Anthropology and Professional Practice MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

Want to learn how to use anthropological skills to solve real world problems? This programme helps you develop your professional outlook through hands-on, research-led anthropological training, allowing you to apply anthropological perspectives and insights in diverse professional fields. You will design, pitch and conduct your own projects, learning how to use anthropology to make a difference with support from industry mentors.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 academic years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

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

Applicants with a lower second-class Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard and a minimum of two years’ work experience may also be considered.

We are keen to attract applicants from the broadest backgrounds and, therefore, do not limit the entry requirement to a specific range of disciplines. The criteria for entry will be at the discretion of the Programme Lead based on an overview of your professional experience, your justification for study in the personal statement, and the award and subject of your undergraduate degree.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Unique in the UK, our Anthropology and Professional Practice MSc provides you with comprehensive training in social and cultural anthropology with a specific focus on its relevance to professional practice in contemporary society.

Our distinctive mission is to help you develop your professional outlook and skill set through hands-on research-led anthropological training, allowing you to apply anthropological perspectives and insights in diverse professional fields, including social research, user experience research, ethnographic consultancy, design research, as well as the creative industries, policy making, think-tanks, and social enterprise.

Based in a world-leading centre for anthropological research and training, you will design, pitch and conduct your own projects, learning alongside industry experts and mentors how to use anthropology to make a difference in and to the world.

Who this course is for

The programme is suited equally well to those in employment seeking continuing professional development by adding anthropological perspectives and skills to their toolkit, and to students with prior academic training in anthropology or other related disciplines who wish to specialise in applying anthropological concepts and skills in professional practice.

What this course will give you

This degree is unique in the UK in training students to use anthropological concepts and methods in an array of professional settings. Designed to drastically enhance students’ skill-set and professional profile, the programme is distinctive in its outward-looking mission to explore and demonstrate the relevance of anthropological perspectives and insights to real-world problems and professional challenges. Building a bridge between academic anthropology and diverse industry settings, it gives students unparalleled opportunities to apply the insights and skills in ways that directly enhance their own career goals in the world of work. 

The programme is taught by a team of world-leading experts with direct experience of adapting anthropological ways of thinking and problem-solving in diverse professional settings. It is run by staff at UCL Anthropology, which ranks fourth in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, making it the top ranked institution in London, and third in the UK and Europe for the subject. While a number of the programmes’ modules will be delivered at UCL’s Bloomsbury campus, the programme’s home is UCL East, UCL’s exciting new campus at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which is devoted to inter-disciplinary teaching and community- and industry-facing research.

In addition to taking advantage of the diverse cross-overs between academia and the professional world that are at the heart of UCL East’s vision and operation, students on this programme will receive year-long support in developing their own career aspirations. Focused unremittingly on our students’ employability, the programme offers bespoke support for in situ workplace research, providing students with regular input as well as individual mentorship from relevant industry experts. Providing you with industry-specific presentation as well as research skills, the programme launches you into the professional practice of applied anthropological research and insight.

The foundation of your career

As this is a brand new programme, there are no alumni yet. However, the programme is designed to meet the growing demand in diverse professional fields for rigorously trained anthropologists with advanced research skills that can be translated into non-academic contexts, including social research, user experience research, ethnographic consultancy, design research, as well as the creative industries, policy making, think-tanks, and social enterprise.


The programme equips you with a wide range of skills including finding and synthesising a range of sources; conducting independent research in response to a brief; interpreting and presenting complex data for diverse audiences; developing effective oral and written communication skills, as well as strong conceptual, analytical and critical toolkits.


Students on this programme will be able to take full advantage of the Anthropology department’s active Careers Support activities, including attending regular seminar and networking events in the Anthropology and the Professional World series. Students will also be supported through tailor-made Employability Workshop, to be held in Term 2, in which relevant industry partners will participate. Supported to forge links with and gain access to relevant professional organizations and/or institutions for the purposes of their final Programme Project, students will also be supported by an Industry Mentor where useful.

Teaching and learning

The programme fosters a strong sense of cohort through tight-knit seminar teaching throughout the year, involving collaborative teamwork and hands on project design and execution. Teaching involves regular guest lectures by industry experts, who also act as individual student mentors. For their final projects students receive specialist individual supervision.

Fostering an inclusive student cohort of diverse professional and academic trajectories, the programme goes beyond traditional forms of academic assessment (e.g. essays) including assessment of visual and oral presentations, industry pitches and reports, blogs, videos and podcasts, giving students ample opportunity to practice and receive academic and peer feedback.

During their training in the two teaching terms (Term 1 and Term 2), students can expect an average of 6-8 hours of weekly contact with the teaching staff, typically in seminars, individual tutorials and supervisions. Students are expected to spend approximately 25-50 hours per week reading and preparing assignments. In Term 3 and throughout the summer, full-time students work on the final projects, which may involve 4-8 weeks of fieldwork. Part-time students typically devote their second year of study to their final projects. Note that teaching on compulsory and optional modules, other than the final project, takes place only in Terms 1 and 2.


The programme is for students of diverse academic and professional backgrounds and does not require prior training in anthropology. It consists of three elements:

  1. Compulsory modules. This includes the introductory module Thinking Like an Anthropologist, relating core anthropological concepts and methods to students’ own real-life experiences; Method in Ethnography, providing hands-on methods training; Theory, Ethnography, and Professional Practice, allowing you to apply anthropology to professional fields of your choice; and Everyday Ethics in Enterprise, exploring the ethics of industry-based research.
  2. Two optional modules. Students can choose two modules from a curated list of practice-related options taught by world-leading anthropologists. Some examples can be found below.
  3. Final Project. Drawing on this training, in Term 3 you will develop your own desk- or fieldwork-based project, with support from an individual academic supervisor and industry mentor.

The majority of compulsory modules will be taught at UCL East, our exciting new campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary teaching, and community- and industry-facing research. You will also experience our historic Bloomsbury campus, where the compulsory Method in Ethnography module will be delivered. You will be able to select from a wide range of optional modules based at Bloomsbury and UCL East.

Part-time students will typically complete their compulsory modules and two optional modules (i.e. elements 1 and 2 above) in their first year of studies, and then devote their second year to their individual Final Project (i.e. element 3).

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Anthropology and Professional Practice.


As part of this programme, you will have the opportunity to conduct in situ ethnographic fieldwork at a selected workplace or organization. Fieldwork can take place in the UK or abroad and will be supported by individual academic supervision as well as mentorship by a relevant industry expert.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300 £9,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Additional costs

The final project offers the choice to conduct fieldwork in the UK or abroad. This can entail additional costs, including travel, accommodation and living costs, which students must cover themselves.

In addition, as the programme is based at the UCL East campus in Stratford, students will need to fund their own travel between the Bloomsbury and UCL East campuses if they choose to take an optional module available only at Bloomsbury.

In recent years our students have received fieldwork funding from the department’s Turing Scheme and the Anna Sturm Law Travel Prize.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Value: Full tuition fees (equivalent to 1yr full-time) (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Anthropology and Professional Practice at graduate level
  • why you want to study Anthropology and Professional Practice at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the profile and challenges of the programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

The personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. We are particularly interested in hearing about ways in which your own experiences, whether professional or academic, inform your interest in the programme, and how you hope to use the programme’s training in the future.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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