UCL Anthropology



All students on the MSc have the opportunity to develop their research interests by writing a dissertation on an original, independent research project. Each student works closely with a dissertation supervisor to develop their research agenda, design an ethically robust and methodologically sound research project, conduct research and develop their analysis and argument of the final written thesis. Supervisions are one-to-one and dissertation supervisors are members of the department who conduct research in related areas. They are on-hand throughout the year to offer a sounding board, advice and feedback as students develop their ideas, collect their data and write the dissertation. Many students choose to undertake fieldwork-based projects, though this is not a requirement and some students prefer to develop a library-based project.


September – December

Students work with the Master's tutor to identify their research interests, determine possible dissertation topics and identify appropriate supervisors. Students provide a provisional title for the dissertation and a brief synopsis.

January – April

Students work with their supervisors to engage in appropriate literature searches, develop their methodologies, secure ethical clearance and research permissions (where appropriate). They present their planned dissertation research to the peer group and members of staff for verbal feedback. By the end of term 2, students will have a detailed plan for fieldwork (if appropriate) and a firm grounding in scholarship related to the dissertation topic.

April – September

Students conduct fieldwork or other research (usually 8 weeks). They analyse their data and write up the dissertation in consultation with their dissertation supervisors.

Recent dissertation titles

  • Kneading to Nourish: The creation and consumption of the Gorbals Loaf
  • Anomality and Care: The experience of nurse technicians in a psychiatric ward in Chile
  • Care(ful): Reflections on the motivations and experiences of volunteers in a frontline mental health charity in London.
  • Ritual Healing in Wicca Religion
  • Fibromyalgia Online: The construction of chronic pain through medicalisation and demedicalisation
  • Resisting the Bullshit Life: Understanding the self-care practices of displaced persons in Calais as a double critique
  • Food Insecurity, Vulnerability and Health and Well-being: An ethnographic study of a food bank and drop in centre in East Anglia
  • ‘Navigating Networks of care’: Exploring the barriers in access to care facing Somali parents of children with autism
  • Embodying Technology: Evaluating prosthetic design in challenging feminized ableism
  • A Feast Fit for The Spirits: The impact of animism beliefs on postnatal dietary traditions in rural Laos
  • Health and resilience amongst UK Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Women Aged Fifty and Over
  • Attitudes and Experiences of LGBT+ Inclusive Relationships and Sex Education Amongst Educators: The society it reflects and the spaces it creates
  • Culture Clash: An assessment and exploration of the impact of immigration on the mental health and identity of British-Arabs
  • Dying before Death: Investigating the link between psychedelic research and near-death studies