Dissertation: Religion in the Contemporary World

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Fenella Cannell OLD 6.07


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Anthropology (Religion in the Contemporary World). This course is not available as an outside option.


As for the Programme.

Course content

The dissertation will address a topic in the social sciences of Religion in the Contemporary World. This will normally be a library-based dissertation, but may be supplemented by minor original research elements in consultation with the academic adviser. The topic should make central use of concepts in the study of religion in the social sciences drawn from approved courses on the programme, particularly from the core course, and should demonstrate a good understanding of those concepts and their implications. The dissertation may draw on empirical topic areas suggested by the taught core and option courses of this programme, but must demonstrate an element of originality in analysis, content or both. The dissertation will normally contain an inter-disciplinary element which may be in the combination of material, the combination of critical, analytical or theoretical concepts, or both. Guidance on standards of presentation etc will be given in the MSc handbook, and will conform to the current standard laid down for the dissertations in MSc social anthropology.


A small group tutorial in both MT and LT. A dissertation workshop in ST.

Formative coursework

Small group tutorials, individual mentoring, discussion of abstracts: please see Programme Proposal. Presentations and class discussions in all programme courses will also contribute towards the formative preparation for the dissertation.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

The dissertation must not exceed 10,000 words including text and footnotes (but excluding bibliography and appendices). Three bound copies and an electronic copy, with the 5-digit examination number on the front, must be submitted to the Departmental Office in late August.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2015/16: 4

Average class size 2015/16: 4

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information