SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Social Anthropology with Intensive Language (2018 entry)

  • Combinations
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

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.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

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

Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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duration:
Two years full-time or four years part-time. 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.

Combinations

May be combined with:

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

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 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
Comparative Studies of Society and Culture 15PANC073 1.0
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).

Discipline Component

Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below , OR from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 15 credits.

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 from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 45 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation

All students are required to take the compulsory dissertation module worth 60 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
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
Comparative Studies of Society and Culture 15PANC073 1.0
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 from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 45 credits.

Language Component

Students take 30 credits in the selected language.

Dissertation

All students are required to take the compulsory dissertation module worth 60 credits.

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
List of Modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 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 1
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
Religions and Philosophies
Module Code Credits Term
Death and Religion 15PSRC162 30 Full Year
South Asia
Module Code Credits Term
Culture and Conflict in Nepal 15PSAH017 15 Term 1
South East Asia
Module Code Credits Term
Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 15 Term 2
Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007) 15PSEH008 15 Credits
Postcolonialism and Otherness in South East Asia On Screen 15PSEH010 15 Credits

 

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

Contact Hours

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.

Employment

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.

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.

Mia Barrow-Sullivan

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