SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage (2019 entry)

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage Summer School

Programme Description

Contemporary mobility and travel related landscapes invoke ideas of home, return, commemoration and celebration as well as issues of identity, cultural narratives, and memory. This course will explore the most recent theoretical and policy related approaches to travel and travellers over three weeks and includes (i) definitions and overviews of Anthropology of Travel, mass tourism, niche tourism, relations between tourism and the natural world, tourism related objects (such as souvenirs), and tourism and mythologies (ii) social, cultural, geographic, and historical framing of pilgrimage as well as the nature of pilgrimage related ritual and belief (iii) cultural heritage, landscape symbolism, contested spaces, nationalism and regionalism. The course consists of lectures, seminars, workshops, and field trips, and is open to an intergenerational body of university students, professionals, and members of the public.

Field visits include London museums and galleries, a trip to Rye, Sussex, on the ancient pilgrimage route: The Old Way, visits to the first museum of migration and diversity in Europe, the oldest synagogue in the UK, and a walking tour of the history and heritage of the Afro-Caribbean community in London. 

The course will be structured in blocks of the three topics: week one: tourism; week two: pilgrimage; week three: cultural heritage.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate familiarity and critical engagement with the main theories of Anthropology of Travel, Tourism, and Pilgrimage and their links to the growing body of travel related ethnographic work.
  • Possess a good overall grasp of the policies of governments and other institutions (such as NGOs and civil society groups) of the uses of travel, tourism and pilgrimage in economic development.
  • Demonstrate a strong grasp of the history of travel, tourism, pilgrimage and their central position in cultural heritage formation.
  • Marshal empirical evidence in argument-driven presentations in class.
  • Inspire students to continue with further study or interest in the Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage.

Teaching team

The course is taught by anthropologists, museologists, historians, and finance and marketing specialists, as well as practitioners working at the cutting edge of studies of travel and travel related cultural heritage. The core team consists of Senija Causevic (SOAS: Balkans, MENA, finance/marketing), Linda Coventon (SOAS; Sport/Olympics), Geoff de Vito (St Andrews/SOAS/Seaborne Company: cruise tourism), Safet Hadzimuhamedovic (SOAS; Bosnia-Herzegovina, gender, cultural identity, author of Waiting for Elijah (2018), Reza Masoudi (SOAS; Iran, urban ritual, author of The Rite of Urban Passage (2018), Tom Selwyn (SOAS, Mediterranean/Israel/Palestine, co-editor of Travelling Towards Home (2018). The team, which co-ordinates a book series for Berghahn publishers - Articulating Journeys: Festivals, Memorials, and Homecomings - will be joined by a number of distinguished visiting lecturers. 


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and a Record of Study will be available on request.


For more information please complete our enquiries form

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 1 July - 19 July 2019

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

3 weeks

Tuition Fees 2019

Tuition fee:



Programme Structure

Week One: Tourism
The course will open with an Introduction to the summer course

  • Tourism, Pilgrimage, and Cultural Heritage: Scope of the Field
  • Historical contexts of global tourism
  • Contemporary tourism: from the global to the local – key ethnographies.
  • Issues arising: tourist motivations (knowledge, pleasure), nature of hospitality, tourism policy and planning.
  • Field visits including London’s main tourist centres; “off the beaten track” routes in London; back of house visits to theatres and musical venues.

Week Two: Pilgrimage
On lines of above scheme stressing pilgrimage in, inter alia, Far East, Middle East, Mediterranean, Europe.

  • Definition and geographical/historical backgrounds to global pilgrimage sites
  • Visual, textual, and musical representations of pilgrimage
  • Contemporary pilgrimage, including pilgrimage in Iran, Palestine/Israel, France, Ireland, and elsewhere.
    Pilgrimage and identity.
  • Field visit to East Sussex and small rural pilgrimage/tourist trails. Finding secular pilgrims in rural and coastal sites.

Week three: Cultural Heritage
Analysis of the nature and uses of Cultural Heritage in specific regions including Middle East, Mediterranean, Balkans, Asia, and Europe, including London.

  • Definition of cultural heritage and its associations.
  • The socio-political role of cultural heritage in the Mediterranean and Middle-East.
  • Cultural heritage and social processes in China, Japan, Philippines.
  • UNESCO and World Heritage Sites.
  • Field Visits in London identifying main and subsidiary cultural heritage sites and the people and communities to which they are associated.

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:

46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours:

Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course will offer a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).

Fees and funding


Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


20% discount for our partner institutions


Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2019

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer three tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

The scholarships will cover the tuition fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2019. 

Application Deadline: 2019-04-12 00:00

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


How to Apply

Click to apply

Entry Requirements

In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
  • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
  • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
  • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university. 
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help. 

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses

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