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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Social Anthropology: Ksenijia

My name is Ksenija and I’m in my 3rd year of an MA in Social Anthropology. 

I’m taking Ritual and Religion, Kinship, The Invention of History, Consumption/Exchange/Technology and Anthropological Theory.

Edinburgh is an inspirational place to study: besides a bunch of famous social anthropologists lecturing at this university, there are some specialists who seem to be pursuing the type of career that I dream of. More than that, the university offers such a flexible study programme as well as a high level of support. 

I think that breadth of knowledge is important, so I took on a variety of subjects and blended anthropology with biology, economics and languages. It was a great decision; each of those courses greatly contributed to my main focus.

I liked all of the anthropology courses, especially Ethnography, since I was marked on my own creative practical engagement with a particular ethnographical setting. Creative and practical tasks that tested our knowledge of theory were also amazing. They were so much fun and often motivated me to study much more than the exams did. 

The academic year has two semesters running from September to January and January to May, with coursework running throughout and any exams taking place in December and in April/May. 

University is all about doing the stuff I am most interested in, whilst getting the solid foundation to build on and the guidance on how to do that from the tutors and lecturers.

Living in Edinburgh

The university is right in the heart of a very lively and very international city – it blew my mind!

Edinburgh is a diverse, beautiful, inspiring, welcoming and safe place to live, there is always so much going on. It’s also perfectly sized and well designed so that you can get everywhere on foot.

Because there are so many students here, and the community is very international, everyone can find what they’re looking for and also step out of their comfort zone to experience something new from time to time.

It’s also relatively easy to find a job here. I have a part-time job and most of my past and present employers have been understanding and flexible around my study schedule.

Aside from studying and working, it’s also important to make time to have some fun. During my first two years I was part of the Tango and Tandem societies, they were my support team! They were the places where I met loads of wonderful people, developed lasting friendships, learned an awful lot about myself and even acquired new skills!

I have been involved in several societies, but I wish I could have had more time to take part in even more of them.

I’m hoping that during my last year I will be able to get more involved with MUN, the Latin American Society, the Social Anthropology Society and the Photography Society as well.

Ksenija Paksina