SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Medical Anthropology (2018 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

The MA Medical Anthropology comprises two pathways catering for candidates with or without anthropological training. Students come to the course from all over the world, following BA study, work and travel experience or after long careers in other fields. This combination of diverse experience and skills makes for an intellectually exciting atmosphere for both teachers and students.

The course is distinctive in its focus on medical and health issues pertaining to Africa, Asia and Latin America. It covers anthropological theory, cultural understandings of health, and various options. These include combinations of anthropology and food, gender, shamanism and therapy, psychoanalysis, religion and healing in South Asia, China and in Africa, and study of the language and ethnography of a particular region. 

The programme consists of four elements, three examined courses and a dissertation of 10,000 words. The degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia. The aim of the degree is to provide:

  • A phenomenological understanding of the body, which implies also subjective attitudes to notions of health, sickness, disease, recovery and personal vulnerability
  • an understanding of these experiences within regional, political, economic and cultural contexts

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 degree is suitable for students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health as well as for those who work in health care in Africa and Asia.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

Featured events

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.

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.

NB: All students must audit the compulsory module, Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1.  This will not count towards the 180 credits.  Students will be expected to attend only lectures and do not attend seminars or submit any assessments.  Students may choose to take this module (worth 15 credits) as part of their 120 credits from the option lists.

Programme Detail

Dissertation

All students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words)

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
For students WITHOUT previous Anthropology degree
Core Module
Compulsory Modules
Module Code Credits Term
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
AND

Choose a module from the List A below to the value of 15 credits

AND

Choose module(s) from the List A or List B below to the value of 45 credits

OR

Choose Post Graduate Language modules to the value of 45 credits

For students WITH previous Anthropology degree
Core Module
Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
AND

Choose a module from the List A below to the value of 15 credits

AND

Choose module(s) from the List A or List B below to the value of 75 credits

OR

Choose Post Graduate Language modules to the value of 75 credits

List A
Module Code Credits Term
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
Aid and Development 15PDSH027 15 Term 2
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 1
Famine and food security 15PDSH022 15 Term 2
Gender and Development 15PDSH010 15 Term 1
List B
Module Code Credits Term
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 1
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
Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 15 Term 1
Death and Religion 15PSRC162 30 Full Year
East Asian Buddhist Thought 15PSRH018 15 Term 2
Religious Practice in Japan: Texts, Rituals and Believers 15PSRC071 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

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 Medical Anthropology at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised. This programme will also develop a specialist understanding of social processes and cultural representations of health, illness and the nursing/care practices associated with these.  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 about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.

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