Our MRes Social Anthropology programme focuses largely on the study of the developing world, from remote communities to more recent urban development. We are curious about the world and innovative in our approach to finding new solutions to recurring problems.
Studying the programme at SOAS is unique as it draws from our expertise in a plethora of humanities subjects including sociology, philosophy, linguistics, literature, and history. If you are interested in nurturing a better understanding of what it is to be human in the complex world in which we live, then this discipline is suited to you.
This two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language courses will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.
Why study MRes Social Anthropology at SOAS?
- our Anthropology Department is ranked 6 in the UK and 16 in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings
- we 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
- you will be joining our thriving community of alumni and academics who have an impact on the world outside of academia
- you will be able to flexibly structure your programme using our optional modules and/or 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 second language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities
The MRes Social Anthropology may be taken either as a free standing MRes or as the first part of a PhD [e.g. as a 1 + 3 research training programme]. In the latter case, the MRes therefore serves as a shortcut into the PhD. It is designed to train students in research skills, including language training, to the level prescribed by the ESRC’s research training guidelines.
Most students would be expected to progress to PhD registration at the end of the degree.
This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in information and technology, the media, tourism, commerce and banking, government, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Start of programme: September
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time
- Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Social Anthropology or a taught Masters degree in social anthropology. This Masters is designed for students wishing to pursue a PhD in Social Anthropology. Exceptionally this course may be taken as a conversion MA. Students who would like to take this path must demonstrate a solid grounding in the discipline as well as the regional and language expertise necessary for continuing onto a PhD.
- 2 year full-time or 4 years part-time. The expectation in the UK is of continuous study across the year, with break periods used to read and to prepare coursework.
May be combined with:
The following Intensive Language pathways are available with the MRes Social Anthropology
Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 225 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 90-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.
In addition, all students must participate in the MPhil Research Training Seminar.
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.
Year 1 (two years full time)
Guided Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below, to the value of 15 credits.
Students take 60 credits in the selected language.
Students participate in a Summer School abroad for the selected language, to the value of 45 credits.
Year 2 (two years full time)
Students take 30 credits in the selected language.
Guided Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below, to the value of 30 credits.
Guided Module(s) from the Anthropology and Sociology list below, OR modules from the Postgraduate Open Options List, to the value of 30 credits.
All students are required to attend the Epigeum - Statistical Methods for Social Sciences. This will not count towards your 180 credits.
All students are required to take the compulsory dissertation module worth 90 credits.
List of modules (subject to availability)
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: nearly every day of the week, the SOAS Anthropology Department has a public lecture series running, including series in the general Social Anthropology, Anthropology of Food, Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Anthropology of Tourism and Travel.
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.
During the academic year, teaching is centred mainly around lectures and seminars. For the core module in the first term, there is a one hour thematic lecture, followed by a 1 hour tutorial. Lectures and seminars are often taken by different teachers to provide a variety of angles on the subject. 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.
These are taken by final-year students only, its aim is to provide an opportunity for students to conduct original historical research on their own initiative, to engage in in-depth analysis of particular subjects and to use a range of primary historical sources. It is assessed by a single 10,000-word dissertation (including notes but excluding bibliography).
The Language Entitlement Programme
While you may take a language module for credit, all SOAS MA students, regardless of department or degree, are also entitled to register for non-credit free courses in a single language through the 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.
Yes (Summer of Year 1)
Students of the MRes Social Anthropology develop a wide range of transferable skills such as research, analysis, oral and written communication skills.
The communication skills of anthropologists transfer well to areas such as information and technology, the media and tourism. Other recent SOAS career choices have included commerce and banking, government service, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration. Opportunities for graduates with trained awareness of the socio-cultural norms of minority communities also arise in education, local government, libraries and museums.
For more information visit Graduate Destinations for this department.
A Student's Perspective
My course has opened up the possibility of lots of exciting career paths; I am currently considering the option of travel writing, trainee journalism with the BBC, or digital marketing.