MA Anthropology of Media with Intensive Language

Please note that this degree will NOT be running in 2018/19

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.

Entry Requirements: The minimum of an upper second-class BA degree (or equivalent). Some exceptions are made for those with significant experience in a relevant media related career.

Start of programme: September intake only.

Mode of Attendance: Full-Time or Part-Time

Who is this programme for?

A wide range of students with different interests and backgrounds come to this programme from all over the world, in order to explore why media matter. They are highly qualified with very diverse international interests. It is particularly suitable for:

  • Students with a degree in media or cultural studies.
  • Students with a degree in the social sciences or humanities wishing to acquire a broad understanding of media and cultural studies with special reference to Asia or Africa.
  • People with professional experience in film, television, journalism, advertising or public relations.
  • Students with a degree in social anthropology wishing to pursue more specialist media-related topics along with the regional or language-based study.
  • Students without a previous degree in Anthropology looking for an MA conversion degree to serve as a qualification for pursuing a further research degree in anthropology.

Our world is inescapably and continuously transformed through a proliferation of media. The MA in Anthropology of Media at SOAS takes up the challenge of understanding how and why media matter. The programme uniquely combines anthropology, media and cultural studies with specific regional expertise in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It provides students with critical skills, research methods, a wide-ranging understanding of media and the opportunity to pursue original research projects. The MA in Anthropology and Media is the first and still the only programme in Europe that specialises in bringing together contemporary anthropological concerns with media and cultural studies.

The MA in Anthropology of Media is a recent and rapidly growing field within the larger academic discipline of Anthropology. It both incorporates and challenges the well-established anthropological concerns with visual culture and ethnographic film through a more extensive examination of contemporary media practices. Along with the parallel disciplines of media and cultural studies, Anthropology of Media is now widely recognized as playing an increasingly important and critical role in current debates about media. It provides an alternative approach, which puts the emphasis upon studying the multiple relationships between people and media and thus seeks to anthropologize media and cultural studies. More than just focussing on media texts or technology, Anthropology of Media is marked by the centrality of people and how they relate to media.

The SOAS programme in Anthropology of Media is designed to provide a detailed introduction to the study of media in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and their diasporas. We also use the theoretical and methodological contributions of Anthropology to build upon and challenge Euro-American media and cultural studies. The programme stresses ethnographic approaches to media as cultural practices in social and political contexts where people inhabit, create and engage with media worlds.

Special Features

The Department cultivates several specialist strengths which distinguish it from other anthropology departments in the UK. The most obvious of these is that all members of the Department are specialists on Africa and Asia. Particular attention is given to teaching and researching regional ethnographic areas of expertise. All staff members are simultaneously attached as anthropologists to this Department and as regional specialists to their appropriate regional studies centre within the School.

SOAS also offers strong interdisciplinary support for the study of media including the Centre for Media and Film Studies and a highly regarded Department of Music. We have a dedicated multi-media suite, a radio station and satellite access to a wide range of world television. Further, the Library houses a major collection of books and journals on world media as well as extensive audio-visual materials.


The programme consists of four units in total: three units of taught examined courses and a one unit dissertation of 10,000 words. Some courses may be taught in other departments in the school.

Core Courses:

  • Comparative Media Studies - 15 PAN C009 (1.0 unit).
  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology - 15PANC999 (1.0 unit). This is a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic agreed with the Programme Convenor of the MA Anthropology of Media and the candidate’s supervisor.
  • Additionally all MA Anthropology students 'audit' the course Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1 - this will not count towards your 4 units.

Foundation Course

  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology - 15PANC008 (1.0 unit). This is compulsory only for students without a previous anthropology degree.

Option Courses:

  • The remaining unit(s) of your programme, either 1 unit of option courses (if taking Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology) or 2 units (if exempted from Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology), may then be selected from the Option Courses list below.
  • Your 1 or 2 total units may be made up of any combination of 0.5 or 1 unit option courses.
  • However, courses without a "15PANxxxx" course code are taught outside of the Anthropology Department. No more than 1 unit in total, of these courses, may be selected.
  • Alternatively, one language course may be taken from the Faculty of Languages and Cultures.

Programme Detail

Compulsory Elements

  • Comparative Media Studies 15PANC009 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology 15PANC999 (60 credits) Full Year

Foundation Course

  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology 15PANC008 (30 credits) Full Year

Option Courses

Half Unit Anthropology Options

  • African and Asian Cultures in Britain 15PANH009 (15credits) Term 2
  • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World 15PANH010 (15credits) Term 1
  • Anthropology of Human Rights (PG) 15PANH058 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Anthropology of Globalisation (PG) 15PANH061 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Anthropology of Law 15PANH056 (15credits) Term 2
  • Anthropological approaches to agriculture, food and nutrition 15PANH053 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Ethnographic Research Methods 15PANH002 (15credits) Term 1
  • Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry 15PANH032 (15credits) Term 2
  • Issues in Anthropology and Film 15PANH022 (15credits) Term 1
  • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender 15PANH024 (15credits) Term 2
  • Media Production Skills 15PANH050 (15credits) Term 2
  • Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion 15PANH055 (15credits) Term 1
  • Therapy and Culture 15PANH027 (15credits) Term 1
  • Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective 15PANH059 (15credits) Term 1 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Aspects of African film and video 2 15PAFH007 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Diaspora Contexts and Visual Culture 15PARH042 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Digital traditional broadcasting communication 15PMSH022 (15credits) Term 2
  • Gender and Development 15PDSH010 (15credits) Term 1
  • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film 15PSEH011 (15credits) Term 2
  • Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context 15PSAH001 (15credits) Term 1
  • Indian Cinema: Key Issues 15PSAH002 (15credits) Term 2
  • International Political Communication 15PMSH009 (15credits) Term 2
  • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde 15PJKH008 (15credits) Term 2
  • Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli 15PJKH007 (15credits) Term 1
  • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications 15PMSH003 (15credits) Term 1
  • Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (MA) 15PCHH001 (15credits) Term 2
  • Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora 15PCHH002 (15credits) Term 1
  • Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007) 15PSEH008 (15credits) Term 2
  • (Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen 15PSEH010 (15credits) Term 2 Not Running 2017/2018
  • Sound Recording and Production 15PMSH025 (15credits) Term 1
  • The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use 15PMSH006 (15credits) Term 1
  • Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media: Networking, Connectivity, Identity 15PMSH004 (15credits) Term 2

Full Unit Anthropology Options

May include a language unit taught in the Faculty of Languages & Cultures.

  • Culture and Society of China 15PANH062 (15credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of East Africa 15PANH063 (15credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of Japan 15PANH065 (15credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of South Asia 15PANH064 (15credits) Term 1
  • Culture and Society of South East Asia 15PANH066 (15credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East 15PANH067 (15credits) Term 2
  • Culture and Society of West Africa 15PANH068 (15credits) Term 2
  • Film and Society in the Middle East 15PNMC230 (30 credits) Full Year
  • Japanese Television since 1953 15PJKC006 (30 credits) Full Year Not Running 2017/2018
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Last updated January 22, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
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Sep 2019
1 - 3 years
9,225 GBP
Full-time UK/EU Fees: £9,225; Full-time Overseas Fees: £18,980 per academic year
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June 30, 2019
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