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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


MSc in Medical Anthropology

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The application deadline for this programme is 6 July 2020.

Medical Anthropology at Edinburgh

Our MSc in Medical Anthropology is the largest of its kind in the UK, and is embedded in the work of the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology (EdCMA). As a student, you will be welcomed into our vibrant community as part of SoMA - the Students of Medical Anthropology, and be able to take part in regular workshops, reading groups, and writing retreats. Altogether eight members of academic staff from Social Anthropology carry out research on the body, health, and medicine, giving students a fantastic range of courses to choose from. 

Our core courses in Anthropology of Health and Illness and Anthropology of Global Health reflect our unique expertise in the intersections between anthropology and globalized biomedicine. 

Current research projects include Ian Harper's work on The Global Fund and the control of tuberculosis in resource-poor settings; Alex Edmonds' cross-cultural comparison of post-traumatic stress syndrome; Lucy Lowe's work on sexual and reproductive health in Somalia and contexts of forced migration; Stefan Ecks's work on mental health and global pharmaceuticals in India; Ayaz Qureshi's work on community health workers and Alice Street's research on 'off the grid' health systems.

Tailor the programme to your needs

Our MSc in Medical Anthropology attracts a wide and diverse student body - social science graduates who want to specialize in medical anthropology; medical doctors who want to expand their understanding of health with an anthropological perspective; students who aim at entering top-ranking medical schools; and those who want to pursue a PhD.

The wide range of options available allows students to tailor the programme to their interests. We offer specialised courses in global and public health, science, knowledge and technology, and health and international development. Those interested in pursuing work or research overseas also have the option of studying a range of languages including Arabic and Swahili. 

Placement Based Dissertations

MSc in Medical Anthropology students are able to apply to the School of Social & Political Science's Placement Based Dissertation Scheme, which gives students the opportunity of basing their dissertation on eight-week work placement.

A Unique Environment

We work closely with the Global Public Health Unit, the Global Development Academy, the Global Health Academy and Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. Students are encouraged to attend the huge number of health-related events across the University and to take full advantage of the opportunities for funding of student-led activities, such as the Global Development Academy Innovation Grants.

The programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy:

And the Global Development Academy:

These pages will tell you more about the aims and structure of the Programme, the kind of opportunities it can lead on to, and will let you see what previous students thought of the Programme in the "60 second interviews." If you still have questions after looking through these, please get in touch with me at

Best wishes,

Dr Ayaz Qureshi

Programme Director, Medical Anthropology