UCL Graduate degrees


Politics, Violence and Crime MSc

The programme offers an intensive training in the anthropology of politics, violence and crime. It provides a solid grounding in anthropological theory, analysis and ethnographic methods. It does so by uniquely enabling you to explore the central role of anthropology as a tool to engage with other people’s politics, ‘the state’, ‘democracy’, ‘the rule of law’.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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

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

Students develop knowledge and understanding of major theoretical, ethnographic and methodological debates in anthropology of politics, violence and crime and enhance their independent research skills through practical training in research methods. This is the first programme to embed these themes deeply within anthropologyThis anthropological grounding and bottom up ethnographic approach uniquely distinguishes the degree from existing programs rooted in International Relations, Security and Peace Studies and/or Development Studies. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits

The programme consists of two core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Compulsory modules

  • Anthropology of Politics, Violence and Crime
  • Anthropology Methods

Optional modules

  • Anthropology of Crime
  • Social Forms of Revolution
  • Anthropologies of Religion
  • Issues in Power and Culture (Anthropology of War)
  • Risk, Power and Uncertainty
  • The Anthropology of Islam in Diaspora
  • Anthropology of Socialist and Post-Socialist
  • Anthropology of War
  • Theory in Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Latin America
  • Anthropology of India
  • Ethnography of Forest People


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

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, small group presentations and discussion, tutorials, laboratory and practical work, independent directed reading, interactive teamwork, and video, film and web based courses. It includes a research seminar series with invited speakers. Assessment is through unseen examination, essays, and the research dissertation.

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.


This programme is likely to include an orientation towards further engagement and work in the NGO and intergovernmental sector and careers focused on applied work in the international arena on a range of issue from legal aid, human trafficking and migration, law and governance, il/licit economies, money laundering, counterfeiting, electoral monitoring, gender violence, drugs and development, organized crime and political risk analysis for impact investing and social enterprises. 

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Anthropology was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with 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.

Our excellent results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) show that we are the leading broad-based anthropology department in the UK.

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.

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 suitable for graduates in anthropology and other social sciences, and suitably qualified applicants from other disciplines, who wish to develop the ability to analyse a broad range of contemporary issues in order to pursue a career in research, teaching, development, public service, journalism and many other fields. 

The degree is primarily intended for graduates with a least a 2:1 in a core social/human science subject or law, or with previous training in anthropology, these may be either students contemplating future doctoral research in the subject or students who wish to acquire anthropological expertise in the topic to enhance their professional skills.

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 July 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 Politics, Violence and Crime at graduate level
  • why you want to study Politics, Violence and Crime at UCL
  • what praticularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic reuirements, the personal statement is yor opportunity 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