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Masters Degrees (Shamanism)

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This pioneering MA offers interdisciplinary perspectives on international performance, and aims to understand performance in relation to the culture to which it contributes- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-performance-culture/. Read more
This pioneering MA offers interdisciplinary perspectives on international performance, and aims to understand performance in relation to the culture to which it contributes- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-performance-culture/

The Masters takes in diverse forms of theatre, including multicultural and street theatre, and such practices as:

performance art
site-specific performance
a wide range of hybrid forms
It leads you to explore performance as sociocultural process by using analytical principles from sociology, the sociology of culture, cultural theory, anthropology, history, philosophy, politics and theatre and performance.

We have numerous links, locally and internationally, with a wide variety of theatres, companies and performers, all of which enhance your research possibilities.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Theatre and Performance Secretary.

There are three compulsory core modules which focus on a range of issues concerning performance as a sociocultural practice. They involve:

conceptual and theoretical material, their interweave and their relationship to performance
historiographical methodologies and textual issues
analysis of live performances
cultural difference, ethnicity and cross-culturalism
questions to do with corporeality, alternative spaces and performance in terms of social inclusivity
A choice of options or independent study constitutes the fourth component, and a dissertation on your individual research completes your programme of study.

Core modules

The three core modules consist of:

Cultural Theory, Performance, Interdisciplinary Perspectives:
This module is an introduction to the whole programme and focuses on the interdisciplinary use of a range of theories from sociology, anthropology, theatre and other areas to understand live performance. As part of this module you are expected to see as many performances as possible.

Historicising Theatre:
This module is concerned with exploring the problems and possibilities of theatre history, and the relationship between theatre, text and cultural context.

Corporeality, Embodiment, Alternative Spaces:
This module includes work on rituals, shamanism, dance, hybrid forms, site-specific, multi-ethnic performance and theatres of exclusion.


Each compulsory module and the option module carry equal weight, each representing 15% of the overall mark. The dissertation is worth 40%.


You will develop writing and oral skills at a high academic level, demonstrating the ability to think and work in an interdisciplinary manner using a range of methodologies. your ability to work collaboratively and to facilitate and participate in group discussions will be enhanced.

You will also develop skills in identifying the socio-cultural, historical and political issues and pressures specific to varied types of performance.


This programme provides a strong grounding in the principles of research and of learning through independent research. It is particularly suitable if you wish to pursue further academic work in creative, performative fields.


Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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In this course, the focus is on religion in its anthropological and sociological perspectives. Read more
In this course, the focus is on religion in its anthropological and sociological perspectives. Durham has particular strengths in the study of Mormonism; death, dying and disposal; shamanism; religion and emotion; religion/faith and globalisation; religion and politics; contemporary evangelicalism and post-evangelicalism; and religion and generational change. It also boasts the Centre for Death and Life Studies and the Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health.

Course Structure

Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion core module, Three option modules, Dissertation.

Core Modules

-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion

Optional Modules

Optional Modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Literature and Religion
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-Patristic Exegesis
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Catholic Social Thought
-Doctrine of Creation
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission requirements

When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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The degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia.

The MA Medical Anthropology comprises two pathways catering for candidates with or without anthropological training. Students come to the course from all over the world, following BA study, work and travel experience or after long careers in other fields. This combination of diverse experience and skills makes for an intellectually exciting atmosphere for both teachers and students.

The course is distinctive in its focus on medical and health issues pertaining to Africa, Asia and Latin America. It covers anthropological theory, cultural understandings of health, and various options. These include combinations of anthropology and food, gender, shamanism and therapy, psychoanalysis, religion and healing in South Asia, China and in Africa, and study of the language and ethnography of a particular region.

The programme consists of four elements, three examined courses and a dissertation of 10,000 words. The degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia. The aim of the degree is to provide:

- A phenomenological understanding of the body, which implies also subjective attitudes to notions of health, sickness, disease, recovery and personal vulnerability
- an understanding of these experiences within regional, political, economic and cultural contexts

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


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.

Core Courses:
- Cultural Understandings of Health - 15PANC093 (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 Medical Anthropology 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 - Group A and Group B:
- Students then choose TWO 0.5 unit courses from the Group A and B lists below.
- AT LEAST ONE of the two 0.5 unit courses must come from Group A.

Option Courses:
- Students not taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology may then select their fourth unit (either a single 1.0 unit course or two 0.5 unit courses) from the Option Courses list.
- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 209kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/mamedanth/file49466.pdf


A Masters in Medical Anthropology at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will also develop a specialist understanding of social processes and cultural representations of health, illness and the nursing/care practices associated with these. 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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