UCL Graduate degrees


Biosocial Medical Anthropology MSc

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 environment, and biological anthropology. It aims to equips students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to develop careers that engage with and make use of a biosocial approach.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 11 January 2018
Close: 27 August 2019

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £12,750 (FT) £6,375 (PT)
Overseas: £21,790 (FT) £11,060 (PT)

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.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

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. 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.

International students

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 will introduce students to key themes in the field of biosocial medical anthropology. Topics covered in the core course will include evolutionary medical anthropology, disease ecology, bio-cultural approaches to health, developmental plasticity and local biologies. Compulsory methodological training components will provide skills in both quantitative and qualitative research (including statistical analysis) and the integration of these methods. Practical class-based exercises, discussions and examples will enable critical engagement with the methodological opportunities and challenges of developing biosocial research and approaches for addressing global and public health, including infectious 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 a core course (30 credits), one or two core modules (15 to 30 credits), two to three optional modules (30 to 45 credits), and a dissertation (90 credits).

Compulsory modules

  • Biosocial Medical Anthropology (two term module)
  • Anthropological Methods
  • Introduction to Statistics (compulsory if no statistics training)

Optional modules

All optional modules are worth 15 credits. Students on Pathway A take two optional modules and Pathway B students take three.

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Aspects of Applied Medical Anthropology
  • Ecology of Human Groups
  • Population and Development
  • Evolution of Human Brain, Cognition and Language
  • Statistics and Causal Analysis for Qualitative Social Scientists
  • Anthropologies of Science, Society and Biomedicine
  • Reproduction, Sex and Sexuality
  • Human Behavioural Ecology
  • Anthropology and Psychiatry

Students may also choose one module from among a variety of other options within other sub-sections of the department

Dissertation/research project

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biosocial Medical Anthropology

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.


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.

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.


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 and engage with the biosocial contexts of health, disease and medicine. We expect graduates of this programme to be able to develop careers in academia, clinical research, public health, government and non-governmental organisations.


This programme will equip students for careers in research related to biosocial approaches to health, disease and illness and also for working across a wide range of health care arenas including public and global health, international development. 

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. 

We are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK. We are also one of the largest anthropology departments in the UK, offering a 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 institutes.

Department: Anthropology

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 £75 for online applications and £100 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 candidates who wish to gain the appropriate bio-social training that might lead to a PhD in the fields of medical anthropology and/or biological anthropology and for those seeking to apply biosocial approaches to address health care challenges and interventions in their professional work.

Application deadlines

All applicants
27 August 2019

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 14 November 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing