SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

MA Social Anthropology of Development

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.

Fees 2017/18

UK/EU fees:
£8,785
Overseas fees:
£18,075

Fees for 2017/18 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

2017 Entry requirements

  • Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent)

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

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

This Anthropology MA provides an understanding of the ways in which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. It attracts students with diverse backgrounds and study/work experiences which makes for a lively and challenging atmosphere.

The degree is designed to provide students with a fairly detailed knowledge of anthropology, development issues, research methods and either an ethnographic region (and/or language) and/or thematic interest in health/gender/food/ media. Advice will be given to match the choice of optional components to the requirements, interests, and qualifications of individual students whose background may be in general social science, regional, language or other studies. While the focus of the degree is on development issues and practice, its disciplinary orientation remains anthropological.

Students explore the contribution of anthropology to contemporary development debates, for example, on donors/aid agencies and NGOs, poverty, migration and development, dominating discourses, human rights, violence and complex emergencies, refugees, gender, social capital and community action, health, climate change, the ‘market’ (as a core metaphor of globalised development), whether there are alternatives to the market, the role of business in development (corporate social responsibility and markets for the poor) and the importance of ethical, professional conduct by anthropologists. Anthropological studies provide the basis for understanding issues of state and governance in development, as well as the meaning of community development, and of popular ‘participation’ and ‘empowerment’. Throughout the programme, the role of, and opportunities for anthropologists as professionals in development is discussed, in part through a dedicated series of seminars in term 2.

Note: (1) Students registered in other departments who wish to take this course MUST write to the Director of Study for this course for permission to take it.

The programme consists of four elements: three assessed course units and a dissertation of 10,000 words.

The degree’s core course – ‘Anthropology of Development’ – provides an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of anthropological perspectives on policy and practice in contemporary international development, and gives a theoretical overview of the relationship between development and anthropology. The course examines the politics of aid, shifting aid frameworks, and concrete intervention programmes, bridging the disparate worlds of planners and beneficiaries. This involves close reading of anthropological monographs/studies which examine the nature of policy-making, bureaucracy and programmes in a variety of sectors – health, agriculture, water and others – while always paying close attention to the specific cultural contexts of intervention. Students should note that the course is continuously assessed which each term students are expected to write 1 book review, 1 essay and sit a 50 minute examination. This form of assessment has been found to be much fairer to overseas students whose first language is not English. While continuous assessment requires students to organize their studies efficiently from the very beginning of the year, we have found that a much higher proportion of our students graduate having achieved a distinction.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship scheme has been extended to cover the MA Social Anthropology of Development.

Note (2). Students registered in other departments at SOAS, notably in Development Studies, must apply in writing/email to the Director of Studies for permission to take this course as part of their degree.

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.

Programme Overview

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 core and compulsory modules listed below, except for students with a previous Anthropology degree, who are not required to take the Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology module but may wish to select this as part of their 120 credits from the options lists.

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.

Students with a previous Anthropology degree are required to take 30 credits from the Anthropology and Sociology options.

All students can select the remaining credits from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or relevant options from other departments or a language module.  See below for a detailed programme structure.

Language Entitlement Programme:

Many students choose to pursue a language through the SOAS Language Entitlement Programme (LEP). Languages normally available include Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu. Others may also be offered.

Programme Detail

COMPULSORY MODULES

Students without a previous Anthropology degree are required to take all the compulsory modules, totalled at 90 credits. Students with a previous Anthropology degree are not required to take the Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology module, totalled at 60 credits. All students are required to audit the Ethnographic Research Methods module. This will not count towards your 180 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 60 Full Year
Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 15 Term 1
Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 30 Full Year
CORE MODULE

All students must take the core module worth 30 credits.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Anthropology of Development 15PANC090 30 Full Year
OPTIONAL MODULES

Students with a previous Anthropology degree: 30 credits of your programme must be selected from the Anthropology and Sociology options list. All students can select the remaining 60 credits can be selected from Anthropology and Sociology or other departments or a language module.

Anthropology and Sociology
Module Code Credits Term Availability
African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 15 Term 2
African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 15 Term 1
Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 15 Term 2
Comparative Media Theory 15PANH028 15 Term 1
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 1
Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 15 Term 2
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 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
Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 15 Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
OTHER DEPARTMENTS
Development Studies
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Development Practice 15PDSH013 15 Term 2
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 the Himalaya 15PSAC291 30 Full Year
History
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Environmental History of Asia 15PHIH023 15 Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
South Asia
Module Code Credits Term Availability
Political economy of violence, conflict and development 15PDSC003 30 Full Year
LANGUAGE MODULES

For a list of language modules, please go to the Faculty of Languages and Cultures webpages - https://www.soas.ac.uk/languagecultures/courses/ - and view the options under the postgraduate modules section for each department.

 

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.

Programme Specification

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

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 2017/18 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-timePart-time 2 YearsPart-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£8,785 £18,075 £4,393 £9,038 £2,928 £6,025
Scholarships
Allan and Nesta Ferguson Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2017-01-31 17:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

The Prospect Burma Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2017-02-22 17:00

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

Employment

A postgraduate degree in the Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS develops students’ understanding of the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised with a particular focus on how anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice. 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.

A Student's Perspective

More than anything, I like the radical spirit nurtured by the SOAS despite attacks on activists and the spirit of protest by all manner of socio-political and economic institutions. The faculty, in what and how they teach, enhanced the analytical tools I have to make myself a better person, trying to make what one of my favourite philosophers, Judith Butler, has called 'a more livable world.' Thank you SOAS. 

Shreya Ila Anasuya Sanghani

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