Tiffany Loera - Biosocial Medical Anthropology MSc
25 November 2020
I attended the University College London (UCL) for an MSc in Biosocial Medical Anthropology from 2019 to 2020. This programme was a starting point for my academic and career endeavors within the field of applied anthropology. Prior to joining the Biosocial Medical Anthropology programme, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a minor in Community Health Sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno in the United States. I then took a gap year where I worked for a healthcare technology company in the United States. After taking a gap year from my academic studies, I sought to expand my knowledge at postgraduate level and found that the MSc programme at UCL best aligned with my academic interests.
The field of Biosocial Medical Anthropology explains the intersections between the socio-cultural, physiological, and environmental paradigms that influence health and social wellbeing of communities around the world. The Biosocial Medical Anthropology programme seeks to be actively decolonistic and takes on perspectives from students, staff, and communities around the world in efforts to better the scholarship and reassess its impact on our interlocutors.
In undertaking this course, I learned how to design and conduct a mixed-methods study integrating theories from the field of anthropology and applying these theories to topics and debates within the fields of anthropology, public health, psychology, and many more. The MSc programme at UCL was my first experience in piloting my own research project. This programme gave me the tools to think critically about language and activism within the context of research. Moreover, I was exposed to research from prominent experts from various subfields of anthropology in the form of guest lectures ran by the Department of Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, and the Biosocial Medical Anthropology programme leads.
My time at UCL was both enriching academically and enjoyable interpersonally as I engaged with students and members of staff from all around the world who have different expertise and life experiences to my own. The MSc in Biosocial Medical Anthropology has proven to be interdisciplinary, offering numerous career paths and research opportunities where applied anthropology can be an influential and necessary field. I recommend this programme to anyone interested in undertaking a challenging yet rewarding course in applied anthropology.