Masters degrees in Anthropology explore the development of humans and their societies. This discipline uses a diverse range of methodologies to address core questions about what it means – and has meant – to be human.
Social and Cultural Anthropology focuses on the functioning of societies, languages and customs in different cultural and historical contexts. Physical and Biological Anthropology is more concerned with the development of the human species.
Programmes may be taught or research-based (with the opportunity to carry out interesting independent fieldwork). MA, MSc, MRes and MPhil degrees are available, depending on the content and focus of a given course.
As courses which ask - and answer - fundamental questions about human identity and behaviour, these programmes have a wide range of career applications. Your experience and understanding will be valuable in any profession which benefits from an understanding of people, their needs and their experiences.
Potential career paths include everything from town planning and community development to international politics and diplomacy; from education to corporate training and development.
You'll also develop an impressive suite of transferable skills, able to undertake both qualitative and quantitative analysis and to present your findings sensitively and persuasively.
Information in these tables is based on the 2014/15 publication of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey, produced by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. Data is given for graduates of UK Masters degrees and other level 7 postgraduate courses, after 3.5 years. Some figures have been rounded.
This Economic and Social Research Council approved MA provides training in research methods with a focus on methods used by researchers in anthropology. At the end of this course, you will be well-prepared to go on to do research in Anthropology or a related discipline. Most students expect to move on to a PhD. The course includes training in qualitative and quantitative methods needed by researchers in social sciences and draws on expertise within the Department of Anthropology to provide specialised training in either sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, the anthropology of development or cultural evolution (depending on your chosen pathway). It is affiliated to the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership, which offers funding to British and European Union students interested in taking the course preparatory to moving on to a PhD at Durham.
The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete a dissertation in September. This is often a pilot project for a PhD project.
Students take core modules on qualitative and quantitative methods. Further modules are chosen from within each specialist pathway.
The programme is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars 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 hours. They 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 8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week and are also expected to attend weekly departmental seminars and research group seminars (hosted by our Social Anthropology Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/socialanthropology, our Anthropology of Health Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/health and our Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group http://www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/research/evolutionary, depending on their particular interests. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also 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 their 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. Students work closely with leading academics (usually their expected PhD supervisors) 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 make provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival, we have induction sessions, including field trip, and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Degree Tutor for the MA. Students also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.
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.
This MSc aims to provide sufficient knowledge of advanced medically related anthropology to enable students to utilise anthropological approaches in a range of research and professional roles. We train students in theoretical and applied aspects of the field, preparing them for careers that engage with and impact real-world contexts.
Students new to social science develop an understanding of a social science approach to the experience of illness and health, and gain skills required in social anthropological field research and analysis. For students with previous social science training, the programme focuses on the dimensions particular to medical anthropology.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core module (45 credits), optional modules in three distinct fields (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, small-group presentations and discussion, tutorials, laboratory and practical work, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, and video film and web based courses. Assessment is through one examination, two essays, optional module requirements and the research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Medical Anthropology MSc
Medical Anthropology is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field and graduates of our programme have gone on to develop exciting careers in academia, clinical services, social services, government, and non-governmental organisations.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Our approach is broad and open-minded, encompassing analysis of diversity issues in clinical practice, critical medical anthropology, psychology/psychiatry, social impact of genetic technologies, demographics, ethics, and studies of traditional healing. UCL is ranked fifth in the QS World University Rankings and our students benefit from a wealth of resources.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. UCL Medical Anthropology at UCL integrates interpretive, critical and applied perspectives.
Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercises and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. We are also one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK, offering a breadth of expertise.
Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology
68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Fusing Goldsmiths' academic excellence and professional training from the Horniman Museum, the MA in Anthropology & Museum Practice provides you with a uniquely comprehensive set of skills.
This degree draws on expertise in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, in partnership with The Horniman Museum and Gardens, to deliver a unique opportunity to develop both your academic knowledge and practical professional skills.
Whether you're a mid-career professional looking to expand your subject expertise in anthropology, or an anthropologist looking to move into the museum sector, the course will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to be a confident, knowledgeable and professional practitioner in the anthropology and museum sector.
Goldsmiths' partnership with the Horniman provides a unique opportunity to gain practical skills from museum professionals working with a world-renowned anthropology collection. The collection is currently undergoing a major redisplay involving an extensive three-year development of the museum's gallery spaces. This exciting project is due to be completed in spring 2018, allowing students to learn from the transformation and the extensive collection of artefacts.
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Charlotte Joy
You'll study the following modules:
Optional module/s (30 credits)
You have the opportunity to tailor your studies and gain further specialist knowledge through your own choice of either one or two optional modules. These can be chosen from the wide range of options offered by departments across Goldsmiths, or from another University of London institution.
If you haven’t studied anthropology previously, you’ll also have the opportunity to audit the Masters-level Introduction to Social Anthropology module, which will enable you to hit the ground running with a solid grounding in the subject.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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***
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
This course provides you with a unique opportunity to develop both your academic and practical skills in anthroplogy and museum practice. This combination will provide you with an excellent grounding for a career in museum and anthropology work. This could include roles such as:
Professionally validated by the National Youth Agency, this programme brings together community development and youth work practice with the research methods and theoretical preoccupations of anthropology.
This programme is fully endorsed by the National Youth Agency for pay and qualification purposes.
This MA is the first of its kind in the country, combining academic and professional qualifications. It is aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in youth and community work and who need a professional qualification.
Established in 1992, it is the first of three pathways, with an additional MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Development launched in 2012 and an MA in Applied Anthropology and Community Arts launched in 2015. The three pathways entail different placements but are taught together, providing much opportunity for exchange of ideas and collaboration amongst students.
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Pauline von Hellermann (Department of Anthropology)or Dr Kalbir Shukra (Department of Social and Therapeutic Studies)
The MA combines an academic programme of lectures, seminars and tutorial assignments with practical experience.
Modules are taken over one academic year if you are studying full-time, and two years if you are studying part-time (part-time study only available to home/EU students).
Full-time students attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the rest of the week on fieldwork placements and library studies.
Part-time students attend on Thursdays in one year and Tuesdays in the other and spend some of the week on fieldwork placements and library studies
The Department of Anthropology teaches two of the core components of your degree: Contemporary Social Issues and Anthropological Research Methods.
In addition we strongly encourage all students, in particular those without a background in anthropology, to sit in on other MA option courses offered by the anthropology department, such as Anthropological Theory, Anthropology of Development, Anthropology of Violence, Anthropology of Art and Anthropology and the Environment.
The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies runs the three fieldwork modules, which involve placements that, are supported by seminars, lectures, workshops and tutorials.
This MA pathway entails a total of 400 hours. This is divided between 20 hours of observations and 380 hours of placements, consisting of three placements with at least two different organisations. The accompanying teaching is divided into three modules.
All three modules are currently assessed by an essay, documents completed by the student in relation to the placement and community development national occupational standards learning, a report by the placement supervisor and a fieldwork contract form.
The final placement also involves an assessment of the observations. Overall, at least 200 hours of all fieldwork must be face-to-face with the 11 - 25 year age group.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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:
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.
The MA in Anthropology and Development is an advanced degree in socio-cultural anthropology with a particular emphasis on the Critical Anthropology of Development. During their studies students shall be provided with a sophisticated introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of socio-cultural anthropology, together with a block of modules that open up and explore the conceptual and methodological core of the discipline, and a series of specialised modules in the Critical Anthropology of Development. Students are also asked to write a thesis in the Anthropology of Development. This Masters programme is primarily a scholarly degree that aims to equip students for later doctoral research or for work in third sector roles that demand academic social-scientific knowledge or the particular skills of trained ethnographic researchers.
Students take a total of 90 credits over 1 year.
Compulsory Modules (70 credits)
AN651 Social Thought (10 credits)
AN653 Writing Cultures (10 credits)
AN649 Foundations of Anthropology & Development (5 credits)
AN652 Key Concepts in Anthropology (10 credits)
AN669 Topics in Anthropology & Development (5 credits)
AN634T Thesis (30 credits)
Optional Modules (subject to availability)
AN646 Foundations of Linguistic Anthropology (5 credits)
AN647 Foundations of Medical Anthropology (5 credits)
AN648 Foundations of Material Culture and Design (5 credits)
AN862 Ethnography Winter School (5 credits)
AN657 Ethnographic Ireland (5 credits)
AN630 Creole Culture (5 credits)
AN666 Topics in Linguistic Anthropology (5 credits)
AN667 Topics in Medical Anthropology (5 credits)
AN668 Topics in Material Culture & Design (5 credits)
PD606 Design Ethnography (7.5 credits)
GY621 Dublin Urban Laboratory (10 credits)
GY619 Public Engagement Research and Practice (10 credits)
GY627 Places, Landscapes, Mappings (10 credits)
Students complete an intensive course of four 6-week compulsory modules in anthropological theory (10 credits each) alongside four compulsory modules in Anthropology and Development (5 credits each), as well as two Saturday workshops. Students develop a proposal for a research project during the taught year in consultation with a member of the anthropology faculty, who will advise the student and mark the project. In the summer, students register for the 30-credit Thesis, which must be completed by early September.
An anthropology degree provides an excellent preparation for a wide variety of fields in both public and private sectors, and is an especially good foundation for an international career. Anthropology has become increasingly important as a job skill in the context of globalisation, where a deeper understanding of cultural difference is crucial, both locally and internationally. Our graduates go on to employment in a wide variety of careers in community work, education, the health professions, product design, international aid and development projects, NGO work, business and administration, and more.