key contemporary issues discussed in Asian and African media and provides them with the opportunity to engage directly in research on an aspect of these media. It has a strong theoretical element, equipping students with the intellectual tools to consider the production, distribution and reception of non-Western media in new ways and to challenge the English-language, Eurocentric approach of most media studies scholarship.

While media studies degrees usually concentrate on media production, distribution and reception in North America and Western Europe, this programme considers critical issues in media and cultural studies in their full global complexity, with a focus on the cultures and societies of Asia and Africa and their diasporas. The degree is distinctive in the depth of theoretical and cultural background to contemporary media processes that it provides. Optional courses offer a range of approaches to the critical study of Asian and African discourses, from cinema to music, comparative literature to language, gender, religion, art and archaeology.

The programme is designed for students with an interest in critical theory; media professionals seeking alternative ways of understanding the media and culture industries; and those in NGOs and government organizations interested in challenging the hegemony of media corporations. It is well suited to students wishing to proceed to MPhil/PhD research in media or cultural studies, visual cultural studies, urban studies, sociology and anthropology.

Email:

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/media-studies/ma-critical-media-and-cultural-studies/

Structure

Each student takes 4 units in total: the Compulsory Course (1 unit), the Dissertation (1 unit), two half units from list 3 and one unit of options of their choice.

In choosing their courses, MA students are advised to pay careful attention to the balance of coursework across the two terms. In particular it is important to ensure that each term you have three taught courses. However much you might wish to take a mixture of courses that requires more coursework in one term than the other, it is most unwise to attempt to take four courses in one term and two in the other. Experience has shown that students simply cannot manage the load during the heavy term with the result that they either do very badly, fail or are unable to complete the courses in question. As a result Directors of Studies for the degrees and the Faculty staff will not approve a selection of courses which results in an imbalanced workload. An imbalance of courses between terms is only possible with the written permission of the convenor of the degree .

Destinations

An MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies from SOAS gives students expertise in media and communications as well as the ability to identify and analyse critical issues in media and cultural studies in their full global context. It is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

Students develop a portfolio of transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities including communication skills, interpersonal skills,
team work, flexibility and dedication.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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This programme offers a comprehensive understanding of current developments in digital media and their wider social significance. Read more
This programme offers a comprehensive understanding of current developments in digital media and their wider social significance. Smartphones; social networking, blogging and tweeting; online shopping; communication by email; and the delivery of news, film, music and e-books over the Internet: these are just some of the most striking ways in which the digital is penetrating and transforming contemporary society.

The programme is delivered by a diverse interdisciplinary team with a strong profile in, for example, digital culture, media, sociology, anthropology and communication studies.

Core study areas include media and cultural industries, digital futures, media and cultural work, textual analysis research techniques, production and reception analysis and a dissertation.

Optional study areas include politics of representation, media and modernity, communication and citizenship, sex industries, global communications, media, nations, and nationalisms, digital cultures, digital economies, cultural memory and the heritage industries, and marketing politics.

See the website http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/social-sciences/digital-media-society/

Programme modules

Compulsory Modules:
- Digital Cultures
- Digital Futures: explorations in new media
- Production and Reception Analysis
- Digital Economies
- Digital Methodologies
- Dissertation

Optional Modules:
A selection of the following options will be available:
- Media and Modernity
- Media and Cultural Industries
- The Politics of Representation
- Popular Music and Modern Times
- Citizenship and Communications
- Media, Nations and Nationalisms
- Global Communications
- Media and Cultural Work
- Tourism, Culture and Society
- Sex Industries
- Cultural Memory and the Heritage Industries
- Marketing Politics

Assessment

Coursework plus a dissertation of 10,000 words on an agreed topic.

Careers and further study

The degree is designed to develop specialist understanding of contemporary developments in digital media and culture. This will be relevant to anyone pursuing a professional career in this rapidly growing sector and to those with an interest in these significant social changes. Students will also acquire research skills which will be of value in both media-related and academic careers.

Why choose social sciences at Loughborough?

The Department of Social Sciences has long been recognised as an international centre of academic excellence and for its cutting-edge interdisciplinary work.

This recognition of excellence has been a major factor in enabling the Department to recruit a lively community of postgraduate students that currently numbers around 100.

In the Department of Social Sciences we offer a rich variety of taught postgraduate masters. The courses are delivered by an internationally renowned interdisciplinary team, through the use of contemporary case studies and research-informed applied teaching and learning.

The courses provide training in digital culture, media, communications, sociological and anthropological, theory, as well as quantitative and qualitative methods

- Research
All of our academic staff are active researchers, working within and across the following disciplinary boundaries – Communication and Media Studies, Criminology, Social Policy, Social Psychology, and Sociology.

Loughborough is home to the most world-leading, original and internationally excellent research in communication, media studies, sociology, and social psychology. Our research has excellent impact, with staff working with a wide range of public and third sector bodies (e.g., BBC Trust, the Metropolitan Police, the Electoral Commission, the College of Mediators, UK Drug Policy Commission, Department of Health). Our social policy and criminology research also has world-leading impact, particularly in services for children and minimum income standards.

- Career prospects
Our programmes prepare our graduates for the real world of the television industry, marketing, academia, publishing, plus many more industries. They go on to work for companies and organisations such as China Development Research Foundation, Elsevier Ltd, Image Line Communication, Institute of Psychiatry, Metropolitan Police Service, Oxfam and X-Pert Med GmbH.

Find out how to apply here http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/social-sciences/digital-media-society/

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This MA introduces you to recent debates on gender in the disciplines of sociology and media and communications studies, and to the interdisciplinary domains of feminist social and cultural theory. Read more

This MA introduces you to recent debates on gender in the disciplines of sociology and media and communications studies, and to the interdisciplinary domains of feminist social and cultural theory.

Drawing on the internationally recognised and pioneering expertise of staff in the Department of Sociology and Department of Media and Communications, as well as the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR), the programme offers you the opportunity to develop cutting-edge critical skills in relation to cultural approaches to gender formation and gender theory.

As well as these theoretical and analytical points of orientation, the MA in Gender, Media and Culture aims to help you grasp the importance of epistemology and methodology for the evaluation of empirical investigations of gender formations.

The programme therefore introduces you to, and offers training in, the key socio-cultural methods for the study of gender in the contemporary world, including methods for the study of visual culture; the body and affect; and memory.

These two elements of the programme are brought together in a dissertation study, which involves tailored supervision in the application of research methods to a specific topic.

This programme relates to the following disciplines:

  • Sociology
  • Media and Communications
  • Humanities
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Philosophy

Overall the programme has the following interrelated aims

  • to provide in-depth interdisciplinary knowledge of contemporary gender formations
  • to provide theoretical, analytical and methodological points of orientation for understanding gender and culture transnationally and across different societies and geo-political regions
  • to offer skilled supervision in the development and completion of a small research project which tests thoroughly a range of research skills
  • to expose students to a lively research environment and the relevant expertise of the research-led Departments of Sociology and Media and Communications

Modules & structure

Core components of the programme will familiarise you with the wide range of debates integral to the fields of gender studies, feminist theory, and cultural studies. These include:

  • questions about sexual difference and the performativity of gender
  • gender, science, debates on affect and emotion
  • gender and migration and the new international division of labour
  • feminism

You complete one core module and one option module each term, as well as a dissertation module in the spring term. The first core module introduces key debates and developments in feminist theory, cultural theory and, in particular, feminist cultural theory. It introduces both early debates which defined these fields and contemporary developments and departures. More specifically, you will be introduced to social constructivist and post-structuralist perspectives, to ‘new materialism’, to debates on feminism and the critique of universalism; to key questions in relation to feminism and biology; to debates on psycho-analysis and the emergence of queer theory and its intersection with feminist theory.

The second core module examines the place of gender, affect and the body in feminist theory and feminist practice. The course offers you different angles on what has become known as “the affective turn,” placing a strong emphasis on the history of feminist contributions to the study of affect and emotion as well as the body. We ask how bodies are constructed, experienced and lived from a variety of feminist perspectives, attending to questions of corporeal difference, as well as the intimacy of bodies, spaces, objects and technologies. We also reflect on the significance of affect and the body for feminist and queer cultural practices, as well feminist and queer activisms. This module therefore offers instruction in some of the most cutting edge issues in contemporary feminist theory. A team of leading feminist scholars based in the departments of Sociology and Media Communications at Goldsmiths teach this module on the basis of their research specialisms. 

There will be a series of dissertation workshops to help you plan and develop your dissertation, especially in regard to issues of methodology and method. Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will work with you to develop your proposal and undertake independent research.

Core modules

Option modules

You have 60 credits at your disposal, you can choose any 30 credit modules related to gender from postgraduate modules across the University. You can choose either a regular option (30 credits) or two ‘mini-options’ (2 x 15 credits).

For your other options, you can choose modules from either the Department of Sociology or the Department of Media and Communications as they co-convene the programme. You can also choose from the following departments across Goldsmiths:

Please note that not all modules are suitable for students from all academic backgrounds; you will discuss your choices with the Programme Convenor at the start of your degree.

Assessment

Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.

Skills

Graduates from this programme gain conceptual and methodological knowledge of the key concepts and debates in the study of gender and culture; the skills of critical analysis; the ability to distinguish and appraise a range of socio-cultural research methodologies; the skills to design and develop a research project; and the ability to recognise and account for sensitive ethical issues relating to research and representation.

The two core courses provide you with the necessary skills to understand the relationships between early debates in the fields of gender studies, feminist theory and feminist cultural theory, and the ability to critically engage with new developments in these fields. Furthermore, you will gain a critical appreciation of the role and place of the body and affect in the development of feminist cultural theory and gender theory, and the challenges that contemporary socio-cultural changes bring to the theorisation of the body.

Careers

Previous graduates have embarked on professional careers in social research, think tanks, the arts and cultural sectors, government and public administration, development, human rights, NGOs, and in media and communications globally. They have also progressed to PhD study.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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The Department of Anthropology and Sociology teaches the discipline of Social Anthropology with special reference to the societies and cultures of Asia and Africa, both past and present. Read more
The Department of Anthropology and Sociology teaches the discipline of Social Anthropology with special reference to the societies and cultures of Asia and Africa, both past and present. The emphasis given to particular regions and approaches varies with current trends in the discipline and contemporary global developments.

Course detail

You will examine behaviour in social groups, for instance the social organisation of a particular person: customs, economic and political organisation, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, kinship and family structure, gender relations, childrearing and socialisation and religion.

Additionally you will gain skills that transfer well to areas such as information and technology, government service, the media and tourism.

You will have access to a wealth of study resources including the SOAS Library, one of the world's most important academic libraries, attracting scholars from across the globe.

A global perspective

Studying social anthropology at SOAS University of London enhances your learning experience by giving you a global perspective, where you will benefit from the exceptional global expertise of SOAS anthropologists while gaining a broad education in the subject, and an irrepressible curiosity about the world.

Expert at where the world is changing

Scholars in Anthropology have an impact on the world outside of academia—on law and government, in the arts and on public media and we are amongst the most respected in the field of social and cultural anthropology in the UK.

At SOAS, Anthropology is at the heart of the university, one of its largest and most important subjects. It is central to the shared objective of widening horizons, fostering cross-cultural perspectives, challenging taken-for-granted assumptions, and critical engagement with urgent issues.

Suitability

The MA degree programme in Social Anthropology is designed on a modular basis offering different pathways to suit, broadly, three categories of student:

• Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist topics and/or more regional and language-based study;

• Students with little or no previous knowledge of social anthropology wishing to acquire a broad knowledge of the discipline;

• Students with little or no previous knowledge of social anthropology wishing to take the degree as a conversion course before proceeding to a research degree in anthropology, who are required to pass all the examinations with appropriately high marks.

Format and assessment

The programme consists of four units in total: three units of examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words.

Core Courses:
• Comparative Studies of Society and Culture
• Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology
• Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.

The remaining unit(s) of your programme may then be selected from the Option Courses listed on our website.

Careers

A Masters in Social Anthropology at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will leave the graduate with an advanced understanding of behaviour in social groups, for instance the social organization of a particular person: customs, economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, kinship and family structure, gender relations, childrearing and socialization and religion.

Over the years the SOAS department has trained numerous leading anthropologists who have gone on to occupy lectureships and professorships throughout the world. Equally, students gain skills during their degree that transfer well to areas such as information and technology, government service, the media and tourism.

Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including analytical and critical skills; ability to gather, assess and interpret data; high level of cultural awareness; and problem-solving. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Postgraduate Open Evenings

You’ll be able to have one-to-one discussions with academics and current students. You can also attend specialist subject talks and take a tour of our campus.

Book now: http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/openevenings/

Webinars

Our webinars give you an opportunity to hear and ask questions about the subject you’re interested in studying. We also cover topics such as making an application, Tier 4 Visa entry, fees and funding, scholarships, accommodation options as well as career related information.

Book now: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/webinars/

How to apply

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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