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Masters Degrees (Political Anthropology)

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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/)

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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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The programme is designed for graduate students who wish to learn about the diverse strands of political thinking in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the different approaches to comparison in political thought. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The programme is designed for graduate students who wish to learn about the diverse strands of political thinking in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the different approaches to comparison in political thought. It is highly relevant to students who wish to embark on doctoral studies in the area of non-Western political thought. It is also relevant for practitioners working in or intending to work in governments, international organizations, think tanks and advocacy groups who wish to acquire deeper knowledge of ideas and values that inform political practices in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The MSc in Comparative Political Thought builds on SOAS’s wealth of regional expertise to offer a new approach to cross-regional comparison of political thinking. It reframes the study of political thought in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as a study of political ideas and political practices. The programme introduces students to the key approaches, debates, and questions in the emerging sub-discipline of comparative political thought. Covering a range of thinkers, traditions and texts, in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, it provides learning opportunities for students to compare ideas and values across regions and historical periods. The MSc in Comparative Political Thought will enable graduate students to undertake further advanced study and research in political thought, as well as enhance skills suitable for employment in multicultural and international professional contexts

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/msc-comparative-political-thought/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification (pdf; 126kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/programmes/msc-comparative-political-thought/file79323.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The MSc in Comparative Political Thought has two core compulsory half-unit courses that all students registered for the degree will undertake. Approaches to Comparative Political Thought is taken in Term 1, and Comparative International Political Thought in Term 2. Students then choose courses equivalent to two units from a list of optional courses (outlined below), and complete a dissertation based on independent study and research (equivalent to a further unit).

- Knowledge

1. Familiarity with the main approaches in the emerging sub-field of comparative political thought, including different understandings of ‘comparison’ and ‘thought’;

2. Advanced understanding of some of the philosophical, historical, political and linguistic issues that arise in the study of non-Western political thought;

3. In-depth knowledge of some key political concepts (eg. state, authority, individual, community), as understood by political thinkers in Asia, Africa and the Middle East;

4. An understanding of political thought not simply as articulated by elite intellectuals, but also as ideas in action, manifested in political practices at different levels of society.

- Intellectual (thinking) skills

1. To analyse and evaluate competing approaches to comparative political thought;
2. To conceptualise the main issues and problems that arise in the comparative study of political thought;
3. To develop in-depth understanding of aspects of non-Western political thought;
4. To develop intellectual initiative and skills to compare political ideas across cultural and historical boundaries, identifying and evaluating similarities and differences;
5. To formulate research questions and hypotheses.

- Subject-based practical skills

1. To identify, analyse and evaluate core arguments in theoretical materials from a variety of sources;
2. To develop skills to work creatively and flexibly across different disciplines and regional traditions;
3. To organise information in a lucid, coherent, concise, and clear form in written as well as oral presentations;
4. To develop initiative and capacity to work independently on research questions and to adjust hypotheses and approach in the light of work undertaken for the dissertation.

- Transferable skills

1. To retrieve, select, digest and analyse complex information from a variety of sources.
2. To structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
3. To work effectively in and contribute to meetings, by presenting, listening to and discussing ideas introduced during meetings.
4. To manage time effectively.

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

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Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. Since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live. Read more

About the course

Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. Since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live.

In short, Medical Anthropology can be described as the study of cultural beliefs and practices associated with the origin, recognition and management of health and illness in different social and cultural groups.

Literally hundreds of students – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and other medical professionals among them – can testify to the quality of our programme, having used it either to enhance their professional practice, to change career or to develop their research interests for future studies.

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

The degree aims to equip students with a broad, general understanding of anthropology and how it might be applied to medical and health-related problems.

You will develop a deeper understanding of how people’s ideas about the world, as well as the structural constraints within which they find themselves, have an impact on their understanding and experience of health, sickness and disease.

You’ll achieve this through close study of key texts in medical anthropology, the original fieldwork experiences of your lecturers, and through designing and undertaking your own research project.

If you’ve wondered about some or all of the questions below – all of which are addressed in the degree – this could be the course for you:

How does poverty contribute to the profiles of diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis?
Why are some diseases, such as leprosy or AIDS/HIV, feared and stigmatized?
Why do some biomedical interventions seeking to control infectious and non-infectious diseases work, and others fail?
What might stop some patients seeking conventional treatments for cancers and other conditions – even when they are offered for free – despite the apparent efficacy of the medicines available?
How does one make the distinction between the healthy and the pathological? Is being ‘disabled’, for example, always a negative state, or might some consider it just another, equally valid, way of being?
What are the effects of political, economic and other social conditions on people’s experiences of what, from a biomedical perspective, might be considered the same diseases?
How and why is it appropriate to combine insights emerging from clinical and epidemiological research with ethnographic understandings of health, illness and disease?

The Brunel Medical Anthropology MSc addresses these issues and more in a lively and challenging way, through a programme of lectures, class discussions, and your own – personally directed – final dissertation research project.

Course Content

The main objectives of the course are to provide a rigorous grounding in key topics and perspectives in medical anthropology, and to equip candidates with a range of research skills to enable them to complete research successfully.

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 modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Dissertation in Medical Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the Arena of Global Health
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings

Optional modules:

The Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War
Ethnicity, Culture and Identity

Part-time

Year 1

Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the Arena of Global Health

Year 2

Dissertation in Medical Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essay, practical assignments (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise) and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. This dissertation is based upon fieldwork undertaken by the candidate. There are no examinations.

Special Features

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 up 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.

Special scholarships

Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund
Set up to honour the life and work of leading light in international medical anthropology Professor Cecil Helman (1944-2009), the Doctor Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund provides fieldwork support for between two and four students on our MSc Medical Anthropology course.

Dr Helman taught at Brunel University London from 1990, and became a Professor of Social Sciences in 2005. In 2004, he was awarded the American Anthropological Association’s career achievement award, and the following year he won the Royal Anthropological Institute's Lucy Mair medal.

As well as leading the way in Medical Anthropology, Dr Helman exercised his artistic talents through his paintings, poems, fables, and short fiction – all of which revolved around a theme of the human side of medicine and the narratives that surrounded the doctor-patient relationship.

Scholarship
The Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund offers between two and four students up to £1,000 to help them to complete field research for their dissertations.

Selection
The scholarship will be awarded to MSc Medical Anthropology students who demonstrate excellent academic performance and the ability to undertake an original field research project.

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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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Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures?. Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health?. Read more

About the course

Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures?
Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health?
Is there a ‘human nature’ underneath all the cultural differences?

Anyone interested in psychological processes, feeling and expression, memory and trauma, culture and personality, will have asked themselves questions of this kind. However, they are less likely to have asked themselves how (or if) we can recognise and analyse different emotions in other cultural settings.

In this new MSc degree, the first of its kind anywhere in Europe, we tackle these and other issues from an anthropological perspective, looking at the social and cultural dimensions of human experience.

By engaging with debates on these important topics and through the examination of world ethnography (including the UK), participants will learn about selfhood, emotion, madness and identity in cultural context.

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

This MSc gives candidates a solid grounding in key topics in psychological and psychiatric anthropology.

Through detailed consideration of cases from Britain and around the world, we explore the ways in which person, emotion, and subjectivity are shaped through cultural practices.

Candidates from backgrounds in health, therapy, social work and psychology will be able to challenge the categories and assumptions inherent in standard approaches to psychological and behavioural issues.

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 modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Dissertation in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology

Optional modules:

Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
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

Part-time

Year 1

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology

Year 2

Dissertation in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essay, practical assignment (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise), and dissertation. There are no examinations.

Special Features

This degree looks at psychological and psychiatric topics from an anthropological perspective. There is an overlap with psychology and psychiatry in the things we look at (identity, consciousness, cognition, mental health, etc), but the approach is quite different; indeed, the findings can be startlingly different.

In all cases, we explore the point of view and experience of the insider, the ‘native’, in a range of cultures, we analyse this inside view in relation to the social and cultural environment. What we seek is a dynamic conception of human nature that is true to experience as well as illuminating broader social processes of which the individual may be only partly aware.
 
This degree challenges standard assumptions about normality and deviance, social and personal identity, the boundaries of the self, and the constituents of experience.

For those employed in the health, social and educational sectors, it will enhance professional practice and broaden understanding. But for every student it will open up new avenues.

The programme is run by experts in their field, who have worked in countries across the globe including Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.

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 an up to 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.

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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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Interrogate the status quo with leading academics who don’t just talk and write about politics, but actively campaign to create change in the world. Read more

Interrogate the status quo with leading academics who don’t just talk and write about politics, but actively campaign to create change in the world

All around us governments are in crisis, protests are on the increase, dissent and mobilisation is widespread and relayed across the world instantaneously on a screen. Communication is at the very heart of the structures, institutions and actors that give meaning to politics in governments, in parties and on the street. 

The questions we ask

How do we live our politics on a daily basis? Who holds the power to influence political decisions that structure our lives? How might democracy be done better? What is the relationship between politics, the individual, institutions and the media? These are the kinds of questions we’re asking on this programme.

And we take an expansive view, so you’ll learn about politics and communications not just as a singular discipline, but as a subject that’s much more nuanced, moving across everything from governments and parties to NGOs and activists; from economic and environmental policy and conflict representation, to issues of race, gender, social theory and popular culture. 

The processes we use

Alongside traditional lectures and seminars we also do workshops and research exercises to reflect on how political communications are part of the rituals and rhythms of our daily lives and how this is influenced by others.

As part of the programme you may also be tasked with designing and pitching your own political campaign. We use these kinds of exercises because we think it’s only by actively engaging with political communications that we can better understand how it is part of our everyday lives. 

The approach we take

We’re active not passive so this course isn’t just about having our heads in books, it’s about applying ideas to the real world. We’ll expect you to be reading the news every day because we want you to engage with what’s happening and unravel it.

There are also opportunities to interact with industry experts, get involved in live campaigns and collaborate with people coming from all over the world. We pride ourselves on fostering a supportive environment and offering an open door throughout your time with us. At Goldsmiths the conversations are always just starting. 

Modules & structure

The programme’s core curriculum will address a range of contemporary issues, debates and theory in political communication, including work on:

  • comparative media systems
  • theories of communication and democratisation
  • global media, international governance and transnational communication
  • economic, financial and industrial policy
  • digital media and online politics
  • media sociology and news production
  • political parties, party ideologies and party-member dynamics
  • public relations, political marketing and spin
  • government communication systems and media management
  • media audiences, effects and agenda-setting
  • public opinion and public sphere debates
  • interest groups, social movements and alternative media
  • advocacy, civil society and public affairs
  • new technologies and the information society
  • citizenship and public engagement
  • the policy process and government decision-making
  • politics and culture
  • social theories of power, culture and communications

Theory is usually applied to a number of case study areas on, for example: conflict and war; elections; social and environmental debates; foreign affairs; the economy, finance and business; crime and disorder. Theory and discussion is always related to current events and debates.

Structure

The MA in Political Communications is built up of modules that must count up to 180 credits. The programme comprises:

  • Two core modules taught in the Department of Media and Communications (60 credits in total)
  • A research skills module
  • 60 credits' worth of modules chosen from the Department of Politics or Department of Media and Communications. These can be a combination of 30 and 15 credit modules
  • Up to 30 of the 60 credits of options may be chosen from the departments of Sociology, Anthropology, English and Comparative Literature, and the Centre for Cultural Studies

Core modules

We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Please view the website for more information.

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

We know that political organisations relish thinking graduates. It’s why we focus on delivering a programme that’s rooted in a critical perspective. By the time you leave we want you to feel transformed so that you can go forward and transform the world. 

Our graduates go on to work within government organisations, political parties, NGOs and news media and across the public and private sectors - from the Houses of Parliament and BBC World Service to Google, Greenpeace and the UN. 

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.



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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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You want a course that draws on a long and highly distinguished tradition of political economy at The University of Manchester. You are interested in a unique, cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy. Read more
  • You want a course that draws on a long and highly distinguished tradition of political economy at The University of Manchester
  • You are interested in a unique, cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy
  • You would like to pursue your own particular interests in political economy through one of four distinct pathways

The MA in Political Economy programme at Manchester University offers a cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy. The MA is housed in the Centre for the Study of Political Economy, which brings together the world-class research strengths in the field of political economy at Manchester University. The programme is taught from members across the Faculty of Humanities in the School of Social Sciences, the School of Environment and Development, and the Alliance Manchester Business School.

Each student will pursue their particular interests in political economy through one of four pathways:

  • Theoretical Political Economy
  • Political Economy of Society, Space and Environment
  • Political Economy of Finance, Business and Work
  • Political Economy of Development.

Each pathway offers courses drawn from across the different disciplines in the schools, offering the student a unique exposure to the full breadth of the field of political economy. The research route is an ESRC recognised 1 + 3 programme which offers training in both quantitative and qualitative research methods that prepare students for doctoral research.

  • Course Director: Professor John O'Neill
  • Email: John.F.O

Teaching and learning

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PART-TIME STUDY

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Course unit details

All students take a core module, Theoretical Approaches to Political Economy , which provides a thorough grounding in both classical and contemporary theories of political economy and introduces the basic concepts of the discipline. The student will also take at least one core module from their chosen pathway together with one other optional module from that pathway. The research route provides a foundation in research skills for students intending to go on to undertake a PhD in the area of political economy, or seeking employment requiring advanced research skills in the public, private or voluntary sector. Students will complete compulsory core research training units in Quantitative Research Methods , Qualitative Research , Philosophy of Politics and Dissertation Research Design . Taught units comprise two thirds of the programme. The remainder of the programme consists of a 12000-15000 word dissertation on a substantial issue in political economy.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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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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The MSc in Medical Anthropology offers a unique opportunity to engage with anthropological approaches to the study of health drawing on sociocultural, ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Read more

The MSc in Medical Anthropology offers a unique opportunity to engage with anthropological approaches to the study of health drawing on sociocultural, ecological and evolutionary perspectives. The course provides a strong grounding in ethnographic approaches to the study of health, the political ecology of health and the application of anthropology to contemporary public health concerns, as well as a diverse range of options in areas such as theories of the body and evolutionary medicine. Our unique biosocial approach to the anthropology of health is one of our key strengths and attracts a wide range of students, contributing to a stimulating and exciting learning environment. An emphasis on developing and applying research skills is also central to our degree. The course is taught by the academic researchers from our highly regarded Anthropology of Health Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/health

Please see the website for further information on modules.

Course Learning and Teaching

The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Full-time students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with further assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete a dissertation by September. Core modules introduce the Anthropology of Global Health and Public Health Anthropology, and anthropological methods. Students can choose to focus on qualitative or quantitative methods or to train in both.

The programme is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, practical sessions and workshops, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lectures deliver key information on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in lectures and gathered from independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hoursThey give students an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research in Anthropology, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues.

Full-time students have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, and are also expected to attend weekly departmental and Anthropology of Health Research Group research seminars, often given by prominent visiting speakers. Students also have the opportunity to present their work at the Department’s annual postgraduate conference, and to join activities with other universities, such as our annual advanced medical anthropology workshop with the University of Edinburgh. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.

Throughout the programme, all students meet fortnightly with the degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Furthermore, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘drop-in’ basis, or can be e-mailed to arrange a mutually agreeable time. Students work closely with leading academics to develop an original piece of research for their dissertation, and guidance on the dissertation is also provided by the dissertation leader. Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparing for the course. On arrival we have induction sessions, including a field trip and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the degree tutor for Medical Anthropology. Students also attend an introduction to our departmental research groups, including the Anthropology of Health Research Group.

Career Opportunities

Students with a postgraduate qualification in Anthropology pursue a diverse array of careers in areas such as conservation, tourism, public health, health research and management, captive primate care and zoological research management, local government research and management, education (secondary, further and higher), social care, social research, in addition to academia.



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You want a course that draws on a long and highly distinguished tradition of political economy at The University of Manchester. You are interested in a unique, cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy. Read more
  • You want a course that draws on a long and highly distinguished tradition of political economy at The University of Manchester
  • You are interested in a unique, cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy
  • You would like to pursue your own particular interests in political economy through one of our distinct pathways

The MA in Political Economy programme at Manchester University offers a cross-disciplinary curriculum of study in political economy. The MA is housed in the Centre for the Study of Political Economy, which brings together the world-class research strengths in the field of political economy at Manchester University. The programme is taught from members across the Faculty of Humanities in the School of Social Sciences, the School of Environment and Development, and the Alliance Manchester Business School.

Each student will pursue their particular interests in political economy through one of four pathways:

  • Theoretical Political Economy
  • Political Economy of Society, Space and Environment
  • Political Economy of Finance, Business and Work
  • Political Economy of Development.

Each pathway offers courses drawn from across the different disciplines in the schools, offering the student an exposure to the full breadth of the field of political economy.

  • Course Director: Professor John O'Neil
  • Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4853
  • Email:  John.F.O

Teaching and learning

IMPORTANT NOTE ON PART-TIME STUDY

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.  

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.  

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director

Course unit details

All students take a core module, Theoretical Approaches to Political Economy , which provides a thorough grounding in both classical and contemporary theories of political economy and introduces the basic concepts of the discipline. Students on the standard route will also take at least two core modules from their chosen pathway together with three other optional modules from that pathway. Students will also undertake research training units in  Dissertation Research Design . Taught units comprise two thirds of the programme. The remainder of the programme consists of a 12000-15000 word dissertation on a substantial issue in political economy.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 



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Taught jointly by the Departments of Anthropology and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, this MA offers a stimulating synthesis of theory and practice. Read more

Taught jointly by the Departments of Anthropology and Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies, this MA offers a stimulating synthesis of theory and practice. In short, it is at the heart of what Goldsmiths is all about.

This MA, launched in 2015, is the third of three related pathways. The first, the MA in Applied Anthropology and Community and Youth Work, was started in 1992 and is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in youth and community work and who need a professional qualification.

A second pathway, the MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Development, was launched in 2012 as an option for international or home students who do not need an NYA qualification and for those who want to specialise in community development.

This third pathway has been created in response to a growing number of applicants with an arts background and arts interests, and is aimed at students who wish to work in community arts. The three pathways entail different placements but are taught together, providing much opportunity for exchange of ideas and collaboration amongst students.

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.

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 community development and community arts, such as class, gender, race and culture. The Spring Term addresses more specific contemporary social issues affecting communities, 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 are 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. We also encourage you to audit courses run by the Art, Music and Cultural Studies departments, and in general to make the most of all the wonderful political and arts events organised by Goldsmiths staff and students every week.

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

This MA pathway entails 20 hours of observations and 280 hours of placements, normally in community arts settings, consisting of three placements with at least two different organisations.

The fieldwork and accompanying teaching is divided into three modules:

Fieldwork 1: Perspectives and Approaches (Placement 1 –70 hours)

In this module you explore key themes, principles, values and competing perspectives underlying community arts. The value of experiential learning approaches and critical pedagogy in informal learning and community arts are explored alongside group work principles, processes and theories. You consider your own values and reflect on your practice perspective.

Fieldwork 2: Critical Practice (Placement 2 –70 hours) 

In this module you critically analyse the changing context of community arts practice, develop as critically reflective practitioners and learn how to recognise and challenge discrimination and oppression. Key themes include ethical dilemmas faced in community arts practice, youth participation and methods of engaging communities with a view to facilitating ‘empowerment’.

Fieldwork 3: Management, Enterprise and Development (Placement 3 140 hours plus 20 hours observations) 

This module advances critical understanding of the management of projects, staff and resources, the legal context of community arts and community & 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.

Skills & careers

Increasing employment prospects are central to this programme.

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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The Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education MSc was the first degree of its kind in the world when it was established and is still unique in its thoroughgoing anthropological perspective on what it is to be a child or to be young. Read more

About the course

The Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education MSc was the first degree of its kind in the world when it was established and is still unique in its thoroughgoing anthropological perspective on what it is to be a child or to be young.

Its key organising principle is that understanding children requires the study of how their relations with others - peers, older and younger children, parents, teachers and other adults - inform their practices, identities and world views.

This course addresses the following issues from an anthropological perspective:
Do children of ‘different cultures’ live ‘different worlds’?
How does education impact upon children’s worlds and upon social and cultural practices more broadly?
How do everyday processes of learning – both formal and informal - help to shape children’s ideas of and engagement with society at large?
What is the role of schools in the transmission and acquisition of cultural values to children and youth?
And why are adults’ ideas about childhood and youth so important for what children learn and aspire to become?

The distinctiveness of this degree derives from an anthropological approach that focuses on the importance of children’s and youth’s perspectives, and on the role that education (formal and informal) plays in children’s learning processes and in the transmission and acquisition of cultural knowledge.

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

Through an examination of ethnographic cases from around the world (including the UK), you will learn about the different ways in which childhood and youth are understood and conceptualised.

You will explore the different educational forms and processes through which cultural knowledge is transmitted and acquired, and how culture impacts upon these processes.

Course Content

The course is designed to show postgraduate students how anthropological approaches can be used to gain access to and understand children and young people's lived experience, their ideas about the world and themselves, and their relations with peers and adults. In so doing, it aims to provide a rigorous grounding in key anthropological ideas and research methods and to show how a comparative social analysis illuminates our understanding of ourselves and other people.

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 modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Dissertation in Childhood, Youth and Education
The Anthropology of Childhood
The Anthropology of Youth

Optional modules:

Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation*
Foundation Disciplines of Education*
Literature Policy and Analysis*
International Development, Children and Youth

Part-time

Year 1 compulsory modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
The Anthropology of Childhood
The Anthropology of Youth
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning

Year 2 compulsory modules:

Dissertation in Childhood, Youth and Education
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Special Features

Our course team has worked in countries across the globe including South, West and East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.

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, practical assignments (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise), and a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words. This dissertation is based upon fieldwork undertaken by the candidate. There are no examinations.

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The MPhil in Social Anthropology is an 11 month taught Masters degree and can be taken as a freestanding qualification or as a route to the PhD. Read more
The MPhil in Social Anthropology is an 11 month taught Masters degree and can be taken as a freestanding qualification or as a route to the PhD. It is a demanding course that enables you to reach a high level of specialist knowledge in social anthropology within a short time and, subject to performance, equips you to undertake a research degree.

Problems in anthropological theory, interpretation, comparison and analysis are addressed in relation to particular ethnographies and substantive debates in the anthropological literature. Through critical reflection on a range of anthropological theories, and through practice in the application of those theories to bodies of ethnographic data, students acquire a thorough and intensive grounding in a range of styles of social anthropological analysis.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hssampsap

Course detail

The principal fields of anthropological analysis are covered in two courses in General Anthropology; one optional course in specialised learning, and a non-assessed course in theory and methods:

1. Production and Reproduction (Paper 1)
2. Systems of Power and Knowledge (Paper 2)
3. Optional Papers (Paper 3)
4. Theory, Methods and Enquiry in Social Anthropology (non-assessed Paper).

Divided into two strands (1) interdisciplinary perspectives and (2) professional process, the optional papers reflect the current research interests of Social Anthropology staff, and they vary from year to year. By way of example only, in 2015-2016, the Division offers the following options:

Interdisciplinary Perspectives:

- Science and Society
- The Anthropology of Post-Socialist Societies
- Anthropology of Visual and Media Culture.

Professional Process:

- Social Anthropology and Museums (Paper 3e)
- Medical Anthropology (Paper 3f).

Format

Teaching for the MPhil is via introductory sessions, seminars, lectures and individual supervision. It is centred around four seminars (Kinship, Politics, Economics and Religion) that constitute the principal teaching of the General Anthropology. Those who are pursuing one of the professional options are expected to attend and take part in the above core seminars as well.

In addition to the seminars, the Division requires all MPhil students to attend the Part IIA lecturers for Papers SAN2, SAN3, and SAN4, plus one other Optional Paper to be chosen by the student during the first week of Michaelmas Term. Students are not expected to confine themselves exclusively to these lectures, but are encouraged to attend any lectures they find interesting. The Division also offers a separate research methodology course.

Each student will be supervised by a member of staff who can provide general guidance throughout the course. Students will meet their respective supervisors fortnightly and they will be expected to write essays. Supervisions provide an opportunity for them to discuss these essays and to raise wider questions on a one-to-one basis.

Placements

Students following the optional paper Social Anthropology and Museums are required to undertake four to six weeks practical work experience. Typically this requirement is fulfilled by the preparation of annual student exhibitions at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, although other museum work or an external placement may be arranged in consultation with the course coordinator and the student’s supervisor.

Assessment

Each student is expected to write a total of 6-8 essays for supervision in Michaelmas and Lent. The supervisor usually makes written comments on the essays and discusses them in supervision sessions.

A student is also expected to write one set essay and one dissertation over the year on which they will receive written feedback from the assessors. Students may use their supervision time to seek advice from their supervisors.

Supervisors submit online progress reports at the end of each term via Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System (CGSRS).

Continuing

Continuation to the MRes or PhD is subject to the following:

- acceptance of an application for continuation by the PhD Committee;
- a mark of at least 70% in the MPhil is normally required for continuation to the PhD.

Applicants intending to continue to the MRes/PhD programme should state so in their statement of purpose, however acceptance for the MPhil does not guarantee that you will be accepted for continuation.

Funding Opportunities

All applicants are eligible to apply for the Wyse Bursary for Social Anthropology. A separate application must be made for this via the following link:
http://www.socanth.cam.ac.uk/online-forms/

UK and EU nationals should note that applicants for the MPhil are not eligible for ESRC or Cambridge European Scholarship funding.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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