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’.
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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
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.
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 anthropology. This anthropological grounding and bottom up ethnographic approach uniquely distinguishes the degree from existing programmes 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 compulsory modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Politics, Violence and Crime.
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.
All students must take the following two modules:
- Anthropology of Politics, Violence and Crime
- Method in Ethnography
Students must take 45 credits in total from the recommended optional modules below or modules available within the department (with approval from the programme tutor). Out of the total, up to 15 credits can be taken from appropriate options in other departments (with approval from the programme tutor and host department).
- Anthropologies of Religion
- Anthropological Approaches to Eurasian Socialist and Post-Socialist Societies
- Anthropology of Crime
- Anthropology of Development
- Anthropology of India
- Anthropology of Latin America
- Anthropology of War
- Ethnography of Forest People
- Key Ideas in Social Anthropology
- Material Politics
- Risk, Power and Uncertainty
- Social Forms of Revolution
- The Anthropology of Islam in Diaspora
- The Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race
For a complete list of modules available within the department or in other departments, please see UCL's Module Catalogue.
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.
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 issues 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.
The Politics, Violence and Crime MSc Programme is designed to provide students with methodological skills that enable them to collect and analyse cross-culturally and comparatively data on violence, crime and their entanglement with politics and the state, and to test theoretically hypotheses about criminal political and economic governance in the Global South and beyond.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The department was the first in the UK to integrate biological and social anthropology with material culture into a broad-based conception of the discipline. Our fieldwork takes us from the study of communal violence and organized crime in South Asia, to the investigation of ongoing revolutions in South America and the Middle East, genocides and wars in Central Africa and vernacular understanding of democracy and law in India and Venezuela.
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.
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.
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 £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 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 in a core social/human science subject or law, or with previous training in anthropology, who are contemplating future doctoral research in the subject or who wish to acquire anthropological expertise in the topic to enhance their professional skills.
- 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 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.
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