• University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Regent’s University London Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Glasgow Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Leeds Beckett University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of York Featured Masters Courses
Middlesex University Featured Masters Courses
University of Greenwich Featured Masters Courses
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Featured Masters Courses
Leeds Beckett University Featured Masters Courses
Cardiff University Featured Masters Courses

MSc Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology

Course Description

In this new MSc degree, the first of its kind anywhere in Europe, we tackle these and other issues from an anthropological perspective, looking at the social and cultural dimensions of human experience. By engaging with debates on these important topics and through the examination of world ethnography (including the UK), participants will learn about selfhood, emotion, madness and identity in cultural context.

This MSc aims to give candidates a solid grounding in key topics in psychological and psychiatric anthropology. Through detailed consideration of cases from Britain and around the world, we explore the ways in which person, emotion, and subjectivity are shaped through cultural practices. Candidates from backgrounds in health, therapy, social work and psychology will be able to challenge the categories and assumptions inherent in standard approaches to psychological and behavioural issues.

Course content: Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular module of interest will be running in their year of entry. At the time of printing modules were drawn fro the following areas:

Compulsory Modules: Themes in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology ; Ethnographic Research Methods Parts 1 and 2
Optional Modules: Anthropology of Education & Learning; Anthropology of Childhood and Youth; Medical Anthropology in Clinical & Community Settings; Anthropology of Biomedicine and Psychiatry, Anthropology & Global Health; Kinship and New Directions in Anthropology; Anthropology of the Body ; Anthropology of the Person
Anthropology of Disability and Difference
Plus two unassessed reading modules: History and Theory of Social Anthropology; Issues in Social Anthropology .

Assessment is by essay, practical assignment (eg analysis of a short field exercise), and a final 15,000 word dissertation.

Here is what some of our former students have to say:

Eileen: "When I started the MSc in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology I did not realize that I was embarking on a course that was to alter my life. My background was in Nursing (General and Psychiatry-specializing in Adolescent Mental Health) and I had just completed a first degree in Anthropology in Ireland. All of these experiences, coupled with travelling as much as I could, had left me with a feeling that somehow there was something missing in my life - both personal and academic. Though my path is still somewhat uncertain, the experience of doing the MSc has given a meaning and a depth to my life that I would not have thought possible.

I commuted every week from Dublin for lectures on Wednesday and Thursday in Brunel while continuing to work fulltime as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Though this was tiring it was the highlight of my week. The academic focus on emotion, identity, and psychological and psychiatric processes brought together my previous study and experience while encouraging me to think in new ways. This is essential in my area of work if one is to respond to the changing needs of families attending the clinic.

My thesis project was 'Personal, Social and Sexual identity amongst and between women in Cairo'. This was greatly supported by my supervisor Dr Andrew Beatty. Despite, as yet, speaking little Arabic, I was welcomed into mosques, hammams, and family homes in Cairo. I was privileged to be included in many intimate conversations and personal scenes.

Though at present I remain in my previous line of work, the experience of the MSc, fieldwork in Cairo, beginning Arabic and spending last summer in a refugee camp in Palestine working with children who are experiencing trauma every day of their lives, has allowed me to see the endless possibilities that open up from taking such a course. (See pictures below)

All of this would not have been possible without the absolute dedication and amazing knowledge and experience of the academic staff. That they were always available to answer questions and talk over ideas, no matter how small we felt they were, meant a lot. It encouraged one to pursue a connection with the world of anthropology. Whether that is just by ongoing reading, a different way of thinking and being in the world, or as I plan, to undertake a PhD or by travelling as I did to Palestine and experiencing the privilege of sharing a way of life and forming life long connections from this, the path of anthropology and the doors and possibilities are endless. They add so much to one’s daily life that I would have to say that taking part in the MSc in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology is the best move I have ever made."

Fatima: "I chose this Masters because of its structure – the range of modules and the opportunity to conduct fieldwork abroad impressed me. The fieldwork experience has challenged me to reflect and question my approach to the subject. Furthermore, the main advantages of my MSc studies are the solid research skills, as well as the prestige of doing a Master's in one of the best UK Universities.

The academic staff in the Department are regarded as world leaders in their field. They presented anthropology in a way which was both inspiring and thought provoking. Even the most eminent professors will take the time to discuss research with postgraduates and the help is invaluable.

I also found the lunch time seminars particularly beneficial as they are a great way to meet other postgraduate students and to exchange experiences. I’d advise prospective students to embrace the 'whole' experience as you only get out of it what you put in and if you’re prepared to get involved, the MSc in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology is brilliant!

My postgraduate degree at Brunel has caught employers' interest and, in terms of a career, the opportunities are endless. I am currently working in Mental Health in Karachi and hope to secure enough funding for a PhD."

Visit the MSc Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate Academic Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The scholarship is available for PGT courses at Brunel starting from September 2013 and focuses on two key audiences, namely high calibre prospective PG students and our alumni who wish to undertake further postgraduate study at Brunel. It is available to both Home/ EU and International students.In order to attract high calibre students and encourage them to undertake postgraduate study we intend to offer a discount of 15% off the fees for anyone who has obtained a first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.Whilst Brunel has always offered a reduction in PG fees for Brunel alumni we intend to further incentivise Brunel students to take up postgraduate education by increasing the discount to 15%.

Value of Scholarship(s)

15% of tuition fee


A first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.

Application Procedure


Further Information



The Brunel International Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The Brunel International Scholarship is an annual award scheme designed to promote talent and encourage excellence in scholars coming to Brunel from around the globe. Partial scholarships are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been offered a place on a full-time course at Brunel. Please refer to the International Scholarship web pages for more details.

Value of Scholarship(s)

15% of tuition fees


Academic excellence.

Application Procedure


Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a good Honours degree from a UK institution; equivalent overseas qualification; or equivalent professional qualification (eg from a health background or similar)

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Brunel University London

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X