MA Anthropology of Media
Duration: One calendar year (full-time) Two or three years (part-time, daytime only) We recommend that part-time students have between two and a half and three days free in the week to pursue their course of study. The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.
Minimum Entry Requirements: The minimum of an upper second-class BA degree (or equivalent). Some exceptions are made for those with significant experience in a relevant media related career.
Start of programme: September intake only
Who is this programme for?: A wide range of students with different interests and backgrounds come to this programme from world over in order to explore why media matter. They are highly qualified with very diverse international interests. It is particularly suitable for:
- Students with a degree in media or cultural studies
- Students with a degree in the social sciences or humanities wishing to acquire a broad understanding of media and cultural studies with special reference to Asia or Africa
- People with professional experience in film, television, journalism, advertising or public relations
- Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist media-related topics along with regional or language-based study
- Students without a previous degree in Anthropology looking for an MA conversion degree to serve as a qualification for pursuing a further research degree in anthropology
Our world is inescapably and continuously transformed through a proliferation of media. The MA in Anthropology of Media at SOAS takes up the challenge of understanding how and why media matter. The programme uniquely combines anthropology, media and cultural studies with specific regional expertise in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It provides students with critical skills, research methods, a wide-ranging understanding of media and the opportunity to pursue original research projects. The MA in Anthropology and Media is the first and still the only programme in Europe that specialises in bringing together contemporary anthropological concerns with media and cultural studies.
The MA in Anthropology of Media is a recent and rapidly growing field within the larger academic discipline of Anthropology. It both incorporates and challenges the well-established anthropological concerns with visual culture and ethnographic film through a more extensive examination of contemporary media practices. Along with the parallel disciplines of media and cultural studies, Anthropology of Media is now widely recognized as playing an increasingly important and critical role in current debates about media. It provides an alternative approach, which puts the emphasis upon studying the multiple relationships between people and media and thus seeks to anthropologise media and cultural studies. More than just focussing on media texts or technology, Anthropology of Media is marked by the centrality of people and how they relate to media.
The SOAS programme in Anthropology of Media is designed to provide a detailed introduction to the study of media in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and their diasporas. We also use the theoretical and methodological contributions of Anthropology to build upon and challenge Euro-American media and cultural studies. The programme stresses ethnographic approaches to media as cultural practices in social and political contexts where people inhabit, create and engage with media worlds.
The Department cultivates several specialist strengths which distinguish it from other anthropology departments in the UK. The most obvious of these is that all members of the Department are specialists on Africa and Asia. Particular attention is given to teaching and researching regional ethnographic areas of expertise. All staff members are simultaneously attached as anthropologists to this Department and as regional specialists to their appropriate regional studies centre within the School.
SOAS also offers strong interdisciplinary support for the study of media including the Centre for Media and Film Studies and a highly regarded Department of Music. We have a dedicated multi-media suite, a radio station and satellite access to a wide range of world television. Further, the Library houses a major collection of books and journals on world media as well as extensive audio-visual materials.
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students’ command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
The programme consists of four units in total: three units of taught examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words. Some courses may be taught in other departments in the school.
- Comparative Media Studies - 15 PAN C009 (1.0 unit).
- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Anthropology of Media and the candidate’s supervisor.
- Additionally all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit). This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.
- The remaining unit(s) of your programme, either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may then be selected from the Option Courses list below.
- Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.
- However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department. No more than 1 unit in total of these courses may be selected.
- Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.
- Comparative Media Studies - 15PANC009 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Half Unit Anthropology Options
- African and Asian Cultures in Britain - 15PANH009 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World - 15PANH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) - 15PANH058 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Anthropology of Law - 15PANH056 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Anthropology of Urban Space, Place and Architecture - 15PANH029 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives A (Masters) - 15PANH047 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives B (Masters) - 15PANH048 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016 - Must be taken with the first term course - 15PANH047 Comparative Study of Islam: Anthropological Perspectives A (Masters)
- Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition - 15PANH053 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Ethnographic Research Methods - 15PANH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Issues in the Anthropology of Film - 15PANH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Issues in the Anthropology of Gender - 15PANH024 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Media Production Skills - 15PANH050 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Therapy and Culture - 15PANH027 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective - 15PANH059 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Arab Cinemas - 15PMSH013 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Aspects of African film and video 2 - 15PAFH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture - 15PARH042 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Digital traditional broadcasting communication - 15PMSH022 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Gender and development - 15PDSH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film - 15PSEH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context - 15PSAH001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Indian Cinema: Key Issues - 15PSAH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Iranian Cinema - 15PMSH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- International Political Communication - 15PMSH009 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde - 15PJKH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli - 15PJKH007 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications - 15PMSH003 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) - 15PCHH001 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora - 15PCHH002 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007) - 15PSEH008 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- (Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen - 15PSEH010 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Rethinking Audiences - 15PMSH011 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Sound Recording and Production - 15PMSH025 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use - 15PMSH006 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media:Networking, Connectivity, Identity - 15PMSH004 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Full Unit Anthropology Options
May include a language unit taught in the Faculty of Languages & Cultures.
- Culture and Society of China - 15PANC089 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of East Africa - 15PANC084 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of Japan - 15PANC086 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of South Asia - 15PANC087 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of South East Asia - 15PANC088 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of the Near & Middle East - 15PANC097 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Culture and Society of West Africa - 15PANC083 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Ethnomusicology in Practice - 15PMUC004 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Film and Society in the Middle East - 15PNMC230 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Japanese Television since 1953 - 15PJKC006 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Music in Selected Regions of Africa: Contexts and Structures - 15PMUC006 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Music of the Near and Middle East and North Africa - 15PMUC033 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Photography and the Image in Africa; and other Regional Perspectives - 15PARC036 (1.0 Unit) - Not Running 2015/16
Teaching & Learning
A Masters in the Anthropology of Media at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will endow students with specialist understanding of producers, audiences, and other cultural and social aspects of mass media. Over the years the SOAS department has trained numerous leading anthropologists who have gone on to occupy lectureships and professorships throughout the world. Equally, students gain skills during their degree that transfer well to areas such as information and technology, government service, the media and tourism.
Postgraduate students leave SOAS with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek, including analytical and critical skills; ability to gather, assess and interpret data; high level of cultural awareness; and problem-solving. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
How to apply
How to apply
- How to Apply
- Online Application
- Request a prospectus
- Got a question - use our enquiry form (opens a new window)
- Funding options
- English language requirements
- Tuition Fees
- Admissions Contacts
Application Deadline: 2015-03-20 17:00
Application Deadline: 2015-02-27 17:00
Application Deadline: 2015-05-01 17:00
A Student's Perspective
SOAS is a brilliant place to study social anthropology. The broad range of ethnic backgrounds means I can constantly be in touch with many of the issues and topics raised in my study.