This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mukulika Banerjee OLD 5.09 and Dr Gisa Weszkalnys


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management and MSc in Social Anthropology. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The dissertation must demonstrate an adequate knowledge of relevant theoretical literature and the ethnography of one or more contexts. It should attempt to consolidate a theme introduced during the course, developing a sustained research focus on one specific issue in anthropology, using existing ethnographic literature as appropriate. Note that the dissertation must be based on published sources rather than fieldwork undertaken by the student. For the MSc Social Anthropology, the problem should be framed with reference to literature from within the discipline of anthropology (drawn from mainstream journals or ethnographic texts). For the MSc Anthropology and Development and the MSc Anthropology and Development Management, the topic should span the fields of both Social Anthropology and Development Studies - it may cover, but need not be restricted to, the area of overlap, i.e. the anthropology of development as narrowly defined. For the MSc Social Anthropology (Learning and Cognition), the dissertation should draw not only on specifically anthropological literatures and engage with anthropological themes, but also make judicious use of non-anthropological literature from cognitive science, and therefore from related disciplines such as psychology and/or philosophy.



1 hour of lectures in the MT. 3 hours of lectures in the LT. 3 hours of workshops in the ST.

There will be lecture on note taking and avoiding plagiarism in the MT. In addition to the two lectures in the LT and the dissertation workshop in the ST, students will discuss their projects and receive guidance during meetings with their mentors in MT, LT, and ST.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

The dissertation must not exceed 10,000 words including text and footnotes (but excluding bibliography and appendices) to be submitted to the Department in late August.

Key facts

Department: Anthropology

Total students 2018/19: 57

Average class size 2018/19: 19

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information