Start of programme: September intake only
Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time
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 take three taught courses and complete a 10,000 word dissertation.
- 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.
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 examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words.
- 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.
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.
This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants
If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.
Teaching & Learning
All Masters programmes consist of 180 credits, made up of taught modules of 30 or 15 credits, taught over 10 or 20 weeks, and a dissertation of 60 credits. The programme structure shows which modules are compulsory and which optional.
As a rough guide, 1 credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. Most of this will be independent study, including reading and research, preparing coursework, revising for examinations and so on. It will also include class time, which may include lectures, seminars and other classes. Some subjects, such as learning a language, have more class time than others. At SOAS, most postgraduate modules have a one hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week, but this does vary.
More information is on the page for each module.
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 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year.
||Part-time 2 Years
||Part-time 3 Years
Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00
For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section
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:
Alastair Coey Architects
Bank of America, Tokyo branch
Department for Culture
Foreign Commision Office
General Medical Council
Institute of Ismaili Studies
|Leonard Cheshire Disability
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:
Global Client Service Associate
Secretary for the Minister for Communications
International Trusts Manager
Overseas Programmes Director
Director - Network Expansion
Health Promotion Consultant
Online Marketing Officer
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
A Student's Perspective
I was nervous about the prospect of getting back into higher education. But staff and students alike have made the transition a really easy process for me; SOAS feels like home, after only 4 months of study here.