Masters degrees in Social and Cultural Anthropology explore human relationships at the interpersonal level, analysing the organising principles of social life that govern individual behaviour. Issues include kinship, religion, and belief systems. Courses may also explore language systems, traditions, and material creations.
Specialisms related to this subject include Anthropology of Travel and Tourism, Development Anthropology and Psychological Anthropology. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate qualification in a relevant subject such as Sociology, Anthropology or Cultural Studies.
Degrees in this field explore sociological systems at all levels of human interaction, from the family unit to wider social structures. Your course may either be highly academic, or highly vocational, depending on where your interests lie.
Careers for Anthropology postgraduates may include positions in human resource management, political and government agencies, urban planning and health organisations, marketing and market research, international and public relations, as well as roles in non-profit organisations, or social care.
Research at PhD level is highly sought after in this field, as ever-changing policies on the way countries and institutions are governed impacts human social responses. Your Masters could therefore be excellent preparation for further study.
This MSc provides a thorough grounding in anthropological theory and analysis, an understanding of ethnographic approaches to the study of social worlds, and a strong foundation in research practices. Flexible in its structure, the programme enhances students’ employability by focusing also on the interface between anthropological research and professional practices.
The programme aims to develop knowledge and understanding of major theoretical, ethnographic and methodological debates in social anthropology. Students develop an understanding of human cultural worlds through in-depth historical study, gain knowledge of specific societies and specialist approaches, and enhance their independent research skills through practical training in research methods.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 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. It includes a research seminar series with invited speakers. Assessment is through unseen examination, essays, and the research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social and Cultural Anthropology MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent students on the course have pursued careers in fields including government, business, development, social research and consultancy, and the media, as well as in academia as professional anthropologists.
Recent career destinations for this degree
In addition to the analytical, interpretative and writing skills honed by its core academic training, the course includes a unique orientation towards the interface between anthropological research and professional practice, allowing students to focus on the anthropology of professions including medicine, development, education, the law, the creative industries. Our close co-operation with UCL’s bespoke careers services, provides opportunities for internships and placements during the programme or following its completion.
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. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise.
Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.
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.
How do people interpret natural disasters and which role does power play in that context? How does mining transform women’s understanding of sexuality and intimacy? How do diaspora organisations affect the development arena? How do people deal with violence and its consequences? The questions are many and complex.
In the first stage, you are confronted with general questions such as "What is culture?" and "What is identity?". You will study many forms of human agency and consider different ways in which people across the world deal with social problems.
During this first stage, you start developing your own research by looking for a topic and supervisor, developing a research focus and preparing empirical research to support your final master's thesis.
You will deepen and further develop your research skills in the second stage of the programme while conducting research for your master's thesis and participating in the Research Seminar.
Experienced professors and early-career researchers of the faculty's research units (IARA & IMMRC) will introduce you to the most recent developments in anthropology. Your own research interests and focus will inform your choice of electives to round out your programme.
Are you eager to broaden your horizons by completing part of your studies abroad? As an anthropology student you can choose to conduct empirical research - fieldwork - in Belgium, another country, or both.
In the second stage, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a (non-)European university within the context of the Erasmus exchange programme. The Faculty has agreements with universities in and outside of Europe and also offers various summer schools.
If you are interested in researching social change or development, you can organise fieldwork and an Erasmus exchange within the framework of the European Certificate in Anthropology of Social Dynamics and Development.
Through empirical research, social and cultural anthropology investigates the differences and similarities between cultures. Thus it wants to shed light on the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape society. This master programme wants to both introduce and specialize students into this fascinating domain. This double goal is reflected in the programme's structure. The latter further emphasises
A graduate in the Master of Science in Social and Cultural Anthropology is capable of designing and carrying out original research and communicating its findings. Also, s/he has the ability to critically evaluate existing research. To this purpose, s/he has a solid and active knowledge of anthropological methods and techniques, of the existing cultural and ethnological diversity and of past and current anthropological paradigms, themes and theories.
Graduates of anthropology find employment in numerous areas including:
The objective of this programme is to communicate an anthropologically-informed understanding of social life in both Western and non-Western societies. By confronting students with the remarkable diversity of human social and cultural experience, its aim is to encourage them to question taken-for-granted assumptions and to view the world from a new perspective.
Through a set of core modules, comprising about a third of coursework credits, students are provided with a comprehensive grounding in classical as well as contemporary debates in social anthropology and are introduced to the distinctive research methods and ethical positions associated with the discipline. Students then complete their coursework credits by choosing from a broad range of modules offered around the Faculty of Humanities.
Through these options, students apply the social anthropological theories and methods learnt on the core modules to particular substantive themes and topics. Diploma students complete their coursework in May and formally graduate in July. Over the summer vacation, MA students carry out research for a 15,000 word dissertation that is submitted in September. They then would normally expect to graduate formally in December.
Most of the coursework optional modules have been organized into pathways based on particular themes and topics. If they wish, students are able, on the basis of past experience and/or future goals, to select a pathway shortly after registration in consultation with the programme director. MA students' dissertation topics will normally also relate to this pathway. In total, there are currently 5 pathways.
However, please note that it is not compulsory to select a pathway and all students will be awarded the same degree, an MA in Social Anthropology
In each semester, students take two 15-credit core modules, and a selection of optional modules that they select shortly after arrival. Many optional modules are worth 15 credits, though some are worth 30 credits. In total, students are required to achieve 120 coursework credits. Over the summer vacation, students are required to write a dissertation which is worth a further 60 credits.
In total, some 50 optional modules 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. Drawing on this broad range of disciplines, a number of pathways have been devised in order to maximize the academic and timetabling coherence of the options chosen by students. However students are not obliged to select one of these pathways and, provided the course director and tutor are in agreement, may follow their own 'customized' selection of modules.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON PART-TIME STUDY
Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.
You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules 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
Most modules are assessed by means of an extended assessment essay. Typically, for 15 credit modules, these must be of 4000 words, whilst for 30 credit courses, they are normally of 6000 words. Certain options involving practical instruction in research methods, audiovisual 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.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
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.
About 20% of our graduates carry on to do a doctorate, be it here or elsewhere. But the MA in Social Anthropology also represents a very appropriate preparation for careers in which an informed awareness of the implications of social and cultural diversity are important. Some past students have been drawn to the voluntary sector, either in the UK or with development agencies overseas, others have gone on to work in the media or cultural industries or in education at many different levels. Others again have found opportunities in business or the civil service, where ethnography-based methods are increasingly popular as a way of finding out how people - from consumers to employees - interact with their everyday worlds.
The MA in Social Anthropology also 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.
The MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics is an interdisciplinary programme in anthropology, directed at students from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social and political sciences, artists, and professionals in the media and cultural sectors.
The objective of the MA is to address contemporary issues in culture and politics from an anthropological perspective, drawing on the commitment of the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths to build a public anthropology.
The MA is organised around a critical investigation of the central thematic concepts of its title: 'culture', 'power', and 'politics', as well as 'anthropology' itself.
Each of these terms are posited in this programme as questions for critical reflection and students are encouraged to pursue independent research projects that investigate the meanings attributed to these terms in contemporary social contexts.
The programme is particularly interested in the intersections of 'culture' and 'power', and the consideration of what may be called 'cultural politics'.
In addition to the core modules, options can be selected from several departments and centres.
The MA is made up of:
*Students who have a first degree in anthropology can replace Anthropological Theory with an additional option module.
Dissertation – a thorough critical discussion of existing knowledge in a relevant area; reports; take-home papers. Options may require a presentation or production of visual material.
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
The programme is great preparation for any role that involves research and communication. Graduates have pursued opportunities in journalism, other media, policy, education and public debate; they have also gone on to research degrees, either at Goldsmiths or elsewhere.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
As a social anthropologist you gain understanding in the cultural life of a wide range of social activities across communities and society. Many alumni have gone to work in a range of top universities in the world and in other organisations including governments and museums, and the programme allows you to take a range of skills with you to these organisations, public sector, third sector and to PhD level where you could lecture, research and publish your own findings.
The MRes in Social Anthropology, Ethnology and Cultural History (SAnECH) is the principal gateway programme for carrying out doctoral-level anthropological research at the University of Aberdeen, as well as a stand-alone Masters programme in its own right. Combining taught skills courses with lively and innovative seminar forums for staff and students, this programme will allow you to develop both your research goals and the means to achieve them. The Anthropology group at Aberdeen provide world class research expertise that combines a genuinely global focus with an established track record of research on Scotland and the Circumpolar North.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out more from the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs