M.Sc. in Social and Cultural Anthropology
For further details, please contact:
Postgraduate Taught Programmes Officer
Telephone: +44 20 7679 1040
Introduction | Degree Structure | Courses | Dissertation | Seminars | Some Recommended Readings | How to Apply
The MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology is taught in two 'Tracks'. Applicants are advised to indicate in the Personal Statement section of their application to indicate whether they wish to follow Track I or II, although there is scope to change from one to the other during the first weeks of studies.
TRACK I: THEORY, ETHNOGRAPHY AND COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS (TECA): Provides comprehensive training in social and cultural anthropology, emphasising the discipline's contribution to the comparative study of human beings in their diverse social and cultural formations. Alongside the classical anthropological themes of kinship, social organisation, exchange, ritual and cosmology, particular emphasis is placed on people's experience of contemporary society and culture. This track is strongly recommended for students wishing to pursue anthropological research at doctoral level.
TRACK II: THEORY, ETHNOGRAPHY AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE (TEPP): Provides comprehensive training in social and cultural anthropology, emphasising the relevance of anthropological research and methods to professional practice in contemporary society. This track is recommended for students who wish to deploy a sound grasp of anthropological theory and method in relation to diverse fields of professional and policy-related practice, including governance, NGOs, health, education, environment, and development.
While applicants elect to pursue one or other of these recommended tracks according to their academic interests and professional priorities, the MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology provides scope for customising a programme of study combining elements of both.
Both tracks of the MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology are available to graduates in anthropology and other social sciences, but also to well-qualified applicants from other subject areas. The programme can be designed in relation to the student's own interests in consultation with tutors. It develops the ability to analyse a broad range of contemporary issues and will be of value to candidates intending to pursue careers in anthropology, social research generally, teaching, development, public service, journalism and many other fields. It will also be of interest to those wishing to develop an inter-disciplinary understanding of a particular topic by combining an anthropological approach with understanding derived from another discipline. Particular emphasis is put on the Dissertation, which can be library-based or based upon a small piece of empirical fieldwork carried out in the UK or abroad in May/June. Both types of dissertation give students the opportunity to carry out an original piece of independent research.
In addition to the full-time one-year programme, the course is also available part-time over two years. In this case the core and methods courses are taken in Year 1 and the optional courses in Year 2.