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MSc Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

Course Description

The course will appeal to graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, geography, law and development studies. It will provide the necessary training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs (such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund), international agencies (such as the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme) and the civil service (such as the UK Department for International Development). It will also provide a useful stepping stone for those seeking to undertake doctoral research in international development.

Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. International agencies, governments and NGOs are working more intensely than ever before to deliver appropriate policies and interventions.

Anthropology has played a key role in the emergence of new perspectives on humanitarian assistance and the livelihoods of populations caught up in extreme circumstances such as famines, natural disasters and wars. On the one hand, this has led to a radical re-thinking of what has been happening, but on the other hand, it has led to anthropologists sometimes playing controversial roles in agendas associated with the "war on terror".

This course examines these contemporary issues and debates, and explores their implications. It also sets them in the context of anthropology as a discipline. In so doing, students will discover how the apparent insights and skills of anthropologists have a long history associated with ethnographic work on economics, education, health, deprivation and conceptions of suffering dating back to the origins of the discipline

Typical Core Modules (subject to change) include:

Anthropology of International Development
Anthropological Perspectives on War and Humanitarianism
Ethnographic Research Methods

There is a wide range of optional modules. Apart from those offered by the Anthropology Department, students can choose from Health Sciences and Social Care, Politics and History, Law and Business modules.

Visit the MSc Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate Academic Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The scholarship is available for PGT courses at Brunel starting from September 2013 and focuses on two key audiences, namely high calibre prospective PG students and our alumni who wish to undertake further postgraduate study at Brunel. It is available to both Home/ EU and International students.In order to attract high calibre students and encourage them to undertake postgraduate study we intend to offer a discount of 15% off the fees for anyone who has obtained a first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.Whilst Brunel has always offered a reduction in PG fees for Brunel alumni we intend to further incentivise Brunel students to take up postgraduate education by increasing the discount to 15%.

Value of Scholarship(s)

15% of tuition fee


A first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.

Application Procedure


Further Information



The Brunel International Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The Brunel International Scholarship is an annual award scheme designed to promote talent and encourage excellence in scholars coming to Brunel from around the globe. Partial scholarships are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been offered a place on a full-time course at Brunel. Please refer to the International Scholarship web pages for more details.

Value of Scholarship(s)

15% of tuition fees


Academic excellence.

Application Procedure


Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a good UK Honours degree, an equivalent overseas qualification, or an equivalent professional qualification (eg from a health background). Candidates not fully meeting these criteria may also be considered. Students whose first language is not English must have IELTS of at least 6.5 or equivalent.

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Recipient: Brunel University London
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