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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Social Anthropology

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.

Overview

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Jakob Klein

Jakob Klein

Convenor

Minimum Entry Requirements: Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Start of programme: September intake only

Who is this programme for?: The programme is designed on a modular basis offering different pathways to suit, broadly, three categories of students: Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist topics and/or more regional and language-based study Students with little or no previous knowledge of social anthropology wishing to acquire a broad knowledge of the discipline Students with little or no previous knowledge of social anthropology wishing to take the degree as a conversion course before proceeding to a research degree in anthropology

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology teaches the discipline of Social Anthropology with special reference to the societies and cultures of Asia and Africa, both past and present. The emphasis given to particular regions and approaches varies with current trends in the discipline and contemporary global developments.

Students come to the course from all over the world, following BA study, work and travel experience or after long careers in other fields.

Many of our students have not previously trained as anthropologists. This combination of diverse experience and skills makes for an intellectually exciting atmosphere for both teachers and students.

The MA degree programme in Social Anthropology is designed on a modular basis offering different pathways to suit, broadly, three categories of student:

  • Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist topics and/or more regional and language-based study;
  • Students with little or no previous knowledge of social anthropology wishing to acquire a broad knowledge of the discipline;
  • Students with little or no previous knowledge of social anthropology wishing to take the degree as a conversion course before proceeding to a research degree in anthropology, who are required to pass all the examinations with appropriately high marks.
Students take three taught courses and complete a 10,000 word dissertation.

Structure

Learn a language as part of this programme

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.

Programme Overview

The programme consists of four units in total: three units of examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words.

Core Courses:
Foundation Course:
Option Courses:
  • 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.
  • Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

 

Programme Detail

Core Courses
Foundation Course
Option Courses
Full Unit Anthropology Options
Half Unit Anthropology Options
Courses taught outside the Department of Anthropology

These courses are available subject to the approval of the course convenor and the agreement of the MA Social Anthropology programme convenor. Students may take no more than one full unit of courses taught outside of the Department of Anthropology. A language course unit in the Faculty of Languages & Cultures may also be taken instead. Alternatively, an approved Area or General course from the Music Department can be taken. See the Music Department’s website for details.

Programme Specification

Teaching & Learning

Destinations

A Masters in Social Anthropology at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will leave the graduate with an advanced understanding of behaviour in social groups, for instance the social organization of a particular person: customs, economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, kinship and family structure, gender relations, childrearing and socialization and religion. 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.

Graduates have gone on to work for a range of organisations including:

Africa Practice
Alastair Coey Architects
Bank of America, Tokyo branch
Citizenship Foundation
CNN
Department for Culture
Foreign Commision Office
General Medical Council
IBM
Institute of Ismaili Studies
Leonard Cheshire Disability
Mediacom
MMMF, the World Bank Group
Oriental Institute, University of Oxford
Salaam Bombay Foundation and Samaskaara
Street Children Africa
The Freud Museum
The Prince's Youth Business International
University of Gadjah Mada
World Society for the Protection of Animals

Types of roles that graduates have gone on to do include:

Consultant
Global Client Service Associate
PhD student
Secretary for the Minister for Communications
Social Researcher
Producer/Director
Lawyer
Business Analyst
International Trusts Manager
Research Fellow
Marketing Specialist
Overseas Programmes Director
Archives Officer
Director - Network Expansion
Health Promotion Consultant
Senior Lecturer
Online Marketing Officer

For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

How to apply

How to apply
Scholarships
SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00

Santander Taught Master’s Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2014-02-28 17:00

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

V P Kanitkar Memorial Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2014-03-20 17:00

For further information visit the Scholarships section

A Student's Perspective

When I first came here I was very surprised on how kind, polite and caring everyone was. From the staff to the students, everyone was very welcoming and enthusiastic. Coming from a corporate world and living in a big city like London, SOAS has been like an oasis in the desert; a very colourful, blissful environment which makes you feel at home.

Nafsika Papacharalampous