Medical Anthropology MSc

This MSc aims to provide sufficient knowledge of advanced medically related anthropology to enable students to utilise anthropological approaches in a range of research and professional roles. We train students in theoretical and applied aspects of the field, preparing them for careers that engage with and impact real world contexts.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT)
£17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
30 June 2015

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: Advanced

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:

Degree Information

Students new to social science develop an understanding of a social science approach to the experience of illness and health, and gain skills required in social anthropological field research and analysis. For students with previous social science training, the programme focuses on the dimensions particular to medical anthropology.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (45 credits) optional modules in three distinct fields (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Clinical Ethnography


  • Medical Anthropology options are available in the following areas:
  • Anthropology of Science, Society and Biomedicine
  • Ritual Healing and Therapeutic Emplotment
  • Anthropology of Ethics and Morality
  • Anthropology and Psychiatry
  • Students may also choose from among a variety of other options beyond medical anthropology


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, small group presentations and discussion, tutorials, laboratory and practical work, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, and video film and web based courses. Assessment is through one examination, two essays, optional module requirements and the research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Medical Anthropology MSc


There are a number of departmental scholarships and awards available each academic year. Please refer to the departmental funding page for further information.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed 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.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)- NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


First destinations of recent graduates include:

  • Cambridge University: Research Assistant
  • Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust: Locum Consultant
  • Institute of Conflict Resolution: Research Analyst
  • Refugee Council: Case Worker
  • Centre for Addiction & Mental Health: Research Coordinator
  • BPAS: Medical Doctor
  • Marie Stopes International: Project Manager
  • Peterborough Mental Health Trust: Senior House Officer
  • Employability

    Medical Anthropology is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field and graduates of our programme have gone on to develop exciting careers in academia, clinical services, social services, government, and non-governmental organisations. Our approach is broad and open-minded, encompassing analysis of diversity issues in clinical practice, critical medical anthropology, psychology/psychiatry, social impact of genetic technologies, demographics, ethics, and studies of traditional healing. UCL is ranked 4th in the QS World University Rankings and our students benefit from a wealth of resources. We recruit a mix of clinicians and social scientists, finding that the interaction between these student groups helps create mindful practitioners.

    Why study this degree at UCL?

    UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. UCL Medical Anthropology integrates interpretive, critical and applied perspectives.

    Our excellent results in the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises show that we are the top broad-based anthropology department in the UK. We are also one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK, offering a breadth of expertise.

    Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London and the department's strong links with European universities and international institutions.

    Student / staff ratios › 35 staff › 150 taught students › 150 research students

    Department: Anthropology

    Degree reviews

    Student review

    "I completed a full-year study abroad programme at UCL during my undergraduate education and fell in love with the campus, the people and the educational environment. London is brimming with opportunities for exploration. And as students, there are SO many resources at our finger tips. I can't tell you how many times relevant exhibitions would pop up that coincided with what we were learning in a particular module. Nor how many times we'd read an essay or a piece of really cutting edge research only to find out that the researcher was giving a presentation at UCL or somewhere else in London in the coming weeks. Those are really unique opportunities that add so much to the academic experience of graduate study and really promote integration and comradeship amongst students and professors. It has always been a distinct pleasure having the opportunity to study and live here. It is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

    Allison Horan

    Medical Anthropology MSc

    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.

    Who can apply?

    The programme is aimed at candidates who wish to gain the appropriate social science training to lead to a PhD in the field of medical anthropology, and for medical professionals who need to employ anthropological techniques in, or formulate an anthropological dimension to, their professional work.

    Application deadlines

    All applicants
    30 June 2015

    For more information see our Applications page.

    Apply now

    What are we looking for?

    When we assess your application we would like to learn:
    • why you want to study Medical Anthropology at graduate level
    • why you want to study Medical Anthropology at UCL
    • what particularly attracts you to this programme
    • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
    • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
    Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

    Contact Information


    • Register interest in your chosen subjects
    • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
    Register now

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