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Anthropology MPhil/PhD

An Anthropology MPhil/PhD leads to relevant academic posts as well as research positions in government, NGOs and private and public sector organisations. Sustained fieldwork is normally required and graduates of this programme specialise in a wide range of research methods.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
£19,010 (FT) £9,560 (PT)

Application dates

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Master’s degree in anthropology from a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Alternatively an undergraduate degree in anthropology with Master's level training in a relevant discipline will be considered.

You must identify and contact potential supervisors before submitting an application.

Deadlines: Applications are accepted up until 31 August 2016 but consideration should be given to the availability of supervisors. most funding applications will also require an offer of admission to have already been issued.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


Research may be pursued in four main areas, each of which is the focus of separate sections in the department: Social and Cultural Anthropology; Biological Anthropology; Material Culture; Medical Anthropology.

Research areas

The department provides supervision in the following areas:
  • Anthropological Issues in Education and Learning (AIEL)
  • Aural Culture
  • Biosocialities, Health and Citizenship
  • Cosmology, Religion, Ontology and Culture (CROC)
  • Culture and Human Wellbeing
  • A Deleuzional Reading Group
  • Human Ecology Research Group (HERG)
  • Human Evolutionary Ecology Group (HEEG) London Latin America Seminar
  • Palaeoanthropology and Comparative Anatomy (PACA)
  • Performance, Theatre and Ethnography of the Imagination
  • Primate Sexualities: Beyond the Binary
  • Reproduction Research Group
  • Sustainability, Environment and the Culture of Materials (SEM)
  • The Science of the Concrete: Sustainability and other Designs
  • Visual Culture
  • Risk, Power and Uncertainty
  • Ethics and the Person
Regional strengths include Mongolia, Bhutan; Oceania, Central and Latin America; the Caribbean; Europe (East and West); Kenya, Mali, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo. Staff also regularly supervise beyond these areas in conjunction with supervisors in other departments.
More information can be found on the department website: Anthropology MPhil/PhD


UK/EU applicants can apply for ESRC and LAHP studentships which are funded for three years (fees only for EU applicants). Full details on the application process are available from the Departmental funding webpages in November/December.

Other funding opportunities include the Graduate Research/Overseas Research Scholarship and the Wolfson Scholarship.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Many of our MPhil/PhD graduates have taken up lectureships in universities in the UK and abroad, or continue their research interests through fellowships and other research posts. Several now occupy important roles in government departments, in aid and development work, in public policy, and in publishing and in the media.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The advantage of undertaking advanced research in UCL Anthropology is the breadth of expertise assembled within the sections of the department. Most departments of anthropology specialise in social aspects. However, students at UCL can tackle research in inter-disciplinary areas and expect to receive expert supervision in material culture, biological and medical anthropology as well as in social anthropology.

One factor that supplements this breadth and interdisciplinarity is the existence of a flourishing Research and REading Group (RRG) culture in which staff and students informally come together outside of area sections to share knowledge and discuss individual research.

Department: Anthropology

Student / staff numbers › 44 staff including 15 postdocs › 180 taught students › 120 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Anthropology
68% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"The Department of Anthropology at UCL is world-class and a friendly place as well. (The two don't always go together!) Secondly, I have always liked the academic and social atmosphere of UCL; modern, liberal, respectful of difference but devoted to both scholarship and social impact."

Dr Allen Abramson

MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology MPhil/PhD in Anthropology
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now


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