SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Social Anthropology of Development and Intensive Language (2020 entry)

Select year of entry: 2020 2019

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

Overview

This two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who wish to combine knowledge of the anthropology of development, with expertise in a regional language. It prepares students to apply their anthropological knowledge in a developing country context by achieving proficiency in a language.

Our MA Social Anthropology of Development programme will provide you with an understanding in the ways which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice.

It attracts students with diverse educational, employment and cultural backgrounds, and is ideal for those wishing to reflect on their experience in development and for those intending to work in international development.

Why study MA Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS

You will gain knowledge of anthropology, development issues, and research methods and can choose from a wide range of optional courses to deepen your understanding of an ethnographic region, language, and/or a thematic area such as gender, health, food, migration and the media. You may choose to focus on anthropology courses, or avail of the wide variety of optional courses offered across SOAS.  

While the focus of the degree is on development issues and practice, its disciplinary orientation remains firmly anthropological. Applying an anthropological perspective, students will examine how development policy and programmes produce economic and social changes that implicate the local practices, meanings and identities of communities and individuals.

Students explore the contribution of anthropology to contemporary development debates, for example, on donors/aid agencies and NGOs, poverty, migration and development, human rights, violence and complex emergencies, refugees, gender, participatory development, social capital and community action, health, climate change, the role of business in development (corporate social responsibility and markets for the poor) and the moral economy of development.

The degree emphasises anthropological critiques of development, and in particular how paradigms such as empowerment, participation and sustainable development shape the options of beneficiaries.

This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in government, international aid institutions, non-governmental organisations, or social enterprises.

For more information email: dm21@soas.ac.uk 

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

duration:
2 years full time, 4 years part time

Fees 2019/20

UK/EU fees:
£9,685
Overseas fees:
£19,930

Fees for 2019/20 entrants. This is a Band 1 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

Combinations

May be combined with:

The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MA Social Anthropology of Development

Structure

Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below. 

In their first year, students on this two-year Intensive Language programme take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 30 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline. 

Students are also required to audit 15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods, i.e. to attend lectures for this module (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments). The module does not count towards the total of 315 credits.

There are two different pathways for the Social Anthropology of Development component of this programme: one for students without a background in Anthropology, and one for students with previous knowledge of the subject.

For information on the programme structure for the four-year part-time version of the programme, please see the pdf programme specification at the bottom of this page.

Please see the relevant web pages in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics for information on the Intensive Language part of the programme.

Two years without background in Anthropology
Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Anthropology of Development 15PANC090 30 Full Year
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Plus
15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods (non-credit bearing component)

This will not count towards the total of 315 credits, but students are required to audit this module, i.e. to attend lectures (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments).

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below (or relevant options from other departments) to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
Two years with background in Anthropology
Year 1 (two years full time)
Discipline Component
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Anthropology of Development 15PANC090 30 Full Year
Plus

A module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below to the value of 30 credits.

Plus
15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods (non-credit bearing component)

This will not count towards the total of 315 credits, but students are required to audit this module, i.e. to attend lectures (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments).

Language Component

Students take 60 credits in the selected language.

Summer Abroad

Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language.

Year 2 (two years full time)
Discipline Component

Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below (or relevant options from other departments) to the value of 60 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
List of Modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
Issues in Anthropology of Media 15PANH028 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 15 Term 2
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 15 Term 1
Issues in Anthropology and Film 15PANH022 15 Term 1
Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 15 Term 2
Media Production Skills (Group B) 15PANH050 15 Term 2
Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2019/2020
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 1
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
Issues in Forced Migration 15PDSH015 15 Term 2
Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) as Development Agencies 15PDSH014 0.5
Culture and Conflict in Nepal 15PSAH017 15 Term 1
History
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Environmental History of Asia 15PHIH023 15 Term 2 Not Running 2019/2020
South Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Political economy of violence, conflict and development 15PDSC003 30 Full Year

 

Programme Specification

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

The academic staff in the Department of Anthropology are dynamic, experienced teachers who are widely recognised for their expertise and enjoy working directly with students. Renowned scholars from other institutions also come to share their knowledge: nearly every day of the week, the SOAS Anthropology Department has a public lecture series running, including series in the general Social Anthropology, Anthropology of Food, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Anthropology of Tourism and Travel. 

In addition to these formal settings for learning, our students also learn from one another. Hailing from around the globe and bringing diverse life experiences to bear on their studies, all MA students in the Department of Anthropology can take courses together, making it a rich environment for intellectual exchange. Students also benefit from campus-wide programmes, clubs, study groups, and performances.

Modules

During the academic year, teaching is centred mainly around lectures and seminars. For the core module in the first term, there is a one hour thematic lecture, followed by a 1 hour tutorial. Lectures and seminars are often taken by different teachers to provide a variety of angles on the subject.  The majority of the student’s time will be through their own independent study. Students become more active in class through their reading and essay-writing and should greatly enhance their participation in discussion groups.  

The Dissertation

All students will write a dissertation of 10,000 words on a topic of their choice, related to the anthropology of development and subject to the agreement of the Programme Convener. The dissertation should show an appropriate command of anthropological theory and the relevant literature, as well as the capacity to apply this to the topic in question. Field-based research is not required, however, some students may choose to write dissertations based on fieldwork.

Pre Entry Reading

  • Crewe E and Richard Axelby. 2013. Anthropology and Development: Culture, Morality and Politics in a Globalised World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Edelman M, Haugerud A, eds. 2005. The Anthropology of Development and Globalisation: From Classical Political Economy to Contemporary Neoliberalism. Oxford: Blackwell
  • Gardner, Katy and Lewis, David. 2015. Anthropology and Development: Challenges For The Twenty-First Century. London: Pluto Press
  • Mosse, D. ed. 2011. Adventures in Aidland: The Anthropology of Professionals in International Development. London: Pluto Press
  • Olivier de Sardan, J.P. 2005 Anthropology and Development: Understanding Contemporary Social Change. London: Zed Books
Ethnographies of Aid and Development:
  • Green, M. 2014. The Development State. Aid, Culture and Civil Society in Tanzania. Oxford: James Currey
  • Gardner, Katy. 2012. The Gas Field: Discordant Development and the Politics of Survival in Bangladesh. London: Pluto Press
  • Gupta, Akhil. 2012. Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence and Poverty in India. Durham N.C. / London: Duke University Press
  • Hopgood Stephen. 2006. Keepers of the Flame: Understanding Amnesty International. Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  • Li, Tanya. 2007. The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development and the Practice of Politics. Durham: Duke University Press
  • Mosse, D. 2005. Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London: Pluto Press
  • Redfield, Peter. 2013. Life in Crisis: The Ethical Journey of Doctors Without Borders. Berkeley: University of California Press
  • Shah, Alpa 2010. In the Shadows of the State: Indigenous Politics, Environmentalism and Insurgency in Jharkand, India. Durham: Duke University Press
  • Tsing, A. 2005. Friction. An Ethnography of Global Connection. Princeton: Princeton University Press

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 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2019/20 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 2 year full-time programmes have 2 years of full-time fees - the fee in the second year will be higher than the fee for the first year (the full time fee below is for the first year only).

Full-time
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£9,685 £19,930
Scholarships
Postgraduate SOAS Global Impact Award

Application Deadline: 2019-01-31 00:00

SOAS International Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2019-02-28 00:00

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

Employment

A Masters in Social Anthropology of Developmenthelps you to understand the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised.

This programme will endow you 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 visit Graduate Destinations for this department.

A Student's Perspective

Being at SOAS has been one of the most interesting experiences in my life, from both a social and academic point of view. The School has an atmosphere like no other place I have ever been. In fact, after my first visit to the university, I decided that if I did not get my grades, I would not go to any other place!

Maryam Ramadan

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    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
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