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MSc in Social Anthropology

The MSc in Social Anthropology is intended to give students a thorough grounding in anthropology, both in terms of its ethnographic diversity and its theoretical development. The programme serves as a major part of preparation for research work in the discipline, but is also suitable as an introduction to the subject for students who intend to proceed with other careers. Prior knowledge of anthropology is not essential.

When to Apply

We recommend that students apply as early as possible in order to ensure that they receive full consideration both for places on the MSc and for financial assistance from the School.

The Programme

The twelve-month programme consists of one compulsory course, optional courses to the value of two units, and an essay (dissertation).

  • The compulsory course is Anthropology: Theory and Ethnography. This covers the development of modern anthropological theory and the relationship between theoretical analysis and ethnographic data.
  • Students must also take courses to the value of one unit from the following: The Anthropology of Religion; Kinship, Sex and Gender; Anthropology of Economy: transformation and globalisation (H); Anthropology of Politics (H); Anthropology of Economy: production and exchange (H).
  • Students then select EITHER an additional full-unit option from the list above, OR courses to the value of one unit from those available in their year of study. Although courses vary each year, they generally cover specific ethnographic regions (e.g. India, China, Southeast Asia) and selected anthropological themes (e.g. Human Rights, Development).
  • After examinations in June in the courses above, students write an essay (dissertation) of not more than 10,000 words on an approved topic of their own choice, which is submitted in mid-September.

Please bear in mind that each year we are only able to offer a selection from our range of optional courses. Owing to the introduction of new courses and possible academic staff changes, information about optional courses available next year is not necessarily final. The following courses are offered by the Anthropology Department every year: Anthropology: Theory & Ethnography (AN404); Anthropology of Religion (AN402); Kinship, Sex & Gender (AN405); The Anthropology of Learning & Cognition (AN437); Anthropology of Politics (AN451); Anthropology of Economy: production and exchange (AN456); Anthropology of Economy (2): development, transformation and globalisation (AN457). 

Please click here for the home page of the online Graduate Prospectus|, which contains further information and an application form. Follow this link for the prospectus page on the MSc Social Anthropology|.