SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Social Anthropology (2021 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Employment

Overview

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MA Social Anthropology

Overview and entry requirements

Our MA Social Anthropology programme is designed on a modular basis offering different routes to suit 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

This course in also available as an alternative MA Medical Anthropology pathway, which is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to understand and address pressing global challenges in health and mental health from diverse perspectives: click here for more information.

Why study MA Social Anthropology at SOAS

  • SOAS is ranked 5th in the UK in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for Anthropology, and 16th in the world 
  • draw on the exceptional regional expertise of our academics in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern languages and politics, many of whom have joined us with a practical working knowledge of their disciplines
  • join our thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the outside world of academia
  • flexibly structure your programme using our optional modules and/or the optional modules from other departments, including the opportunity to learn a regional language
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages; your command of a language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities
  • this programme has a first-rate graduate employability record. 

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

Start of programme: September intake only

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.

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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.

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.

Structure

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

All students are expected to take the compulsory modules listed below, except for students with a previous Anthropology degree, who are not required to take the Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology (TASA) module but may wish to select this as one of their options. In addition to TASA, students who choose the Medical Anthropology pathway are required to take the compulsory modules associated with the pathway.

Programme

Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
AND

Guided Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below, to the value of 30 credits.

AND

Guided Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below, OR modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 45 credits.

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
Pathway in Medical Anthropology

Students who wish to undertake the MA Social Anthropology with a Pathway in Medical Anthropology must also fulfil the following requirements:

Compulsory Module
Module Code Credits Term
Medical Anthropology: Bodies and Cultures 15PANH088 15 Term 2
Medical Anthropology: Global Perspectives 15PANH089 15 Term 1
AND

Guided Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below, OR modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 45 credits.

List of Modules (subject to availability)
Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term
African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World: Migration, Space, Identities 15PANH086 15 Term 1
African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World: Cultures of Resistance and the Dissolution of Boundaries 15PANH085 15 Term 2
Anthropology of Food: Diet, Society and Environment 15PANH090 15 Term 2
Anthropology of Food: Politics, Place and Mobility 15PANH087 15 Term 1
Anthropology of Sustainability: Global Challenges and Alternative Futures 15PANH083 15 Term 1
Body politics: the anthropology of "race", gender and desire 15PANH082 15 Term 2
How to Change Things 15PANH093 15 Term 2
Issues in Anthropology and Climate Change 15PANH070 15 Term 2
Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 15 Term 1
Medical Anthropology: Bodies and Cultures 15PANH088 15 Term 2
Medical Anthropology: Global Perspectives 15PANH089 15 Term 1
Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 15 Term 2
Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 15 Term 1

 

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. The SOAS Anthropology Department sponsors several lecture series, including the weekly Departmental Research Seminar, the Food Studies Centre's Food Forum and the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies’ Seminar Series.

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.

Contact hours

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 perpsectives on the subject.

All modules involve the active participation of students in the discussion of ideas, viewpoints and readings. 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.

Dissertation

The MA Social Anthropology 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.

SOAS Library

SOAS Library is one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attracting scholars from all over the world. The Library houses over 1.2 million volumes, together with significant archival holdings, special collections and a growing network of electronic resources.

Employment

Employment

Students from SOAS’ Department of Anthropology and Sociology develop an in-depth understanding of the world. Employers value our graduates’ cultural awareness and global perspective, as well as their skills in analysis, data interpretation and problem-solving.

Recent Department of Anthropology and Sociology graduates have been hired by:

  • Allen & Overy
  • BBC
  • British Council
  • Deloitte
  • Hackney Migrant Centre
  • IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development)
  • IOM- UN Migration
  • Media 52
  • New York Times
  • Social Mobility Foundation
  • The Week
  • UNICEF
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • World Bank Group

Find out about our Careers Service.

A Student's Perspective

The Food Studies Centre is truly interdisciplinary in its approach, bringing together political, economic, cultural, and geographical perspectives to better understand the crucial and complex role food plays in people’s lives.

Anna Seecharan

Find out more