Anthropology MRes

London, Bloomsbury

The Anthropology MRes programme offers students a thorough grounding in a wide range of social science or biological methods, theories, and approaches. You will receive specialist training in qualitative and quantitative methods, and gain an advanced knowledge of contemporary theoretical and ethnographic questions in anthropology. The programme prepares graduates for doctoral research or employment as social science researchers.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024

Applications closed

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

Applications open

Entry requirements

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. Applicants may be referred to a taught Master's in Anthropology if the application does not demonstrate sufficient disciplinary knowledge to support their proposed project. Applicants must contact their proposed supervisors prior to applying to secure support for their application.

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

Students develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of topics in one of the four sub-disciplines of anthropology (biological, social, medical, or material culture). They are prepared for advanced-level research through a general training in social science or biological research methods and specialised research training in broad-based anthropological research methods and techniques.

Who this course is for

This research-based Master's degree is suitable for those students entering postgraduate study with a strong background in the discipline, gained either through an undergraduate degree, or through a well-regarded conversion Master's programme.

What this course will give you

UCL Anthropology 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.

The department was the first in the UK to integrate biological, social, medical and 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.

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.

The foundation of your career

With the completion of the MRes, we expect students to be highly competent professionals who will either continue to MPhil/PhD level or will be well-equipped to apply their knowledge of social science methodologies and their specific anthropological expertise in a range of settings. Graduate careers include work in government, civil service, the third sector (NGOs, development agencies, social enterprise etc.), and the private sector (social research, market research, business consultancy etc.)


The MRes enhances the profile of students who already have a strong background in anthropology by training them in professional skills, statistics and various other social science methods. Exposure to positivist social science methodologies makes graduates attractive candidates for positions in NGOs or work in applied social science. Emphasis on research design and data collection through field research prepares graduates to be independent researchers. The general social science orientation of the degree qualifies students to apply for research positions on grants in various disciplines, and it opens the way to doctoral study in anthropology and other social science subjects.


MRes students can attend a variety of talks and seminars offered by academic and professionals throughout the year. These events present excellent opportunities for networking with prominent individuals in the social sciences and beyond. The location of UCL in Central London also affords students a host of unique opportunities to attend events, conduct research, and volunteer in major organisations in government, business, and the third sector.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group presentations and discussion, laboratory and practical work, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, and video, film and web-based courses.

Assessment for the MRes may be achieved through a combination of essay-based coursework, unseen and take-home examinations, laboratory books, posters and the final dissertation.

The methods modules (ANTH0107 or ANTH0114) typically involve around 18 contact hours (2h classes). The optional 15-credit modules usually amount to either 36 contact hours (2-hour lectures and 2-hour tutorials) or 18 contact hours (assuming 2-hour weekly seminars). Contact hours will vary depending on the choice of modules. The literature review module ANTH0124 does not include any seminars or classes, instead being based on independent study conducted in dialogue with the supervisor throughout the first two terms. Estimated time in dissertation supervision is around 20 hours (including group sessions and supervisor meetings).


During the MRes, students will take a number of modules grouped under four headings:

1.  Literature Review: Ethnographic Area Directed Reading

This component of the programme will provide students with an introduction to independent research under the guidance of your supervisor. Students will develop advanced knowledge of the context and literature related to their proposed research topic and will have an opportunity to demonstrate independence and initiative in selecting and defining a research project.

2. Research Methods and Transferable Skills

This component will provide students with in-depth training in social science research methods, anthropological research, and skills in the development of research design and presentation, while participating in relevant research seminars, plus attending selected specialist methods and language training where appropriate.

3. Theoretical, Conceptual and Regional Analysis

This component of the programme consists of two taught modules chosen from the diverse offering of postgraduate options in anthropology. Together, these elements constitute extensive preparation for research in the specific subfield of anthropology that the student intends to specialise; an in-depth knowledge of a particular area or set of topics; and a further flexible element to complement or expand their existing knowledge. In addition, these elements combine teaching by a range of staff members to promote collegial cooperation amongst research students and lecturers across the department, together with close direction by their supervisor or programme tutor on a one-to-one basis in the element of directed reading.

4. The Dissertation

The major research-based component of the programme is the dissertation itself, which is conducted under the supervision of the student’s dedicated supervisor. The 17,000-word dissertation is based on independent research and thought, and usually involves a substantial period of field research.

Please note that all students must take one of the following two optional modules: "ANTH0107 Introduction to Statistics for Social Research" or "ANTH0114 Research Methods in Evolutionary Anthropology", depending on their subject of research (in agreement with the programme lead).

Students are also expected to attend relevant research seminars across the department throughout the degree.

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 MRes in Anthropology.


Students usually conduct their fieldwork during the summer term (May into June). The research carried out will inform the final dissertation, which is written over the summer period (July and August) and submitted in early September.


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
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

The cost of field research is normally covered by the student but may be supplemented by various research grants (see below).

There are a number of small to moderate grants available from funding organisations both within UCL and further afield. For example, in recent years, our graduate 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

Students may be eligible to apply for ESRC awards.

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

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.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Anthropology at graduate level
  • why you want to study 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 academically or professionally with your degree

Together with the essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match with the ethos of the programme and what it will deliver.

Please note: Applicants must contact their proposed supervisors prior to applying to secure support for their application and research project.

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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