M.Phil./PhD in Anthropology
For any further information please contact:
Postgraduate Research Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8622
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 8632
Introduction | Degree Structure | Further Information | How to Apply
The department offers two graduate research degrees, the MPhil in Anthropology and the PhD in Anthropology. A general outline for each degree is given below; for detailed regulations please consult the UCL Registry’s requirements for admission, here.
The MPhil degree is designed for students who wish to follow an advanced research-based degree without intending to enter academic anthropology. However, the MPhil programme may lead on to PhD graduate work. On its own, qualification for an MPhil degree usually consists of a two-year programme in which the student may complete training course work in the first year while preparing for his or her dissertation, normally based on non-field reading and research, in the second year.
The PhD is a full academic research degree which almost always involves field, museum or laboratory research. All students applying for the PhD are initially enrolled in the MPhil programme, except in the event that the applicant already holds the equivalent of the University of London MPhil degree.
For those initially enrolled in of the MPhil programme, completion is not a requirement to move on to the PhD in Anthropology. Rather, after the first year of graduate study and the successful submission of a suitable upgrading proposal, the student transfers to PhD status.
A PhD in Anthropology will normally take between three and four years of full-time study (or the part-time equivalent). Students must be registered for at least two years, full-time, or three calendar years, part time, before they will be allowed to submit their theses for examination.
The Postgraduate Student Handbook offers more in depth information about the research experience. A thorough reading is strongly advised before submitting your application.
The MPhil and PhD programmes are an exercise in personal development through guided investigation of a particular social, biosocial or evolutionary phenomenon of one’s choosing. Under the direction of two or three experienced scholars, research students hone invaluable skills over a number of years dedicated to preparing for and working on their research.
Literature analyses: locating, analysing and revising relevant literature is a necessary aspect of the pre-field work preparation stage. The challenging process of filtering through the wealth of chronicled knowledge available within your area of focus will polish your ability to draw thematic connections in support of your research proposal. The skills involved in the collection and refinement of sources in support of an argument are universally valued beyond the academic arena.
Data collection: Whether in the field, laboratory or museum collections, research students meet the challenge of designing their methodology and carrying out practical data colletion activities that will yield the data necessary to answer their research questions.
Schedule design: time-management and prioritisation are key skills involved in the successful completion of a highly personalised research degree. Under guided supervision you will learn how to organise and adhere to a research schedule carefully plotted to your own specifications. The need to anticipate and meet deadlines under pressure will improve your flexibility, ingenuity, self-discipline and capacity to put your plans into action.
Analysis and interpretation of field data: Whether you deal with qualitative data or quantitiative and statistical analysis, the ability to decode patterns and to draw connections amongst raw, unpolished findings will be developed through critical subjective and objective interpretation of the fruits of your own labour. After conducting your research you will learn how to translate your results into sound conclusions and theoretical positions that can be argued and supported.
Presentation and publication skills: communication, debate, translation and delivery are key areas of personal and professional development that will be improved upon as you learn how to frame and present your research findings. Participation in Anthropology’s in-house reading and research groups, thesis writing groups, external conferences, reviews and round tables as well as engagement with popular media and audiences at all levels will challenge your oral and written skills with a view to professional and academic success.
Graduate School Courses: In addition to skills honed during your time in Anthropology, UCL’s Graduate School offers a wide range of courses. In consultation with your supervisor you can choose those you will find most useful for your research training at: http://www.courses.grad.ac.uk/list-training.pht