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Course content

Course overview

  • Question taken-for-granted assumptions and view the world from a new perspective
  • Put your interest in studying distinctive research methods and ethical positions into practice
  • Benefit from a course offering personalised and specialist supervision

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500 
  • International students (per annum): £18,500
  • MA (part-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750 
  • International students (per annum): £9,250
  • PGDip (full-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £6,334 
  • International students (per annum): £12,334
  • PGDip (part-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £3,167 
  • International students (per annum): £6,167

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Scholarships/sponsorships

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and merit awards to outstanding applicants and international students.

In addition, the Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .

Entry requirements

English language

  • IELTS - overall score of 7, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section.
  • TOEFL code for Manchester is 0757

Scores are valid for 2 years.

For students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, your test score is valid for 2 years preceding the course start date.

Please note that CAS statements are issued only when all conditions of the offer have been satisfied, PDF copy of passport received and the offer accepted.

Applicants from certain countries MAY be exempt from having to provide an IELTS or TOEFL score. For further advice please email 

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply here

Advice to applicants

Due to high demand for this course, we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year, as follows:  

  • 7 January (decision by 15 February, accept offer by 15 March)
  • 1 March (decision by 8 April, accept offer by 8 May)
  • 1 May (decision by 1 June, accept offer by 1 July)

If we make you an offer, you will have approximately 4 weeks in which to accept (conditional and un-conditional offers). Any offers not accepted by the deadline will be withdrawn so that an offer can be made to another candidate.

All conditional offer holders will have until 1 August to satisfy the conditions of their offer.

Please note: 

  • all places are subject to availability and if you apply for one of the later dates, some courses may already be closed, we recommend that you apply early in the cycle to secure your place with us;
  • meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer;
  • if you are a current undergraduate student at the University of Manchester, you may be eligible to apply via the 'Fast-Track' scheme, email  for further information;
  • international applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK can obtain up-to-date information on the latest student visa advice and guidelines;
  • For a copy of the Postgraduate prospectus, email  .

Teaching and learning

In each semester, you take two 15-credit core course units, and a selection of optional units that you select shortly after arrival. Many optional units are worth 15 credits, though some are worth 30 credits. In total, you are required to achieve 120 coursework credits. Over the summer vacation, you are required to write a dissertation which is worth a further 60 credits.

In total, some 50 optional units are available, not only in social anthropology but in a broad range of other disciplines across the Faculty of Humanities, including:

  • visual anthropology;
  • archaeology;
  • museum studies;
  • Latin American studies;
  • development studies;
  • history;
  • sociology; and
  • Drama.

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

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory units and then select your optional units 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.

Coursework and assessment

Most units are assessed by means of an extended assessment essay. Typically, for 15 credit units, these will be 4000 words, whilst for 30 credit courses, they are normally 6000 words.

Certain options involving practical instruction in research methods, audio-visual media or museum display may also be assessed by means of presentations and/or portfolios of practical work. In addition, all MA students are required to write a 15,000 word dissertation.

Career opportunities

The MA Social Anthropology course trains students in a broad range of transferable skills that are useful in many walks of life, including social research methods and the ethics associated with these, effective essay-writing, oral presentational skills in seminars and other contexts, basic computing skills, using the internet as a research tool and conducting bibliographic research.

Past graduates of the MA in Social Anthropology have gone on to many different careers both inside and outside academic life. As it is a 'conversion' course aimed at those who want to explore anthropology after undergraduate studies in another field, or at least within a different anthropological tradition, it often represents a major change of career direction, opening up a wide range of different possibilities.


Visit the MA Social Anthropology page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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