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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school



Taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two years, the MSc in Social Anthropology is an intensive taught degree. Students complete six courses (four core and two optional) and an extended dissertation on a topic of their choice.  

Core courses:

two further core courses chosen from the following list:

Sample optional courses:

  • Cultures of Human Rights and Humanitarianism
  • The Politics of Identity in South Asia
  • Anthropology of Health and Healing
  • East Central Africa
  • Anthropological Approaches to Shamanism and Spirit Possession
  • Himalayan Ethnography
  • The Anthropology of Landscape
  • Happiness: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • The Invention of History
  • Southeast Asia
  • Anthropology and International Health
  • Visual Anthropology
  • Interpreting Development
  • Anthropology of Death
  • Indigenous Peoples of Lowland South America


The dissertation offers students the opportunity to explore in depth a topic of their choosing. Undertaken upon completion of taught elements (usually in March), it is supervised by an appropriate member of academic staff.

Previous students have chosen to write dissertations on development in the Third World, culturally specific notions of childhood, globalization, primitive art, the anthropology of gender, religion in Japan, cultural tourism, shamanism, and these are but a few examples.

For more information see the MSc Social Anthropology Programme Handbook 2016-17.

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