Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

Our MA programme in Anthropology of Media takes up the challenge of understanding how and why media matters. The programme uniquely combines anthropology, media and cultural studies with SOAS’s regional expertise in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

It will provide you with critical skills, research methods, and 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.

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 recognised 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 anthropologise 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.

This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates having moved on to work in areas such as information and technology, government service, teaching or work in the media and tourism. Others are interested in specialising further through postgraduate studies.

Why study MA Anthropology of Media at SOAS?

  • Οur 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 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.


A Masters in our Anthropology of Media helps you to understand the world, other peoples’ ways of life and how society is organised.

This programme will endow you with a specialist understanding of producers, audiences, and other cultural and social aspects of mass media. 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.


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 will be required to take 30 credits from the Anthropology and Sociology options list.

The remaining credits can be selected from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or relevant options from other departments or a language module.


Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words)

  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology

For students WITHOUT previous Anthropology degree

Core Module

Comparative Media Studies

Taught Component

  • Ethnographic Research Methods
  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology


  • Choose modules from the List of Anthropology & Sociology modules below to the value of 60 credits.


  • Choose modules from List of departments below to the value of 60 credits.


  • Choose Post Graduate Language modules to the value of 60 credits.

For students WITH previous Anthropology degree

Core Module

  • Comparative Media Studies

Taught Component

  • Ethnographic Research Methods


  • Choose modules from the List of Anthropology & Sociology modules below to the value of 30 credits.


  • Choose modules from the List of Anthropology & Sociology modules below to the value of 60 credits.


  • Choose modules from List of departments below to the value of 60 credits.


  • Choose Post Graduate Language modules to the value of 60 credits.

List of Modules (subject to availability)

  • Anthropology and Sociology
    • African and Asian Cultures in Britain
    • African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World
    • Anthropology of Human Rights (PG)
    • Anthropology of Globalisation (PG)
    • Anthropology of Law
    • Culture and Society of China
    • Culture and Society of East Africa
    • Culture and Society of Japan
    • Culture and Society of South Asia
    • Culture and Society of South East Asia
    • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East
    • Culture and Society of West Africa
    • Ethnographic Research Methods
    • Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry
    • Issues in Anthropology and Film
    • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
    • Media Production Skills (Group B)
    • Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion
    • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology
    • Therapy and Culture
    • Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective
  • Africa
  • Centre for Media Studies
    • Digital traditional broadcasting communication
    • International Political Communication
    • Mediated Culture in the Middle East: Politics and Communications
    • Sound Recording and Production
    • Theoretical Approaches to International Journalisms
    • Transnational Communities and Diasporic Media: Networking, Connectivity, Identity
  • China and Inner Asia
    • Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG)
    • Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora (PG)
  • Development Studies
    • Gender and Development
  • History of Art and Archaeology
    • Asia and Africa On Display: Objects, Exhibitions and Transculturism
  • Japan and Korea
    • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
    • Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli
  • Near and the Middle East
    • Film and Society in the Middle East
  • South Asia
    • Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context
    • Indian Cinema: Key Issues
  • South-East Asia
    • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film
    • Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007)
    • (Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen
  • Language Modules
    Choose Post Graduate Language modules

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.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first or good second class honours bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed. As an approximate comparison, an equivalent BA from a US university would have a Grade Point Average of either 3.3 or 3.5 depending on the awarding university. If an applicant does not have a bachelors degree in an appropriate field s/he may be required to complete a qualifying year or a one-year diploma before entering the master's programme. Relevant work experience may also be taken into consideration. Individual courses may have specific entry requirements, so you are advised to consult the postgraduate prospectus for further information.

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.

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated September 26, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
1 - 3 years
9,685 GBP
Full-time fees per academic year: UK/EU £9,685; Overseas £19,930. Part-time 2 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £4,843; Overseas £9,965. Part-time 3 years fees per academic year: UK/EU £3,228; Overseas £6,643.
June 30, 2020
By locations
By date
Start Date
Sep 28, 2020
End Date
June 18, 2021
Application deadline
June 30, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Application deadline
June 30, 2020
End Date
June 18, 2021