The MSc in Biosocial Medical Anthropology is for those wishing to gain proficiency and understanding of biosocial approaches in examining disease, health and medicine. It draws from cross-disciplinary expertise in medical anthropology, human ecology and biological anthropology. It aims to equip students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to develop careers that make use of a biosocial approach.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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 Students website.
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. For the ‘Open Pathway’ statistical background training will be required (A level or equivalent.)
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.
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:
About this degree
The degree introduces students to key themes in biosocial medical anthropology, including evolutionary medicine, disease ecology, ‘multi-species’ ethnography, bio-cultural approaches, developmental plasticity, biosocial difference and embodied inequalities. It provides training in quantitative and qualitative methods (including statistical analysis). Practical class-based exercises enable critical engagement with biosocial approaches that address public and global health challenges, including epidemics and chronic disease.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
There are two pathways, A: 'Statistic Training Pathway' (for those without statistics training), or B: 'Open Pathway' (for those with demonstrable statistics training e.g. at A level or equivalent).
The programme consists of one compulsory module (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Biosocial Medical Anthropology.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
All students must take the following module:
- Biosocial Medical Anthropology
A: 'Statistic Training Pathway' (for those without statistics training)
Students must take the Introduction to Statistics (15 credits) optional module and 30 credits in total from the recommended optional modules below or modules available within the department.
B: 'Open Pathway' (for those with demonstrable statistics training e.g. at A level or equivalent).
Students must take 45 credits in total from the recommended optional modules below or modules available within the department.
- Anthropologies of Science, Society and Biomedicine
- Anthropology and Psychiatry
- Anthropology of Development
- Aspects of Applied Medical Anthropology
- Ecology of Human Groups
- Evolutionary Medicine
- Human Behavioural Ecology
- Medical Anthropology
- Migration and Health
- Multi-sensory experience: Understanding Sickness and Health Through The Senses
- Psychological Anthropology and Cultural Psychology
For a complete list of modules available within the department or in other departments, please see UCL's Module Catalogue.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
As part of the dissertation component of the degree students are offered the opportunity, if they wish, to undertake field research. The scope and nature of fieldwork is formulated in discussion with appointed supervisors and subject to departmental approval.
Teaching and learning
Seminars, lectures and tutorials form a core part of the learning approach. Students will be encouraged to develop critical and independent thinking and to be able to engage and make use of cross-disciplinary perspectives on the biosocial topics related to health, medicine and disease. Assessment is through examination, essays, dissertation and optional module requirements.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Biosocial medical anthropology is a new and cutting-edge interdisciplinary approach that will equip students with the skills to think critically about and engage with the biosocial contexts of health, disease and medicine, including those related to epidemics, climate change and the Anthropocene. We expect graduates of this programme to be able to apply the skills and expertise learnt from the programme to develop careers in academia, clinical research, public and global health care, government and non-governmental organisations. Two recent graduates are currently doctoral candidates on the UCL ESRC Soc-b biosocial training programme.
This programme will equip students for careers in research related to biosocial approaches to health, disease and illness and also working across a wide range of health care arenas including public and global health, international development. Students will gain skills in the practical application of qualitative and quantitative approaches, including ethnography and statistics, with a particular emphasis on developing expertise in ‘mixed methods’ approaches.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL Anthropology is the first department in the UK to provide a cross-disciplinary Master's degree in Biosocial Medical Anthropology drawing on expertise in medical anthropology, human ecology and biological anthropology. It provides a unique blend of social and biological anthropological training in examining biosocial aspects of health and disease, including mental health, chronic and infectious disease. It provides students with the skills to address contemporary and urgent health care challenges on a global level, engaging with issues such as climate change and the Anthropocene, epidemics such as Covid-19 and health inequalities from a biosocial perspective.
UCL Anthropology ranks fourth in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, making it the top ranked institution in London, and third in the UK and Europe for the subject. Our excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework 2014 also identify us as a leading Anthropology department in the UK, offering an exceptional breadth of expertise. The degree is taught by those with expertise in biological anthropology, including evolutionary medicine and human ecology as well as medical anthropology. This provides a solid cross-disciplinary foundation for engaging with and developing biosocial research in addressing health care challenges.
Students are encouraged to take full advantage of the wider anthropological community in London, European Universities and International Institutes. The department also has strong links with other departments at UCL including Global Health, the Medical School and Medical Sciences.
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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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is aimed at those seeking to apply biosocial approaches to address health care challenges and interventions in their professional work or for those wishing to gain appropriate bio-social training that might lead to a PhD in medical anthropology and/or biological anthropology.
- All applicants
- 30 July 2021
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 Biosocial Medical Anthropology at graduate level
- why you want to study Biosocial 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.
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