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Ethnobiology (Research)

Course Description

Research within this area centres on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge and is supported by members of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity (http://www.kent.ac.uk/sac/research/research-centres/cbcd/index.html).

We research local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. The Centre has an Ethnobiology Lab and Ethnobotanical Garden, and extensive collaborative links, including with the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), and Eden Project.

MSc by Research
This course is a one-year full time or two-year part-time programmes. You research and write a thesis under the supervision of one or two academic staff.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/204/ethnobiology

Course structure

The first year may include coursework, especially methods modules for students who need this additional training. In general, you work closely with one supervisor throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress.

Study support

- Postgraduate resources

The School has a lively postgraduate community drawn together not only by shared resources such as postgraduate rooms, computer facilities (with a dedicated IT officer) and laboratories, but also by student-led events, societies, staff/postgraduate seminars, weekly research student seminars and a number of special lectures.

The School houses well-equipped research laboratories for genetics, ecology, visual anthropology, virtual paleoanthropology, Animal Postcranial Evolution, biological anthropology, anthropological computing, botany, osteology and ethnobiology. The state-of-the-art visual anthropology laboratory is stocked with digital editing programmes and other facilities for digital video and photographic work, and has a photographic darkroom for analogue developing and printing. The biological anthropology laboratory is equipped for osteoarchaeological and forensic work. It curates the Powell-Cotton collection of human remains, together with Anglo-Saxon skeletons from Bishopstone, East Sussex. The ethnobiology laboratory provides equipment and specimens for teaching ethnobiological research skills, and serves as a transit station for receiving, examining and redirecting field material. It also houses the Powell-Cotton collection of plant-based material culture from Southeast Asia, and a small reference and teaching collection of herbarium and spirit specimens (1,000 items) arising from recent research projects.

Kent has outstanding anthropology IT facilities. Over the last decade, the School has been associated with many innovatory projects, particularly in the field of cognitive anthropology. It provides an electronic information service to other anthropology departments, for example by hosting both the Anthropological Index Online and Experience-Rich Anthropology project. We encourage all students to use the Centre’s facilities (no previous experience or training is necessary).

Anthropology at Kent has close links with the nearby Powell-Cotton Museum, which has one of the largest ethnographic collections in the British Isles and is particularly strong in sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asian material. It also houses an extensive comparative collection of primate and other mammalian material. Human skeletal material is housed at the Kent Osteological Research and Analysis Centre within the School.

Anthropology, together with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) form the School of Anthropology and Conservation.

- Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/tstindex.html) for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subjectspecific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Research areas

Work in these areas is focused on the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. We conduct research on ethnobiological knowledge systems, ethnoecology, 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. The Centre has an Ethnobiology Lab and Ethnobotanical Garden, and extensive collaborative links, including with the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), and Eden Project.


As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research.

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. Studying anthropology, you develop an understanding of the complexity of all actions, beliefs and discourse by acquiring strong methodological and analytical skills. Anthropologists are increasingly being hired by companies and organisations that recognise the value of employing people who understand the complexities of societies and organisations.

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

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the Ethnobiology (Research) page on the University of Kent website for more details!

Student Profiles

Hong Kong Alumni Scholarship - Deadline 31/05/16 - 3 Awards

The scholarship aims to assist academically outstanding students from mainland China and Hong Kong to study at the University of Kent.The scholarships will be awarded to student admitted to study at the University of Kent. The value of the scholarship will cover full payment of the annual tuition fees plus part payment of accommodation and living expenses.Applicants should be either passport-holders of the People’s Republic of China or permanent residents of Hong Kong not currently registered on an undergraduate course at the University of Kent. Applicants should have received an offer of a place at the University of Kent for 2015 entry three postgraduate students for 1 year of study on taught postgraduate degree courses.Criteria: Candidates for the scholarships should normally fulfil the following requirements:
have been assessed as overseas for fee purposes
have made an application for a postgraduate (taught) degree course at the University of Kent (any location of study is permissible)
have received an unconditional offer of a place on such a degree course.
the University must have received confirmation of the applicant's firm acceptance of the offer by the deadline date.
Students who choose Kent as their insurance place will not be eligible for the scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)

full payment of the annual tuition fees and contribute towards payment of accommodation and living


The scholarship is available to full-time postgraduate students enrolling either on a postgraduate taught programme or a postgraduate research programme (3 years maximum). See scheme details for eligibility criteria.

Application Procedure

For details of how to apply please visit the website.

Further Information



Santander Scholarships - CLOSED - No. of awards TBC

Santander is offering scholarships of £5,000 each to support students from Iberian and Latin American countries studying for a full-time taught or research Master’s degree at the University of Kent. The Scholarships:
•are for the forthcoming academic year only (2014-15), the start date cannot be deferred;
•are for one year only (12 months full-time);
•may be used at any of the University of Kent’s locations – Canterbury, Medway, Brussels, Paris, or Athens.CriteriaThe awards are not available to students that already have, or are already studying for, a Master’s degree. Candidates must:
• be a national of one of the 11 countries of the Iberian and Latin American Santander Universities network: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Portugal, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela;
• have graduated or be studying at one of partner universities within the Santander Universities network: Argentina, Brazil , Chile, Columbia, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, USA, United Kingdom, Uruguay;
• be resident in one of the countries within the Santander Scheme.
• have been offered a place to study a full-time Master’s degree at Kent;
• have achieved a First or a 2:1 or equivalent at undergraduate level.
• In addition to excellent academic achievement, demonstrate excellence in an area of their life; this may include: ◦extra-curricular activities, such as sports, music, managing events or societies;
◦significant achievement gained either in their working life or through volunteering and service to others.

Value of Scholarship(s)



See scheme details for eligibility critera.

Application Procedure

For application details please visit the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (2.1 or above) in anthropology or other associated fields. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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