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.
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.
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.
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.
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