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.
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:
Despite strong forces of globalisation, socialcultural sameness does not increase. Power tensions and violent conflicts continue to persist and even erupt.
To answer this question, we need an anthropological analysis of the relation between cultural diversity and power within the process of sociocultural transformation. The Master's programme Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation (CASTOR) equips you with the knowledge and skills to make this analysis.
This programme was rated in 2017 as the Best Master’s Programme out of a total of twelve MA programmes in anthropology and development studies.
This two-year Master has a strong international focus, and it introduces you to the complex interplay of cultural diversity and power in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. You’ll conduct ethnographic fieldwork abroad.
Several courses offer an interdisciplinary setting, in which you can explore topics that relate not only to anthropology, but also to other areas, such as political sociology, social justice, and psychology.
The Master's Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation prepares you for a research career, in academia (including further PhD training), in other research institutes or in private companies. On the foundation of your Bachelor’s degree, this Master’s programme trains you to operate as a qualified cultural anthropologist. As a science practitioner you'll develop the academic skills and knowledge necessary to initiate and develop groundbreaking research on the relationship between cultural diversity and power within the process of sociocultural transformation. Being educated at Utrecht University guarantees that you are equipped with a strong methodological basis.
If you wish to have a career that is less focused on research, then the Master's programme Cultural Anthropoloy: Sustainable Citizenship might interest you. The substantive focus of this programme is on citizenship in relation to a sustainable environment, while the Master's Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation focuses on issues of power, (violent) conflict and the state.
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.
Sustainability is one of the key concepts of our times, although a contested one. As the product of concerns about environmental degradation, climate alteration, rising socioeconomic inequalities, increasing mobility, and accelerated change, the term has many different meanings and imperatives: our lifeworlds must be environment-friendly, but also economically viable and socially equitable.
This Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship therefore departs from an integrated understanding. It focuses on the triangle of People, Planet, and Profit, pointing out that sustainability has not only an environmental meaning, yet also an economic and sociocultural one. As such, the programme seeks to understand how citizens worldwide are negotiating and restructuring their living environment to be safe and sustainable at the same time. It incorporates both local and global understandings of the concept of sustainability and, in doing so, scrutinizes various expressions of active citizenship in building sustainability around the world.
Anthropologists continually focus on cultural diversity and differences based on ethnicity, class, gender, age, and health. This Master’s programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to evaluate these facets of life and their interrelationships. During your studies, you will learn traditional anthropological methods and techniques (fieldwork, participatory observation, and qualitative interviews).
However, since anthropology is by definition engaged, you will move also toward engaged anthropology and explore collaborative ethnographic methods, such as participatory action research. In addition, you are introduced to related, innovative methodologies in, for example, the area of narrative and virtual ethnography, engaging in cutting-edge combinations of aesthetics, digital media, and ethnography. You will also discuss ethical dilemmas and your own social responsibility as an anthropologist.
The programme offers you a comprehensive learning environment with an international and comparative perspective. You will have the opportunity to go abroad for your field research and research internship, and you can attend seminars of the research group Sovereignty and Social Contestation, to which international researchers and lecturers are regularly invited. This Master’s programme is offered through the Department of Cultural Anthropology.
We offer an intellectually stimulating programme with a variety of work methods, in which you will be challenged to think critically about important and socially relevant themes, to formulate and to share your own arguments. You will formulate a research question that you will develop in a Master’s thesis using the theoretical knowledge acquired in the course modules and the empirical data that you gathered during fieldwork or a research internship.
We expect an active contribution from students in the form of discussions, book reviews, papers and presentations. When preparing for the research, you will work on the research proposal in a tutorial group.
Research locations will be selected in consultation with the supervisor, with a large number of students conducting research in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe (including the Netherlands).
This Master’s degree programme will train you to work as an academic professional. Along with classic methods and skills, the programme allows you to acquire applied and practice-focused skills, enabling you to flexibly switch between or integrate scientific theory and anthropological professional practice. Take a look at the portraits of our graduates for a better idea of the career prospects.
Do you want to pursue a career as a scientific researcher? If so, the Master’s programme Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation might be a better fit for your goals. This programme concentrates on the issue of power and (violent) conflict versus the state, while the Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship focuses on citizenship in relation to a sustainable living environment.