This MSc provides a thorough grounding in anthropological theory and analysis, an understanding of ethnographic approaches to the study of social worlds, and a strong foundation in research practices. Flexible in its structure, the programme enhances students' employability by focusing also on the interface between anthropological research and professional practices.
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.
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.
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
The programme aims to develop knowledge and understanding of major theoretical, ethnographic and methodological debates in social anthropology. Students develop an understanding of human cultural worlds through in-depth historical study, gain knowledge of specific societies and specialist approaches, and enhance their independent research skills through practical training in research methods.
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 Social and Cultural 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.
All students must take the following two modules:
- Critical Issues in Social Anthropology
- Methods in Ethnography
Students must take 15 credits from the optional modules below and 30 credits from modules available within the department. 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).
- Anthropology of Capitalisms
- Anthropology of Crime
- Anthropology of Development
- Anthropology of Islam in Diaspora
- Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race
- Anthropology of Violent Aftermaths
- Anthropology of War
- Ethnography of Forest Peoples
- Risk, Power and Uncertainty
- Social Forms of Revolution
- Temporality, Consciousness and Everyday Life
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.
Recent graduates of this degree have pursued careers in fields including government, business, development, social research and consultancy, and the media, as well as in academia as professional anthropologists.
In addition to the analytical, interpretative and writing skills honed by its core academic training, the degree includes a unique orientation towards the interface between anthropological research and professional practice, allowing students to focus on the anthropology of professions including medicine, development, education, the law, the creative industries. Our close co-operation with UCL’s bespoke careers services provides opportunities for internships and placements during the programme or following its completion.
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.
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.
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.
What our students and staff say
"The Department of Anthropology at UCL is world-class and a friendly place as well. (The two don't always go together!) Secondly, I have always liked the academic and social atmosphere of UCL; modern, liberal, respectful of difference but devoted to both scholarship and social impact."
Dr Allen AbramsonMSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology MPhil/PhD in Anthropology
Senior Lecturer in 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 £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.
- 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 Social and Cultural Anthropology at graduate level
- why you want to study Social and Cultural 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.