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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Visit our new Virtual Classroom

We've launched our new Virtual Classroom! Here you will find a variety of exercises, sample lectures and information about anthropology. There's so much to explore through anthropology in our department, and this site can give you a little taste.

Studying Anthropology at SOAS

How do societies interact with space? How are words used to construct ideas? Find out more from our students and staff about the questions and answers that the study of Anthropology creates.

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Facts and figures

  • Research Outputs ranked 4th in the UK (2014 REF)
  • SOAS, University of London has been ranked in Europe's top ten universities for Arts and Humanities
  • We have a lively research community: 50% of our students are registered for postgraduate degrees
  • Research Centres: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies and the SOAS Food Studies Centre.
  • MA Anthropological Research Methods and Nepali is the only MA in the world that provides students who intend to conduct anthropological research in Nepal with the necessary skills (disciplinary, linguistic, methodological).

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Our strengths

Scholars in Anthropology have an impact on the world outside of academia—on law and government, in the arts and on public media. Our students benefit from the range of experts in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and politics gathered in other departments at SOAS.  Students find a warm, often jolly, but always challenging scholarly home in the Department of Anthropology. Where else could you find an Anthropology library staffed and run by volunteer students?

UG Student Profile

Benjamin Cem Holt

Every lecturer finds ways of stimulating critical thought, and class discussion is a rewarding experience that motivates one to attend and take part in lively debate… I highly recommend SOAS to all those wishing to pursue a stimulating and refreshing academic experience that rewards hard work and a mind open to new ideas.

Benjamin Cem Holt
BA in Turkish and Social Anthropology

Our Head of Department says:

David Mosse

Our Department is among the most respected in the field of social and cultural anthropology in the UK. Students can draw on the exceptional regional expertise of SOAS anthropologists while gaining a broad education in the subject, and an irrepressible curiosity about the world. At SOAS, Anthropology is at the heart of the university, one of its largest and most important subjects. It is central to the shared objective of widening horizons, fostering cross-cultural perspectives, challenging taken-for-granted assumptions, and critical engagement with urgent issues.

David Mosse, Professor of Social Anthropology

Forthcoming Events


SOAS Anthropologists on Current Events

The Department of Anthropology at SOAS is showcasing the research and expertise of their faculty in a new series of Q&As.  They examine recent political events, social trends, and emerging phenomena and show us how anthropology can give us a deeper understanding of their wider significance. See what Dr Fabio Gygi has to say about student politics and pacifism in Japan here


Refugees Welcome March

Dr Parvathi Raman, Director of the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, discusses the 'migration crisis' in the UK and what anthropology helps us understand about it here.    

What makes us unique

SOAS Anthropology is known for its theoretical sophistication, scholarly rigor and creativity. Our teachers and researchers are part of the largest concentration of Africa, Asia, and Middle East specialists in the United Kingdom. We are regularly recognized by our peers-- and people outside of academia-- as major innovators in our field. Some particular areas of interest among faculty and students are: critical approaches to development, tourism, infrastructure, human rights and the United Nations, artisans and craft expertise, the politics of gender and sexuality, entrepreneurialism, neoliberalism, material culture, Islam, politics and religion, history and memory, media theory, and the anthropological study of food.

The Department of Anthropology offers an array of BA degrees, including majors combining Anthropology with everything from African Studies, Law, or Politics, and much in between. The Taught Masters programmes allow you to focus on Anthropology with Development, Tourism, and Food, among other specialisms. And the MA in Anthropological Research Methods offers a pathway to postgraduate research degrees in the discipline. The wide range of course options gives students the chance to follow their curiosities and develop new ones in a creative and unique way, while developing focused expertise and broadly applicable skills.


For further information contact the Arts and Humanities Faculty Office
Telephone +44 (0)20 7898 4020
E-mail: anthropology@soas.ac.uk