SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Student Life

In the Department

The Anthropology Department is a vibrant home to more than 350 BA, MA, and PhD students hailing from points around the globe and all over the UK. The SOAS Anthropology Student Society (aka SASS!), a social and intellectual community for Anthropology students at all levels, will be starting up as soon as we’re back on campus. SASS is housed in the student-run Helen Kanitkar Anthropology Library, a dedicated library and social space for individual and group study, small discussion groups, peer-to-peer mentoring, and (quiet!) conversation. Run by a student librarian and a team of volunteers, it’s a warm and friendly space to meet fellow students from other year groups and degree programmes in the department.

Campus-Wide Activities

Anthropology students get involved in activities across the SOAS campus, from serving as Student Ambassadors to volunteering for SOAS Radio. They play a lively part in the SOAS Student Union’s many clubs and societies: among the most popular social venues for anthropologists are Art and the African Mind, the World Development Society, the World Music Choir, the Film Society, and numerous other groups focusing on particular regions, languages, art forms, and cultures, as well as the many sports clubs and teams. Anthropology undergraduates regularly serve on the editorial board of the SOAS Undergraduate Research Journal, which publishes outstanding original research by SOAS students, while MA and PhD students can can get involved with the SOAS Journal of Postgraduate Research.

Awards and Prizes

There are a number of awards and prizes that Anthropology students are encouraged to apply for. Undergraduates planning original field research towards a final-year Independent Study Project (ISP) in Anthropology are eligible to apply for the Hiskins Fieldwork Award and the Undergraduate Research Award, while the department’s Fürer-Haimendorf Fund supports doctoral fieldwork in South Asia and/or visual anthropology and the Elisabeth Croll Scholarship supports PhD field research in China. The Christopher Davis Award supports a 4th year PhD candidate in completing their thesis. In addition, the School of Arts hosts an Annual Photography Competition, for which students from across SOAS are invited to submit entries. Prizes given annually by the Anthropology Department include the Undergraduate Achievement Award, recognising overall excellence; the Certificate of Distinction, honouring an exceptional ISP; the Outstanding MA Student Awards, one for each programme; and the MA Dissertation Prize.