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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Courses in Medical Anthropology

Students in the taught MSc Medical Anthropology take 120 credits of coursework, which usually means six 20-credit courses between September and March. A few courses are offered for half a semester and count for 10-credits. Two 10-credit courses are equivalent to a 20-credit course.  

The two key courses of the MSc Programme are "Anthropology of Health & Healing" (Semester 1) and "Anthropology of Global Health" (Semester 2). The remaining courses (worth 80 credits) are selected by you after a one-to-one meeting with your Programme Director. You can select almost any course offered by Edinburgh University. 

Courses frequently chosen by our taught MSc students include:

  • Contagion
  • Anthropology of Sex and Reproduction
  • Magic, Science and Healing
  • Anthropological Theory
  • Culture & Power
  • Critical Perspectives on Mental Health and Well-Being in the Global South
  • Anthropology of Language
  • Happiness: cross-cultural perspectives
  • Consumption, Exchange & Technology
  • Anthropology of Food
  • Ritual & Religion
  • Social Development
  • Interpreting Development
  • Public Health & Health Inequalities (GPHU)
  • Globalisation & Public Health (GPHU) 

Please consult the degree programme table (DPT) of the programme for an overview of available optional courses. Note that the records will be updated by the end of August for each academic year. Some courses might not run some years due to staff availability.


The dissertation offers you the chance to do an in-depth study of a topic of your choice. Once the taught courses are successfully completed, you will spend the months from April until August researching and writing your dissertation under the supervision of a full-time member of staff. The dissertation counts for 60 credits.

Previous dissertation topics include:

  • Health as Society: Functions and Efficacy of Balinese Healing

  • Emergence of Post-Traumatic Subjectivity. An Anthropological Critique of Medicalisation of Political Violence in Sri Lanka

  • “Creating National Health and Corporate Wealth”. Genzyme, Gaucher Disease and the Challenges of * Enzyme Replacement Therapy within the British National Health Service

The Programme Handbook can be downloaded here 

For current staff and their research and teaching interests visit:

Edinburgh Students