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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

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£17,190 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application dates

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.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

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.


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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Wolfson Scholarships

£27,000 (3 years)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on 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 interdisciplinary 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.

Student / staff ratios › 40 staff including 15 postdocs › 149 taught students › 120 research students

Department: Anthropology

Degree reviews

Student review

"I have been incredibly fortunate to carry out 18 months of long-term fieldwork in a small town in China looking at the changing patterns of how people host other guests in their home. That was both a fantastic and, at the same time, challenging experience. Data from this fieldwork went on to be the topic of my PhD thesis, but it has also profoundly shaped my views and understanding of the world. "

Tom McDonald

Anthropology PhD
Staff review

"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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