• FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
King’s College London Featured Masters Courses
University of Manchester Featured Masters Courses
Kingston University Featured Masters Courses
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
Bath Spa University Featured Masters Courses

MA Anthropological Research Methods and Nepali

Course Description

Who is this programme for?:

Students who wish to conduct doctoral-level research in Nepal, or in preparation for professional employment in e.g. a government agency or international NGO.

This is the only Masters-level programme offered anywhere in the world that provides students who intend to proceed to conduct anthropological research (broadly defined) in Nepal with the necessary skills (disciplinary, linguistic, methodological).

What will this programme give the student an opportunity to achieve?

- The ability to read, write, speak and understand Nepali to a level suitable for field research in Nepal
- A grounding in the scholarly literature on Nepali history, society and culture
- Expertise in anthropological theory and practice that will provide a basis for research in a Nepali context

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-research-methods-nepali/


- Year 1
Students take a 1.0 unit Nepali language course (either Nepali Language 1 or Nepali Language 2); 1.0 unit Culture and Conflict in the Himalaya; 1.0 unit Theoretical Approaches in Social Anthropology (or other anthropology options, chosen in consultation with programme convenor, for students with equivalent anthropology training); 0.5 unit Media Production Skills; and 0.5 units of anthropology options.

- Summer break between years 1 and 2
Two weeks of intensive Nepali language tuition at SOAS after the June exams, followed by two months in Kathmandu, attached to the Nepā School of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Bishwo Bhasa Campus of Tribhuvan University. At the end of the summer students will be required to submit a 5000-word preliminary fieldwork report and research proposal, accompanied by a 500-word abstract written in Nepali.

- Year 2
Students take the following courses: 1.5 unit Nepali for researchers; 1.0 unit Anthropological Research Methods (0.5 units Ethnographic Research Methods in term 1 and 0.5 units in Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Social Research in term 2). They also attend the compulsory weekly MPhil Research Training Seminar in anthropology and write a 15,000 word MA Dissertation.

Language courses will be assessed though a mixture of written papers and oral examinations.

Non-language courses will be assessed on the basis of coursework essays and written papers.

Programme Specification (msword; 668kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ma-anthropology-research-methods-nepali/file68458.rtf

Teaching & Learning

What methods will be used to achieve the learning outcomes?

1. How to assess data and evidence critically from manuscripts and digital sources, solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations, locate materials, use research sources (particularly research library catalogues) and other relevant traditional sources.

2. The Research Methods course focuses on teaching the various research methods associated with anthropological fieldwork including: participant observation, historical research, qualitative interviewing, quantitative data collection, Rapid Participatory Assessment, how to design questionnaires and, especially, on how to formulate a research question and design a project and consider the ethical issues involved. The Statistics courseworks on how to compile statistics, and how to critically assess statistics.

3. The Research Training course, which is assessed by the Masters dissertation, works on students’ writing skills with an emphasis on thinking of the history of the discipline, writing to schedule, writing to requested word count, how to formulate a research question based on the material gathered, as well as how to do a presentation, how to comment on presentations and how to apply for funding. Term three looks at the strategies for working on the Masters’ dissertation and how to be upgraded at the start of the MPhil year.

4. A good grounding in the sociocultural and political history of and contemporary sociocultural and political issues in Nepal, and familiarity with the scholarly literature on these topics.

5. Proficiency in spoken and written Nepali sufficient for the purposes of anthropological field research: ability to conduct conversations and interviews, and read and synthesise information from Nepali written sources.

Intellectual (thinking) skills

1. Students should become precise and cautious in their assessment of evidence, and to understand through practice what documents can and cannot tell us.

2. Students should question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence for themselves. They should be able to design a research project, set a timetable, understand the principles of fieldwork, and consider questions of ethics.

3. Students should learn to read each others’ work for both its strengths and weaknesses, develop their skills as public speakers, learn how to compose short abstracts of their project (for funding), be able to think critically and yet be open to being critiqued themselves.

Subject-based practical skills

The programme aims to help students with the following practical skills:

1. Communicate effectively in writing, in both English and (at a less advanced level) Nepali
2. Retrieve, sift and select information from a variety of sources in both English and Nepali.
3. Present seminar papers.
4. Listen to and discuss ideas introduced during seminars.
5. Practice research techniques in a variety of specialized research libraries and institutes.
6. Be prepared to do fieldwork for an anthropology PhD.

Transferable skills

The programme will encourage students to:

1. Write good essays and dissertations.
2. Structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing.
3. Understand unconventional ideas.
4. Present (non–assessed) material orally.
5. Function as a student and researcher in a radically different environment.
6. Be able to apply for funding to do a PhD.
7. Be prepared to enter an Anthropology PhD programme and to be upgraded from MPhil to PhD in the shortest possible time.


Students who study MA Anthropological Research Methods and Nepali develop a wide range of transferable skills such as research, analysis, oral and written communication skills.

The communication skills of anthropologists transfer well to areas such as information and technology, the media and tourism. Other recent SOAS career choices have included commerce and banking, government service, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration. Opportunities for graduates with trained awareness of the socio-cultural norms of minority communities also arise in education, local government, libraries and museums.

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 Anthropological Research Methods and Nepali page on the SOAS University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Michele Serafini (Italy)

“Let me put it like this: studying South Asia at SOAS is a greatly enriching experience. Doing it in the two-year Intensive formula is a unique opportunity. Two years are just enough to fully appreciate the amount of specialist sources one can find in the library. In the meantime one is provided with all the necessary linguistic skills and anthropological training for continuing careers in academia and beyond. And the summer fieldwork abroad is amazingly useful.”


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

Applicants will need to produce documented evidence of language learning ability (a language A level or equivalent, or successful completion of an undergraduate language course).

Email Enquiry

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

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X