SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability (2021 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Who is this programme for?

Are you interested in climate change, sustainability and global equality?

Do you want to find out how to influence policy and practice in places of power?

Climate politics, mass extinction, inequalities, racial injustice and global health crises raise questions about how we currently live our lives and pose crucial questions about how we can build a sustainable future.

This programme focuses on the big challenges of our times, offering students the opportunity to explore, communicate and address the major trends and debates as engaged global citizens.

It asks fundamental questions about what it is to be human in a complex and ever-changing world, critically questioning existing assumptions and knowledge, and productively thinking about how to envision and create a more just and sustainable world.

Loading the player...

Study MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability

Why study MA Global Futures and Sustainability at SOAS?

  • This is an interdisciplinary MA with an anthropological core drawing on other disciplines.
  • Teaching is strongly informed by our regional interests in Africa and Asia, and from professional experiences of working in/with development banks, government departments, NGOs and activist organisations, social businesses and media collectives.
  • You will encounter literature raising difficult moral and ethical questions in an academic environment where debate is highly encouraged and prized.
  • You can take your own interests into a research project guided by an expert supervisor from our department.
  • Our focus on the future and sustainability are areas of growing global concern and significance among private, public and international institutions; our emphasis on skills, communication and methodology gives graduates a clear advantage with employers as we put education into practice.
  • Overall, this is a unique opportunity within the UK to explore the big issues with a practical focus on communication and change.
  • Our Anthropology department is amongst the leading programmes in the UK (ranked #5 in QS World Rankings 2020) and is highly regarded globally (ranked #13 in QS World Rankings 2020).

Our focus is on both understanding and change.

To understand: we explore anthropological literatures, methodologies and approaches to the future, sustainability and climate change.

To change: we explore how the world works so we can target our communication, improve the ways in which we speak, write and argue, and to develop the tools, approaches and skills to effect change.

The programme is a key part of the SOAS Department of Anthropology and Sociology’s commitment to economic and social justice, environmental equality and to engage strongly and critically with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.

If you are interested and want to know more, please email Dr. Ben Bowles. 

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

Featured events

duration:
One calendar year (full-time); two or three years (part-time, daytime only). The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.

Fees 2021/22

UK fees:
£11,520
Overseas fees:
£22,500

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. This is a Band 3 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

Convenors

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 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

This programme is designed to give students practical knowledge and tools for tackling climate change and helping to create a sustainable future. A mix of seminars, lectures, workshops and practical sessions will form the teaching of the programme. Assessment will be conducted through a combination of essays, reflective pieces, practical exercises (such as methodological experiments), presentations in writing and other media and reports.

There are five core elements:

Sustainability: The big challenges in development and future thinking (environmental movements, humanitarianism, economic alternatives, refugees, racism, pandemics).

Climate Change: A focused examination of theory, institutions and knowledge.

Ethnographic Research Methods: The theory and practice of excellent anthropological research.

‘How to Change Things’: How to present and target research in the world. You will also receive direct instruction from experts, including engaged anthropologists, activists and artists, on our flagship engaged anthropology module. This includes practical training in how to lobby governments for change, how to produce media for a range of audiences, how to engage with and advocate for communities, and how to effect positive change towards the ends of social justice.

Dissertation: Opportunity to research, produce and present an original project based on the themes of the programme.

As well as the programme’s core modules, students will also be able to choose other modules offered in the department, such as Anthropology of Food and Migration and Diaspora, among many others. In addition, module options from departments across SOAS, including a range of languages and other disciplines, will be available, allowing students to tailor their MA to their skills and interests.

Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Sustainability: Global Challenges and Alternative Futures 15PANH083 15 Term 1
Issues in Anthropology and Climate Change 15PANH070 15 Term 2
How to Change Things 15PANH093 15 Term 2
Dissertation

Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words) worth 60 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year

 

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Modules

During the academic year, modules are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and/or seminars. Students can expect an average of two hours of classroom time per week for each module. Outside of the classroom, students explore topics of the module through independent study and through personal exchanges with teachers and fellow students. In some cases, modules are taught by several teachers within the department to provide students with an array of perspectives on the subject. All modules involve the active participation of students in the discussion of ideas, viewpoints and readings.

The Dissertation

The MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation, based on original research on a topic of the student's own choosing and developed in discussion with a supervisor.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 3 tuition fee.

Fees for 2021/22 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Fees go up each year, therefore, your tuition fee in your second & subsequent years of study will be higher. Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years Part-time 4 Years
Intensive Language only
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
UK
Students
Overseas
Students
£11,520 £22,500 £5,760 £11,250 £3,840 £7,500 £5,760 £11,250
Scholarships

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

"Studying anthropology at SOAS gave me the tools to ask interesting questions about sustainability and conservation policies. My dissertation research into wildlife management in the UK made me understand the powerful impact of an anthropological approach to policy analysis, something I have continued to use in my career since, as a civil servant and now as a PhD student." Charlotte Zealley - MA graduate 2019

"The MA programme tremendously expanded my knowledge of the opportunities and challenges to realising a sustainable future. I was supported by incredible lecturers to pursue research that interested me, delving into subjects such as indigenous peoples’ rights in climate change policy which culminated in my dissertation on the carbon rush in Amazonia, and my subsequent employment in the field of human rights, sustainability and climate change." Ligia Baracat - MA graduate 2016

"Graduates of the programme have found employment in a range of non-profit organisations, international aid organisations, consultancy firms, research institutions, corporations and media." Catherine Dolan - Reader in Anthropology


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

A Student's Perspective

More than anything, I like the radical spirit nurtured by the SOAS despite attacks on activists and the spirit of protest by all manner of socio-political and economic institutions. The faculty, in what and how they teach, enhanced the analytical tools I have to make myself a better person, trying to make what one of my favourite philosophers, Judith Butler, has called 'a more livable world.' Thank you SOAS. 

Shreya Ila Anasuya Sanghani

Apply

Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
  • Got a question?

    If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.

    Ask a question

  • Apply

    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

    Start your application