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Anthropology×

Masters Degrees in Social & Cultural Anthropology

We have 213 Masters Degrees in Social & Cultural Anthropology

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.

Why study a Masters in Social & Cultural Anthropology?

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The degree is suitable for students with an interest in anthropological approaches to diverse aspects of tourism as a cultural force in the contemporary world, from sustainable development to cultural heritage. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The degree is suitable for students with an interest in anthropological approaches to diverse aspects of tourism as a cultural force in the contemporary world, from sustainable development to cultural heritage. Our students come from all over the world, following BA study, a masters degree in another field, or work and travel experience. This combination of diverse backgrounds and skills creates a uniquely stimulating intellectual environment. Many of our graduates go on to a PhD; others pursue careers in research and consulting; NGOs; museums and other cultural institutions; travel-writing; alternative tourism enterprises; and government agencies.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-of-travel-and-tourism/

Programme Overview

The SOAS MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism enables students to pursue specialist interests in global voluntary mobility while gaining advanced training in social and cultural anthropology in a world-leading department. Combining a rigorous set of core courses with options to suit each student’s unique interests, the programme is designed to accommodate students with or without a prior degree in Social Anthropology.

Students will develop expertise in anthropological theory and practice; learn to undertake ethnographic research; and gain comprehensive grounding in the anthropological study of travel and tourism, including issues of development, political economy, cultural change, heritage, cross-cultural encounter, representation and meaning, space and place, commodification, and interconnections between diverse histories and cultures of travel worldwide.

Tourism is not only a culturally and historically shaped form of travel, but a complex social field that spans the globe, comprised of diverse actors, institutions, activities, and modes of interaction that overlap with and cross-cross other forms of global interconnection. As a whole, it comprises the world's largest industry and the single greatest peacetime factor moving people around the globe.

Both a manifestation and a medium of globalisation, tourism has profound significance in multiple realms of human life—economic, environmental, material, social, and cultural. This makes it an ideal lens through which to explore core themes in contemporary social anthropology, such as identity and alterity, political economy, development, heritage, locality, representation, imagination, commodification, and the global circulation of people, objects, ideas, images, and capital.

The MA programme draws upon:

- the emerging body of theoretically sophisticated, ethnographically rich work involving tourism and travel;

- a thorough grounding in the history and contemporary theoretical trends of social-cultural anthropology;

- close engagement with noted and rising scholars in the field, via the programme's Colloquium Series in the Anthropology of Tourism and Travel, as well as opportunities for informal dialogue with visiting anthropologists and sociologists of tourism;

- other areas of expertise in the Department of Anthropology, including anthropology of development, migration and diaspora, museums and material culture, anthropology of food, global religious movements, anthropology of media, human rights, and anthropology of globalisation;

- the unparalleled concentration of area expertise among SOAS' academic staff, covering Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, together with their diasporas;

- the opportunity to engage with numerous other units at SOAS, such as the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, the Food Studies Centre, and the Centre for Media Studies, among many others; and

- the vibrant intellectual and cultural life of the School, the University of London, and the city of London itself—a global tourist destination inviting study on a daily basis.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Director of Studies, Dr Naomi Leite, at an early stage of their application in order to seek advice on the most appropriate options for study.

View a sampling of past MA dissertation titles (http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-of-travel-and-tourism/ma-anthropology-of-travel-tourism-dissertations.html)

View profiles of alumni and current students (http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-of-travel-and-tourism/student-profiles.html)

Language Study

Beginning in 2016-27, the MA programme will also be available as a 2- or 4-year (full- or part-time) MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism with Intensive Study of Arabic, Japanese, or Korean (other languages likely to be added). For information, contact Director of Studies Dr Naomi Leite.

All SOAS MA students, regardless of department or degree, are entitled to register for one language course for free through our Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). This course is additional to your regular syllabus and is not for credit. Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others are often offered. You must sign up before instruction begins and space fills quickly. Learn more and reserve your place here: Language Entitlement Programme (http://www.soas.ac.uk/languagecultures/studentinfo/language-entitlement-programme/)

Email:

Programme Structure

The SOAS MA in the Anthropology of Travel and Tourism is designed to offer students a chance to pursue specialist interests via a considered selection of courses to suit their individual needs. It provides:

1. a broad-based MA programme for students with some background in issues of tourism/travel who wish to enhance their knowledge in light of contemporary anthropological research.

2. a special-interest MA which will enable students to study topics involving tourism/travel in-depth, in relation to a specific theoretical approach or region.

The programme consists of four units, comprised of a combination of full-year (1 unit) and half-year (.5 unit) courses.

Teaching & Learning

The learning environments making up the MA programme in Anthropology of Travel and Tourism run the gamut from lecture halls to intimate seminar rooms, suiting a wide range of learning styles. Study a language; take a course (or two) in anthropology of human rights, development, globalisation, religion, or gender, among many others; choose a course in another department that catches your interest and contributes to your dissertation plans, from world music to development studies.

The academic staff in the Department of Anthropology are dynamic, experienced teachers who are widely recognised for their expertise and enjoy working directly with students. Renowned scholars from other institutions also come to share their knowledge: nearly every day of the week, the SOAS Anthropology Department has a public lecture series running, including series in the general Social Anthropology, Anthropology of Food, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and, of course, Anthropology of Tourism and Travel.

In addition to these formal settings for learning, our students also learn from one another. Hailing from around the globe and bringing diverse life experiences to bear on their studies, all MA students in the Department of Anthropology can take courses together, making it a rich environment for intellectual exchange. Students also benefit from campus-wide programmes, clubs, study groups, and performances.

Many students in the MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism opt for hands-on learning via the half-unit Directed Practical Study in Anthropology of Tourism course, with placements in leading UK-based NGOs like Equality in Tourism and Tourism Concern, among others, as well as in private tour operator firms, providing background material for future research.

While students in the MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism may take a language course for credit, all SOAS MA students, regardless of department or degree, are also entitled to register for non-credit free courses in a single language through the Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Destinations

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (https://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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A wide range of students with different interests and backgrounds come to this programme from world over in order to explore why media matter. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

A wide range of students with different interests and backgrounds come to this programme from world over in order to explore why media matter. They are highly qualified with very diverse international interests. It is particularly suitable for:

- Students with a degree in media or cultural studies
- Students with a degree in the social sciences or humanities wishing to acquire a broad understanding of media and cultural studies with special reference to Asia or Africa
- People with professional experience in film, television, journalism, advertising or public relations
- Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist media-related topics along with regional or language-based study
- Students without a previous degree in Anthropology looking for an MA conversion degree to serve as a qualification for pursuing a further research degree in anthropology

Our world is inescapably and continuously transformed through a proliferation of media. The MA in Anthropology of Media at SOAS takes up the challenge of understanding how and why media matter. The programme uniquely combines anthropology, media and cultural studies with specific regional expertise in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It provides students with critical skills, research methods, a wide-ranging understanding of media and the opportunity to pursue original research projects. The MA in Anthropology and Media is the first and still the only programme in Europe that specialises in bringing together contemporary anthropological concerns with media and cultural studies.

The MA in Anthropology of Media is a recent and rapidly growing field within the larger academic discipline of Anthropology. It both incorporates and challenges the well-established anthropological concerns with visual culture and ethnographic film through a more extensive examination of contemporary media practices. Along with the parallel disciplines of media and cultural studies, Anthropology of Media is now widely recognized as playing an increasingly important and critical role in current debates about media. It provides an alternative approach, which puts the emphasis upon studying the multiple relationships between people and media and thus seeks to anthropologise media and cultural studies. More than just focussing on media texts or technology, Anthropology of Media is marked by the centrality of people and how they relate to media.

The SOAS programme in Anthropology of Media is designed to provide a detailed introduction to the study of media in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and their diasporas. We also use the theoretical and methodological contributions of Anthropology to build upon and challenge Euro-American media and cultural studies. The programme stresses ethnographic approaches to media as cultural practices in social and political contexts where people inhabit, create and engage with media worlds.

Special Features

The Department cultivates several specialist strengths which distinguish it from other anthropology departments in the UK. The most obvious of these is that all members of the Department are specialists on Africa and Asia. Particular attention is given to teaching and researching regional ethnographic areas of expertise. All staff members are simultaneously attached as anthropologists to this Department and as regional specialists to their appropriate regional studies centre within the School.

SOAS also offers strong interdisciplinary support for the study of media including the Centre for Media and Film Studies and a highly regarded Department of Music. We have a dedicated multi-media suite, a radio station and satellite access to a wide range of world television. Further, the Library houses a major collection of books and journals on world media as well as extensive audio-visual materials.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/maanthofmedia/

Programme Overview

The programme consists of four units in total: three units of taught examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words. Some courses may be taught in other departments in the school.

Core Courses:
- Comparative Media Studies - 15 PAN C009 (1.0 unit).

- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Anthropology of Media and the candidate’s supervisor.

- Additionally all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.

Foundation Course:
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit). This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.

Option Courses:
- The remaining unit(s) of your programme, either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may then be selected from the Option Courses list below.

- Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.

- However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department. No more than 1 unit in total of these courses may be selected.

- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 119kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/maanthofmedia/file39767.pdf

Destinations

A Masters in the Anthropology of Media at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will endow students with specialist understanding of producers, audiences, and other cultural and social aspects of mass media. 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.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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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. Read more
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.

Course detail

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.

Suitability

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.

Careers

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.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Postgraduate Open Evenings

You’ll be able to have one-to-one discussions with academics and current students. You can also attend specialist subject talks and take a tour of our campus.

Book now: http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/openevenings/

Webinars

Our webinars give you an opportunity to hear and ask questions about the subject you’re interested in studying. We also cover topics such as making an application, Tier 4 Visa entry, fees and funding, scholarships, accommodation options as well as career related information.

Book now: https://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/webinars/

How to apply

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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120 credits’ worth of modules, taken over eight months exactly the same as the MRes, and a written examination, plus a further twelve months preparing a 40,000-word thesis. Read more

MPhil programmes

120 credits’ worth of modules, taken over eight months exactly the same as the MRes, and a written examination, plus a further twelve months preparing a 40,000-word thesis.
If you have an advanced background in Social Anthropology you may be permitted to enrol directly into the second year of the MPhil and receive the degree solely from the 40,000-word thesis.

Features

* Social Anthropology was established in 1979, and is now a constituent department in the University’s School of Philosophical, Anthropological & Film Studies with a staff of 14.
* Teaching at all levels is informed by the research interests and accomplishments of lecturing staff.

Postgraduate community

Many students are from abroad and are undertaking a varied range of taught courses and research programmes. Those returning from, or preparing to go into, the field form an active community with a wide range of diverse geographical and substantive interests.

You will participate in annual workshops organised by the Department, jointly with the Anthropology departments of the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow under the Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) programme. These workshops provide opportunities for informal presentations of research proposals, discussions relevant to your fieldwork preparations (e.g. ethics, data collection, writing field notes). The exploration of creative ways of learning is held in a relaxed yet focused environment, together with members of staff and PhD students from each of the universities. The training workshops last for
four days and take place in a beautiful countryside location. They act as complementary elements of the postgraduate training programme, and are organised in consultation with postgraduate students themselves, according to their perceived needs and wishes. In addition, there are shorter workshops which take place throughout the year and are designed to develop theoretical perspectives in anthropological research.

Facilities

The Department of Social Anthropology occupies an extensive suite of offices on North Street and in St Salvator’s Quad. It is well situated in the centre of town and at the geographical heart of the University. The Centre for Amerindian Studies has its own set of rooms within the Department, including a reading room that holds a library for Latin American and Amerindian studies. Within Social Anthropology there is also a museum collection of ethnographic objects, and a common room that includes a general anthropological class library, providing a space that is shared by both staff and postgraduates. The Departmental libraries, along with the main library, which holds a fine anthropology collection, include materials from all ethnographic regions of the world.

Weekly research seminars are organised by both the Department and sometimes by the Centres, and include speakers from outside St Andrews and abroad, thus enriching the intellectual environment. Social anthropologists from other UK departments, and beyond, visit and contribute to our series of seminars, and to workshops and conferences arranged by staff members and by research students. We endeavour to create a warm and friendly atmosphere and this also contributes towards maintaining a high quality of teaching and intellectual exchange.

Teaching methods

Taught postgraduate programmes in Social Anthropology are small class format modules, in which formal lectures are combined with seminar style teaching and student-led group work. Every taught postgraduate student is assigned an individual supervisor from among the anthropology staff, who works with them closely to develop a topic and direction for the end of degree dissertation.

International conferences

An important element in fostering the Department’s reputation has been a series of international conferences, each of which has considered an important contemporary theoretical issue within the discipline. These have dealt with, for example, the Anthropology of Violence; Power and Knowledge; Localising Strategies; the Concept of the Market; the Problem of Context; Kingship; the Anthropology of Love and Anger; Ways of Knowing; an Epistemology of Anthropology. The Ladislav Holy Memorial Trust plays an important supportive role for many of these conferences. From time to time distinguished scholars are appointed to the St Andrews Visiting Professorship in Social Anthropology, and each year members of the international academic community join the Department to follow postdoctoral work and other research endeavours. Such visiting scholars greatly enhance the thriving research environment.

Careers

Social Anthropology graduates have characteristics many employers seek and a Social Anthropology degree provides openings to a wide range of careers.
• Private organisations: can use the skills of social anthropologists doing research for urban planning, working with health organisations, doing market research for advertising companies, training employees who will be working in international divisions, or working within human resource departments.

• Government agencies: can employ social anthropologists as policy researchers, research analysts, evaluators, managers, planners and policy makers.

• International organisations: can employ anthropologists in projects in various countries around the world as researchers and cultural brokers.

• Non-profit agencies: can employ social anthropologists as advocates, administrators, evaluators and researchers.

• Graduate employers: 70% of graduate jobs are for students from any discipline. Social anthropologists successfully move into teaching, law, finance, HR, marketing, PR etc.

Well known St Andrews Social Anthropology graduates:
• Saba Douglas-Hamilton – wildlife conservationist & BBC presenter
• Nicolas Argenti – anthropologist
• Alexander Schulenburg – historian, independent scholar and activist for the British overseas territory of St Helena
• Nicholas Barker – journalist: winner of The Independent Young Journalist of the Year.

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What is the Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology all about?. Read more

What is the Master of Social and Cultural Anthropology all about?

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. 

Structure

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.

International

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. 

Objectives

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

  • acquiring a critical, social-scientific and anthropological attitude;
  • acquiring knowledge and skills specific to the discipline (anthropological methods, models, theories, ...). This also implies that students are able to put their specific knowledge and so-called emic perspective to use in an ever changing social debate.

Goals

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.

Career paths

Graduates of anthropology find employment in numerous areas including:

  • education
  • social services
  • medical care
  • NGO's
  • international organisations
  • development policy
  • international policy
  • business
  • research.


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This Anthropology MA provides an understanding of the ways in which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. Read more
This Anthropology MA provides an understanding of the ways in which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. It attracts students with diverse backgrounds and study/work experiences which makes for a lively and challenging atmosphere.

The degree is designed to provide students with a fairly detailed knowledge of anthropology, development issues, research methods and either an ethnographic region (and/or language) and/or thematic interest in health/gender/food/ media. Advice will be given to match the choice of optional components to the requirements, interests, and qualifications of individual students whose background may be in general social science, regional, language or other studies. While the focus of the degree is on development issues and practice, its disciplinary orientation remains anthropological.

Students explore the contribution of anthropology to contemporary development debates, for example, on donors/aid agencies and NGOs, poverty, migration and development, dominating discourses, human rights, violence and complex emergencies, refugees, gender, social capital and community action, health, climate change, the ‘market’ (as a core metaphor of globalised development), whether there are alternatives to the market, the role of business in development (corporate social responsibility and markets for the poor) and the importance of ethical, professional conduct by anthropologists. Anthropological studies provide the basis for understanding issues of state and governance in development, as well as the meaning of community development, and of popular ‘participation’ and ‘empowerment’. Throughout the programme, the role of, and opportunities for anthropologists as professionals in development is discussed, in part through a dedicated series of seminars in term 2.

Note: (1) Students registered in other departments who wish to take this course MUST write to the Director of Study for this course for permission to take it.

The programme consists of four elements: three assessed course units and a dissertation of 10,000 words.

The degree’s core course – ‘Anthropology of Development’ – provides an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of anthropological perspectives on policy and practice in contemporary international development, and gives a theoretical overview of the relationship between development and anthropology. The course examines the politics of aid, shifting aid frameworks, and concrete intervention programmes, bridging the disparate worlds of planners and beneficiaries. This involves close reading of anthropological monographs/studies which examine the nature of policy-making, bureaucracy and programmes in a variety of sectors – health, agriculture, water and others – while always paying close attention to the specific cultural contexts of intervention. Students should note that the course is continuously assessed which each term students are expected to write 1 book review, 1 essay and sit a 50 minute examination. This form of assessment has been found to be much fairer to overseas students whose first language is not English. While continuous assessment requires students to organize their studies efficiently from the very beginning of the year, we have found that a much higher proportion of our students graduate having achieved a distinction.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship scheme (http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/soas-hakluyt-scholarship.html) has been extended to cover the MA Social Anthropology of Development.

Note (2). Students registered in other departments at SOAS, notably in Development Studies, must apply in writing/email to the Director of Studies for permission to take this course as part of their degree.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/masocanthdev/

Structure

Overview
The programme consists of four units in total: three units of examined taught courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words.

Core Courses:
- Anthropology of Development - 15PANC090 (1.0 unit).

- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Social Anthropology of Development and the candidate’s supervisor.

- Additionally all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.

Foundation Course:
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit). This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.

Option Courses:
- The remaining unit(s) of your programme can be selected from the Option Courses list below.

- A total of either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may be selected.

- Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.

- However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department. No more than 1 unit in total of these courses may be selected.

- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 134kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/masocanthdev/file39771.pdf

Employment

A postgraduate degree in the Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised with a particular focus on how anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. 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.

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website (http://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/graduate-destinations/).

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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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. Read more
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.

Degree information

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).

Core modules
-Critical Issues in Social Anthropology
-Research Methods

Optional modules
-Anthropology of Art and Design
-Social Forms of Revolution
-Mass Consumption and Design
-Anthropology and Psychiatry
-The Anthropology of Islam in Diaspora
-Medical Anthropology
-Anthropology of Latin America
-Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
-Social Construction of Landscape
-History and Aesthetics of Documentary
-Risk, Power and Uncertainty

Dissertation/report
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.

Careers

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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Editor, Xinhua News Agency
-History of Crime, Université Catholique de Louvain (Catholic Univers
-PhD Anthropology, Harvard University
-Junior Research Executive, BDRC Continental
-PhD Researcher, Max Planck Society

Employability
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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

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- Intercalating medical students, or students intending to pursue a medical degree. - Students with a degree in the social sciences or humanities wishing to acquire a broad understanding of medical anthropology with reference to Asia or Africa, but also including other parts of the world. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

- Intercalating medical students, or students intending to pursue a medical degree.

- Students with a degree in the social sciences or humanities wishing to acquire a broad understanding of medical anthropology with reference to Asia or Africa, but also including other parts of the world

- People with professional experience in medical practice who have an interest in cross-cultural understandings of health and illness.

- Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist topics in the anthropology of medicine.

- Students without a previous degree in Anthropology looking for an MA conversion degree to serve as a qualification for pursuing a further research degree in anthropology

- The two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language courses will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

As one might expect of study at SOAS, our programme is unique in that we take a cultural and phenomenological approach to the anthropology of medicine. That is, we stress a truly cross-cultural method, one which unites all medical systems in a unified comparative perspective. This allows students to grasp the underlying principles and questions common to all therapeutic systems. Given the diversity of the School’s courses, students may choose options which strengthen either the humanities or the development studies aspects of their interests.

It can also be taken with an intensive language pathway over two years, therefore making this programme unique in Europe.

The Japanese pathway is available for students who have an intermediate level of Japanese. Students will be required to take a placement exam in the week before classes begin in order to determine if their level is suitable. Please contact Professor Drew Gerstle () for further information.

The Korean pathway is designed for beginner learners of Korean. Students with prior knowledge of Korean are advised to contact the programme convenor, Dr Anders Karlsson (). Students will take four course units in the Korean language, one of them at a Korean university during the summer after year 1.

The Arabic pathway is designed for beginner learners of Arabic. Students will take four units of Arabic, one of them at the Qasid Institute in Jordan or another partner institution during the summer after year 1. Programme convenor: Dr Mustafa Shah ()

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-medical-anthropology-and-intensive-language/

Structure

- Core course: Cultural Understandings of Health - 15PANC093 (1.0 unit).

- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Medical Anthropology and the candidate’s supervisor.

- In addition, all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.

- Students without previous experience of anthropology must take the foundation course, Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit).

Option Courses - Group A and Group B:

Students then choose TWO 0.5 unit courses from the Group A and B lists.

- AT LEAST ONE of the two 0.5 unit courses normally must come from Group A
- Students not taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology may then select their fourth unit (either a single 1.0 unit course or two 0.5 unit courses) from the Option Courses list.
- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures
- In the two-year language pathway, students take 2 intensive language units and Cultural Understandings of Health (1 unit) in their first year. During the summer, they will participate in a summer school abroad (location dependant on language). Upon their return, they will take one intensive language unit in their second year and two optional anthropology units. In the intensive-language pathway, the same rules apply as for the usual MA.

Programme Specification

MA Medical Anthropology and Intensive Language Programme Specification (pdf; 230kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-medical-anthropology-and-intensive-language/file93566.pdf

Teaching & Learning

Aims and Outcomes:
- All students are introduced to the types of problem and areas of questioning which are fundamental to the anthropology of medicine.

- Students new to the discipline are given knowledge of the general principles of anthropological enquiry

- All students develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the theoretical approaches which help form an anthropological perspective.

- All students gain an understanding of the practical methods by which this perspective is applied in field research.
All students will be provided with a near proficient ability in a language.

Knowledge:

- Students will be familiar with the foundational literature on the basis of which medical anthropology is linked to and emerges from broader disciplinary concerns.

- Students will have knowledge of the intersections linking medical anthropology to related fields, such as social studies of science, studies in bioethics, and critical approaches to public health

- Students will be familiar with the numerous ethnographic studies of health and illness.

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

- Students will learn to deploy an ethnographic kind of questioning – one directed toward teasing out of complex situations the sets of particular norms or principles which condition or shape them.

- As anthropologists, they will be trained to look for the specifically social in everything (even & especially in the “natural”)

- Students will learn how to form an anthropological problem – that is to distinguish an anthropological problem from a mere topic or area of interest.

Subject-based practical skills:

- Personal drive: Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning

- Students will develop research skills: including location and adjustment to differing types of library collection, as well as locating organizations and people who hold significant information

- Listening & understanding: Students will be able to assimilate complex arguments quickly on the basis of listening – and to discuss or disagree constructively with points made by others.

- Planning and problem solving: students will be able to set targets and achieve them, and will be able to work well to deadlines.

- Working in a group: students will learn to lead by contributing to the development of consensus.

- In the two year intensive language pathway, to acquire/develop skills in a language to Effective Operational Proficiency level, i.e., being able to communicate in written and spoken medium in a contemporary language.

Transferable skills:

- Students will develop an ability to begin from a general question or issue and develop an appropriate research model and method.
- Ability to clearly represent a concise understanding of a project/problem and its solution.
- An ability to recognize and appreciate for what it is an unconventional approach or an unfamiliar idea
- An ability creatively to resolve conflict while working in a team; being able to see the other person’s point of view
- An ability to work and feel at ease in multicultural or cross cultural environments.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures?. Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health?. Read more

About the course

Do our categories of behaviour – normal and abnormal – translate across cultures?
Why do ethnic minorities have different experiences of mental health?
Is there a ‘human nature’ underneath all the cultural differences?

Anyone interested in psychological processes, feeling and expression, memory and trauma, culture and personality, will have asked themselves questions of this kind. However, they are less likely to have asked themselves how (or if) we can recognise and analyse different emotions in other cultural settings.

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.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

This MSc gives 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

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Dissertation in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology

Optional modules:

Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
The Anthropology of Childhood
The Anthropology of Youth
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings

Part-time

Year 1

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology

Year 2

Dissertation in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essay, practical assignment (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise), and dissertation. There are no examinations.

Special Features

This degree looks at psychological and psychiatric topics from an anthropological perspective. There is an overlap with psychology and psychiatry in the things we look at (identity, consciousness, cognition, mental health, etc), but the approach is quite different; indeed, the findings can be startlingly different.

In all cases, we explore the point of view and experience of the insider, the ‘native’, in a range of cultures, we analyse this inside view in relation to the social and cultural environment. What we seek is a dynamic conception of human nature that is true to experience as well as illuminating broader social processes of which the individual may be only partly aware.
 
This degree challenges standard assumptions about normality and deviance, social and personal identity, the boundaries of the self, and the constituents of experience.

For those employed in the health, social and educational sectors, it will enhance professional practice and broaden understanding. But for every student it will open up new avenues.

The programme is run by experts in their field, who have worked in countries across the globe including Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to an up to 15,000 word dissertation.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

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Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives. Read more
Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives.

*This course will be taught at the Canterbury campus*

Visit the website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/197/social-anthropology

Course detail

This programme is designed as an advanced course in social and cultural anthropology for students who have either already studied anthropology or are looking for a sophisticated 'conversion' course. Kent's unique programme, providing in-depth generalist training in anthropological theory and fieldwork methodology while allowing access to specialised work in topics such as Visual Anthropology, the Anthropology of Ethnicity, Nationalism and Identity, Anthropology and Conservation and area specialisms, is an excellent preparation for those embarking on research degrees in anthropology or intending to enter professional fields in which anthropological training is advantageous. Please contact Anna Waldstein () before applying.

Format and assessment

-Modules -

Please note that modules are subject to change. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

- Theory and Ethnography in Social AnthropologyI (20 credits)
- Research Methods in Social Anthropology (20 credits)
- Theory and Ethnography in Social Anthropology II (20 credits)
- Research Methods in Social Anthropology II (20 credits)
- Contemporary Ethnography in Environmental Anthropology (20 credits)
- Environmental Anthropology (20 credits)
- Gender and Interdisciplinarity in Anthropology (20 credits)
- Lowland South American Anthropology (20 credits)
- Visual Anthropology Theory (20 credits)
- The Ethnography of Central Asian Societies (20 credits)

- Assessment -

Assessment is by written reports, oral presentations and the dissertation.

Careers

Many of our alumni teach in academic positions in universities across the world, whilst others work for a wide range of organisations. Examples of positions held by our alumni include:

- Corporate anthropologist
- Campaign developer for War Child
- Project director for the Global Diversity Foundation
- Curator at Beirut Botanic Gardens
- Film producer for First German Television
- Project manager for Porchlight Homelessness Charity

How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Why study at The University of Kent?

- Shortlisted for University of the Year 2015
- Kent has been ranked fifth out of 120 UK universities in a mock Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise modelled by Times Higher Education (THE).
- In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent was ranked 17th* for research output and research intensity, in the Times Higher Education, outperforming 11 of the 24 Russell Group universities
- Over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2014 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/why/

Postgraduate scholarships and funding

We have a scholarship fund of over £9 million to support our taught and research students with their tuition fees and living costs. Find out more: https://www.kent.ac.uk/scholarships/postgraduate/

English language learning

If you need to improve your English before and during your postgraduate studies, Kent offers a range of modules and programmes in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Find out more here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/international/english.html

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Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives. Read more
Anthropology prides itself on its inclusive and interdisciplinary focus. It takes a holistic approach to human society, combining biological and social perspectives.

All of our Anthropology Master’s programmes are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as having research training status, so successful completion of these courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

We welcome students with the appropriate background for research. If you wish to study for a single year, you can do the MA or MSc by research, a 12-month independent research project.

If you are interested in registering for a research degree, you should contact the member of staff whose research is the most relevant to your interests. You should include a curriculum vitae, a short (1,000-word) research proposal, and a list of potential funding sources.

About the School of Anthropology and Conservation

Kent has pioneered the social anthropological study of Europe, Latin America, Melanesia, and Central and Southeast Asia, the use of computers in anthropological research, and environmental anthropology in its widest sense (including ethnobiology and ethnobotany).

Our regional expertise covers Europe, the Middle East, Central, Southeast and Southern Asia, Central and South America, Amazonia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Polynesia. Specialisation in biological anthropology includes forensics and paleopathology, osteology, evolutionary psychology and the evolutionary ecology and behaviour of great apes.

Course structure

The first year may include coursework, especially methods modules for students who need this additional training. You will work closely with one supervisor throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress. If you want to research in the area of applied computing in social anthropology, you would also have a supervisor based in the School of Computing.

Research areas

- Social Anthropology

The related themes of ethnicity, nationalism, identity, conflict, and the economics crisis form a major focus of our current work in the Middle East, the Balkans, South Asia, Amazonia and Central America, Europe (including the United Kingdom), Oceania and South-East Asia.

Our research extends to inter-communal violence, mental health, diasporas, pilgrimage, intercommunal trade, urban ethnogenesis, indigenous representation and the study of contemporary religions and their global connections.

We research issues in fieldwork and methodology more generally, with a strong and expanding interest in the field of visual anthropology. Our work on identity and locality links with growing strengths in customary law, kinship and parenthood. This is complemented by work on the language of relatedness, child health and on the cognitive bases of kinship terminologies.

A final strand of our research focuses on policy and advocacy issues and examines the connections between morality and law, legitimacy and corruption, public health policy and local healing strategies, legal pluralism and property rights, and the regulation of marine resources.

- Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

Work in these areas is focused on the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. We conduct research on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge as well as local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. Current projects include trade in materia medica in Ladakh and Bolivia, food systems, ethno-ornithology, the development of buffer zones for protected areas and phytopharmacy among migrant diasporas.

- Digital Anthropology: Cultural Informatics, Social Invention and Computational Methods

Since 1985, we have been exploring and applying new approaches to research problems in anthropology – often, as in the case of hypermedia, electronic and internet publishing, digital media, expert systems and large-scale textual and historical databases, up to a decade before other anthropologists. Today, we are exploring cloud media, semantic networks, multi-agent modelling, dual/blended realities, data mining, smart environments and how these are mediated by people into new possibilities and capabilities.

Our major developments have included advances in kinship theory and analysis supported by new computational methods within field-based studies and as applied to detailed historical records; qualitative analysis of textual and ethnographic materials; and computer-assisted approaches to visual ethnography. We are extending our range to quantitative approaches for assessing qualitative materials, analysing social and cultural invention, the active representation of meaning, and the applications and implications of mobile computing, sensing and communications platforms and the transformation of virtual into concrete objects, institutions and structures.

- Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology is the newest of the University of Kent Anthropology research disciplines. We are interested in a diverse range of research topics within biological and evolutionary anthropology. These include bioarchaeology, human reproductive strategies, hominin evolution, primate behaviour and ecology, modern human variation, cultural evolution and Palaeolithic archaeology. This work takes us to many different regions of the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, the United States), and involves collaboration with international colleagues from a number of organisations. We have a dedicated research laboratory and up-to-date computing facilities to allow research in many areas of biological anthropology.

Currently, work is being undertaken in a number of these areas, and research links have been forged with colleagues at Kent in archaeology and biosciences, as well as with those at the Powell- Cotton Museum, the Budongo Forest Project (Uganda) and University College London.

Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (KORA) offers a variety of osteological services for human remains from archaeological contexts.

Careers

Higher degrees in anthropology create opportunities in many employment sectors including academia, the civil service and non-governmental organisations through work in areas such as human rights, journalism, documentary film making, environmental conservation and international finance. An anthropology degree also develops interpersonal and intercultural skills, which make our graduates highly desirable in any profession that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

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CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD. Despite strong forces of globalisation, socialcultural sameness does not increase. Read more

CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD

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.

International fieldwork

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.

Interdisciplinary character

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.

Program objective

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.



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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. Read more

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'.

  • How and when does 'culture' become apprehensible as 'political'?
  • How and when does 'power' operate upon or within 'culture'? Is it even tenable to uphold and retain this distinction?
  • If so, what are the analytical or interpretive benefits?
  • What may be the disadvantages or pitfalls?
  • If not, what is implicated in the politicisation of 'culture' or the culturalisation of 'power' and 'politics'?
  • How can these concerns be studied in the ongoing struggles over 'culture' in everyday life?

In addition to the core modules, options can be selected from several departments and centres.

Modules & structure

The MA is made up of:

  • Anthropology and Cultural Politics (30 credits)
  • Anthropological Theory (30 credits)
  • Option modules [within the Department of Anthropology, or the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Media & Communications, Politics, or Sociology] (60 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

*Students who have a first degree in anthropology can replace Anthropological Theory with an additional option module.

Assessment

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.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

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***

Anthropology

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

Skills & careers

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



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Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. Since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live. Read more

About the course

Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a Master's degree in Medical Anthropology. Since then we have continued to develop our programme to reflect the changing world in which we live.

In short, Medical Anthropology can be described as the study of cultural beliefs and practices associated with the origin, recognition and management of health and illness in different social and cultural groups.

Literally hundreds of students – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and other medical professionals among them – can testify to the quality of our programme, having used it either to enhance their professional practice, to change career or to develop their research interests for future studies.

Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.

Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)

Aims

The degree aims to equip students with a broad, general understanding of anthropology and how it might be applied to medical and health-related problems.

You will develop a deeper understanding of how people’s ideas about the world, as well as the structural constraints within which they find themselves, have an impact on their understanding and experience of health, sickness and disease.

You’ll achieve this through close study of key texts in medical anthropology, the original fieldwork experiences of your lecturers, and through designing and undertaking your own research project.

If you’ve wondered about some or all of the questions below – all of which are addressed in the degree – this could be the course for you:

How does poverty contribute to the profiles of diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis?
Why are some diseases, such as leprosy or AIDS/HIV, feared and stigmatized?
Why do some biomedical interventions seeking to control infectious and non-infectious diseases work, and others fail?
What might stop some patients seeking conventional treatments for cancers and other conditions – even when they are offered for free – despite the apparent efficacy of the medicines available?
How does one make the distinction between the healthy and the pathological? Is being ‘disabled’, for example, always a negative state, or might some consider it just another, equally valid, way of being?
What are the effects of political, economic and other social conditions on people’s experiences of what, from a biomedical perspective, might be considered the same diseases?
How and why is it appropriate to combine insights emerging from clinical and epidemiological research with ethnographic understandings of health, illness and disease?

The Brunel Medical Anthropology MSc addresses these issues and more in a lively and challenging way, through a programme of lectures, class discussions, and your own – personally directed – final dissertation research project.

Course Content

The main objectives of the course are to provide a rigorous grounding in key topics and perspectives in medical anthropology, and to equip candidates with a range of research skills to enable them to complete research successfully.

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Full-time

Compulsory modules:

Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
Dissertation in Medical Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the Arena of Global Health
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings

Optional modules:

The Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Kinship, Sex and Gender
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War
Ethnicity, Culture and Identity

Part-time

Year 1

Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
Compulsory Reading Module: Political and Economic Issues in Anthropology
Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the Arena of Global Health

Year 2

Dissertation in Medical Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
and optional modules

Assessment

Assessment is by essay, practical assignments (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise) and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. This dissertation is based upon fieldwork undertaken by the candidate. There are no examinations.

Special Features

All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to up to a 15,000 word dissertation.

Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.

In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.

Special scholarships

Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund
Set up to honour the life and work of leading light in international medical anthropology Professor Cecil Helman (1944-2009), the Doctor Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund provides fieldwork support for between two and four students on our MSc Medical Anthropology course.

Dr Helman taught at Brunel University London from 1990, and became a Professor of Social Sciences in 2005. In 2004, he was awarded the American Anthropological Association’s career achievement award, and the following year he won the Royal Anthropological Institute's Lucy Mair medal.

As well as leading the way in Medical Anthropology, Dr Helman exercised his artistic talents through his paintings, poems, fables, and short fiction – all of which revolved around a theme of the human side of medicine and the narratives that surrounded the doctor-patient relationship.

Scholarship
The Cecil Helman Scholarship Fund offers between two and four students up to £1,000 to help them to complete field research for their dissertations.

Selection
The scholarship will be awarded to MSc Medical Anthropology students who demonstrate excellent academic performance and the ability to undertake an original field research project.

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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. Read more

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.

Innovative methodology

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.

International context

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.

Intellectually stimulating programme

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).

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

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.



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