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

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£13,640 (FT)
£6,810 (PT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)
£11,830 (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.

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 introduces students to key themes in biosocial medical anthropology, including evolutionary medicine, disease ecology, bio-cultural approaches, developmental plasticity and local biologies. It provides training in quantitative and qualitative methods (including statistical analysis) and their integration. Practical class-based exercises enables critical engagement with biosocial approaches that address public and global health care challenges, 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 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.

Compulsory modules

All students must take the following module:

  • Biosocial Medical Anthropology

Optional modules

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

  • Anthropological Demography, Population and Development
  • 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
  • Reproduction, Sex and Sexuality
  • Ritual Healing and Therapeutic Employment
  • Statistics II

For a complete list of modules available within the department or in other departments, please see UCL's Module Catalogue.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Research Methods and Skills (ANTH0104) and Biosocial Medical Anthropology (ANTH0172) have been replaced by Biosocial Medical Anthropology (ANTH0209) for Terms 1 and 2. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Dissertation/research project

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

Fieldwork

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.


Covid-19 field trip updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned field trips for this programme. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. Your department will keep you updated if field trips are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

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

Accessibility

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

Funding

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

Careers

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. 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.

Employability

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. It provides a unique blend of social and biological anthropological training in examining biosocial aspects of health and disease. It provides students with the skills to address contemporary health care challenges on a global level, engaging with current issues such as climate change, chronic and infectious disease and health inequalities from a biosocial perspective.

UCL Anthropology ranks fifth in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, 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. 

Department: Anthropology

Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020