Social and Cultural Anthropology MSc

This MSc provides a thorough grounding in anthropological theory and analysis, an understanding of ethnographic approaches to the study of social worlds, and a strong foundation in research practices. Flexible in its structure, the programme enhances students’ employability by focusing also on the interface between anthropological research and professional practices.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 1 June 2016

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 66% in 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

The programme aims to develop knowledge and understanding of major theoretical, ethnographic and methodological debates in social anthropology. Students develop an understanding of human cultural worlds through in-depth historical study, gain knowledge of specific societies and specialist approaches, and enhance their independent research skills through practical training in research methods.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Critical Issues in Social Anthropology
  • Research Methods


  • Anthropology of Art and Design
  • Alternative and Ritual Economies
  • Mass Consumption and Design
  • Anthropology and Psychiatry
  • Anthropology of Nationalism, Race and Ethnicity
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Communication and Culture
  • Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
  • Social Construction of Landscape
  • Religious Symbolism and the Politics of Belief
  • Gender, Language and Culture
  • Risk, Power and Uncertainty


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 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. It includes a research seminar series with invited speakers. Assessment is through unseen examination, essays, and the research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Social and Cultural 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


Recent students on the course have pursued careers in fields including government, business, development, social research and consultancy, and the media, as well as in academia as professional anthropologists.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Researcher, Citizens Advice Bureau (2013)
  • Pathway Co-Ordinator, NHS University College London Hospital (2013)
  • PhD in Anthropology, Harvard University (2013)
  • PhD History of Crime, Université Catholique de Louvain (2013)
  • Cultural Analyst, Ministry of Defence (2012)


In addition to the analytical, interpretative and writing skills honed by its core academic training, the course includes a unique orientation towards the interface between anthropological research and professional practice, allowing students to focus on the anthropology of professions including medicine, development, education, the law, the creative industries. Our close co-operation with UCL’s bespoke careers services, provides opportunities for internships and placements during the programme or following its completion.

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. It is one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK in terms of both staff and research student numbers, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise.

Our excellent results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and 2014 Research Excellence Framework show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

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 › 40 staff including 15 postdocs › 149 taught students › 120 research students

Department: Anthropology

Degree reviews

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.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for graduates in anthropology and other social sciences, and suitably qualified applicants from other disciplines, who wish to develop the ability to analyse a broad range of contemporary issues in order to pursue a career in research, teaching, development, public service, journalism and many other fields.

Application deadlines

All applicants
1 June 2016

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 Social and Cultural Anthropology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Social and Cultural 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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