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Masters Degrees (Venom)

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Oxford Brookes is one of very few UK universities where social and biological anthropology are taught alongside each other. This course emphasises the holistic and comparative breadth of anthropology - studying humans from a variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives. Read more
Oxford Brookes is one of very few UK universities where social and biological anthropology are taught alongside each other.

This course emphasises the holistic and comparative breadth of anthropology - studying humans from a variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-at-brookes/courses/postgraduate/2015/anthropology/

Why choose this course?

- We are one of the few universities in the UK to teach social and biological anthropology side by side

- You get opportunities to work alongside leading, research-active academics such as Professor Anna Nekaris, Professor Jeremy McClancy and Professor Kate Hill.

- There are excellent learning resources, both at Oxford Brookes and at Oxford’s museums and libraries including the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Museum of Natural History

- We have a dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world-leading research

- The course flexibility in module choices enables students to follow their particular interests

- There is the option to join MSc students on a field trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands

- The Graduate Diploma in Anthropology enables graduates from other disciplines, and those with equivalent qualifications or work experience, to gain a qualification in anthropology at advanced undergraduate level.

Teaching and learning

We provide a broad range of learning experiences, including independent study, work in small groups, seminars and lectures.

We also use a wide range of assessment techniques, including essays, book reviews, class presentations, fieldwork reports and exams.

Field trips

You will be offered the opportunity to join MSc students on their annual trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands. The 3-day trip costs between £105 and £115, depending on numbers.


Many students choose the graduate diploma as a route to further study, continuing their education at master's and PhD level. However, anthropology graduates go on to a variety of careers including overseas development aid, environmental maintenance, education, eco-tourism, urban planning and the civil service.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

Professor Anna Nekaris has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Trust grant of over £200k to undertake research in to why and how the seemingly cute and cuddly slow loris is the only primate to produce a biological venom. Understanding the nature of slow loris venom should also have implications for the conservation of this seriously threatened primate, a popular but illegal pet that is widely traded on the black market.

An international team of scientists, including Professor Adrian Parker, have revealed that humans left Africa at least 50,000 years earlier than previously suggested and were, in fact, present in eastern Arabia as early as 125,000 years ago. The new study published in the journal Science reports findings from an eight-year archaeological excavation at a site called Jebel Faya in the United Arab Emirates. Palaeolithic stone tools found at the Jebel Faya were similar to tools produced by early modern humans in east Africa, but very different from those produced to the north, in the Levant and the mountains of Iran. This suggested early modern humans migrated into Arabia directly from Africa and not via the Nile Valley and the Near East as is usually suggested. The new findings will reinvigorate the debate about man’s origins and how we became a global species.

Professor Jeremy MacClancy's latest book Centralizing Fieldwork, critical perspectives in primatology, biological and social anthropology, was co-edited with Augustin Fuentes of Notre Dame University and is published by Berghahn.

Research areas and clusters

Research can be undertaken in the following areas:
- Anthropology of Art
- Anthropology of Food
- Anthropology of Work, and Play
- Anthropology of Gender
- Social Anthropology of Japan, South Asia and Europe
- Social Anthropology of Family, Class and Gender in Urban South Asia
- Basque studies
- Culture and landscapes
- Environmental archaeology and palaeo-anthropology
- Environmental anthropology
- Environmental reconstruction
- Human origins
- Human resource ecology
- Human–wildlife interaction and conservation
- Physical environmental processes and management
- Primate conservation
- Primatology
- Quaternary environmental change
- Urban and environmental studies.

Research centres:
- Europe Japan Research Centre
- Anthropology Centre for Conservation, Environment and Development.

- Oxford Brookes Archaeology and Heritage (OBAH).

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The MRes program is a full-time 1 year degree by research, and differs from an MSc in placing more importance on the research project. Read more
The MRes program is a full-time 1 year degree by research, and differs from an MSc in placing more importance on the research project. However, the MRes in Ecology is built on the strong foundation of the former MSc in Ecology which ran at Bangor for over 40 years and which has an excellent reputation in the UK and internationally, among employers and academics in the field. Many of them have been through the course at Bangor! This degree will equip you with confidence and competence in the latest research skills and allow you to apply for further research training (PhD) programmes or to directly apply for research positions in universities or research institutes. Note that this course title is subject to validation and the programme described here is currently running under the MRes in Natural Sciences degree.

Course Structure

The course is composed of a modular taught component (100 credits) and a research dissertation (80 credits). The taught component covers important generic skills such as literature searching, health and safety aspects, grant proposal writing, introduction to statistical manipulation of data (60 credits), as well as theoretical and practical skills in molecular ecology and evolutionary ecology (40 credits), including the opportunity for a tropical field course in Dominica, West Indies, or equivalent fieldwork locally.

What sort of projects would be available to me?

As a result of extensive national and international staff contacts, range of research topics and experience, students are often able to carry out their research projects in association with commercial consultancies, local councils, environmental organisations in the UK (eg the Environment Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, RSPB), government research institutes (eg Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and abroad (past projects have involved fieldwork in the West Indies, Africa, Maldives, and various European countries). We are situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and a rich variety of habitats are within easy reach. We also have excellent facilities for undertaking top quality research, such as the state-of-the art molecular ecology laboratories in the Environment Centre Wales (shared with the CEH Bangor), a purpose-built environmentally-friendly building that was opened by PM Gordon Brown in 2008. Topics on offer cover the whole range of ecology and include projects in both pure and applied research. Due to the extended nature of the MRes research project, a module on project planning precedes the start of their dissertation period, providing guidance and support for the development of their research project.

Projects offered in previous years include:

* Energetics and flight performance of homing pigeons
* Evolution, behaviour and ecology of tropical fish
* Investigating mimetic relationships in Amazonian Corydoras catfish
* Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of anacondas
* New approaches to the study of the evolution of venom genes in pitvipers
* Biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in low productivity coastal habitats
* Growth patterns and life history in migratory brown trout, Salmo trutta, in rivers around the Irish Sea
* Genetic basis of life history shifts in guppies

What sort of careers will this train me for?

As well as finding specific employment based on the specialist knowledge acquired during postgraduate training, your general employability will be enhanced by evidence of your ability to work independently, think analytically and innovatively, and ability to conceptualise and question. During your studies, you will also have the chance to develop essential professional skills such as good communication, teamwork and leadership skills and enhance your practical experience. Our past graduates (in MSc Ecology) have gone on to careers in research (both in academia and research institutes) as well as in commercial environmental consultancies, DEFRA, water authorities, landscape architects and many others.

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