School of Social and Political Science

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Social Anthropology was established at the University in 1946. Today it is among the largest departments in the UK and our research interests are correspondingly diverse.

Our research is global in scope and at the heart of our teaching practice. It includes core themes in medical anthropology; religion and society; migration and refugee studies; politics and the law; science and technology; the anthropology of kinship and relatedness; peace and conflict studies; anthropology and the arts; media anthropology; cultural heritage; international development; human-animal relations; and sexuality and reproduction; and infrastructure and energy transitions.

Our work generally combines a traditional anthropological emphasis on ethnographic fieldwork with a focus on contemporary issues.

Our anthropologists work in a wide range of geographical areas, including Scotland; Africa; the Middle East; South, South East, and East Asia; South, Middle and North America; and Europe.

We offer undergraduate and postgraduate training on a wide range of longstanding and emerging anthropological fields and house research that is opening up the discipline into new and urgent terrains. Our teaching is research-led and international in its orientation.

We welcome interdisciplinary research and are home to the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology (EdCMA). We collaborate with colleagues in other parts of the College and University, including GeoSciences, the Medical School and the Edinburgh College of Art. We also work closely with the Centre for African Studies and the Centre for South Asian Studies.