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MA Medical Anthropology

Course Description

Who is this programme for?:

The degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia.

The MA Medical Anthropology comprises two pathways catering for candidates with or without anthropological training. Students come to the course from all over the world, following BA study, work and travel experience or after long careers in other fields. This combination of diverse experience and skills makes for an intellectually exciting atmosphere for both teachers and students.

The course is distinctive in its focus on medical and health issues pertaining to Africa, Asia and Latin America. It covers anthropological theory, cultural understandings of health, and various options. These include combinations of anthropology and food, gender, shamanism and therapy, psychoanalysis, religion and healing in South Asia, China and in Africa, and study of the language and ethnography of a particular region.

The programme consists of four elements, three examined courses and a dissertation of 10,000 words. The degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia. The aim of the degree is to provide:

- A phenomenological understanding of the body, which implies also subjective attitudes to notions of health, sickness, disease, recovery and personal vulnerability
- an understanding of these experiences within regional, political, economic and cultural contexts

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


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.

Core Courses:
- 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.
- 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 - Group A and Group B:
- Students then choose TWO 0.5 unit courses from the Group A and B lists below.
- AT LEAST ONE of the two 0.5 unit courses must come from Group A.

Option Courses:
- 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.

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2012/2013 (pdf; 209kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/mamedanth/file49466.pdf


A Masters in Medical Anthropology at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will also develop a specialist understanding of social processes and cultural representations of health, illness and the nursing/care practices associated with these. 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/

Visit the MA Medical Anthropology page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Canon Collins Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

These scholarships are for Masters study in any subject field.
The application process normally opens in December and closes in February, for study commencing in September the following year. Please go to the Canon Collins website and click "Apply for A Scholarship" and then "Canon Collins Scholarship for Masters Study in the UK" for further information on how to apply.

Value of Scholarship(s)

See website


Country/Nationality: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information



SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities - 5 Awards

There are five SOAS Master's scholarships available in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities (Department of Anthropology and Sociology - 1 scholarship, History - 1 scholarship, History of Arts&Archaeology/Music & Media - 2 scholarships, Religions and Philosophies - 1 scholarship). Each scholarship is valued at £16,765 in total. Fees will be deducted from this amount and the remainder will be used toward maintenance. Candidate Assessment
- Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by an Advisory Panel consisting of at least three academic members of the Faculty. - The assessment of your application will be based on the information in your scholarship application. Selectors will be looking at the degree results and also at academic references, statements and other relevant information.Scholarship Application Deadline
- Scholarship applications must be received no later than 17:00 (UK local time) on 24 February 2016.- In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must ALSO submit a complete online application to the degree programme as soon as possible and then submit an application for the scholarship. Applicants applying for scholarships must also submit an application for admission well in advance. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should prepare to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods. - Late or incomplete applications will not be considered

Value of Scholarship(s)



- Applicants must possess or expect to be awarded a First Class Honours Degree or equivalent. Students with a non-UK degree to be adjudged in the top rank by their referees and transcript.
- This scholarship is open to UK/EU applicants only.
- Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible full-time masters programmes at SOAS by the scholarship application deadline.
- The scholarship cannot be held along with any other major scholarship or studentship.

Application Procedure

You must apply for this scholarship via this on-line scholarship application form.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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