MA Social Anthropology of Development

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time


Our MA Social Anthropology of Development programme will provide you with an understanding in the ways which anthropological approaches and debates inform the study of meanings and concepts in development, its priorities, policies and practice.

It attracts students with diverse educational, employment and cultural backgrounds, and is ideal for those wishing to reflect on their experience in development and for those intending to work in international development.

Why study MA Social Anthropology of Development at SOAS

You will gain knowledge of anthropology, development issues, and research methods and can choose from a wide range of optional modules to deepen your understanding of an ethnographic region, language, and/or a thematic area such as gender, health, food, migration and the media. You may choose to focus on anthropology modules or avail of the wide variety of optional modules offered across SOAS.

While the focus of the degree is on development issues and practice, its disciplinary orientation remains firmly anthropological. Applying an anthropological perspective, students will examine how development policy and programmes produce economic and social changes that implicate the local practices, meanings and identities of communities and individuals.

Students explore the contribution of anthropology to contemporary development debates, for example, on donors/aid agencies and NGOs, poverty, migration and development, human rights, violence and complex emergencies, refugees, gender, participatory development, social capital and community action, health, climate change, the role of business in development (corporate social responsibility and markets for the poor) and the moral economy of development.

The degree emphasises anthropological critiques of development, and in particular how paradigms such as empowerment, participation and sustainable development shape the options of beneficiaries.

This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in government, international aid institutions, non-governmental organisations, or social enterprises.

Employment

A Masters in Social Anthropology of Development 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.

Structure

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 are required to take 30 credits from the Anthropology and Sociology options.

All students can select the remaining credits from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or relevant options from other departments or a language module.

Dissertation

Students must complete a Dissertation (10,000 words).

  • Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology

For students without previous Anthropology degree

Core Module

  • Anthropology of Development

Compulsory Module

  • Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology

and

All students must audit the compulsory module, Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1. This will not count towards the 180 credits.

and

Guided Option

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

and

Choose modules from the Postgraduate Open Options list to the value of 30 credits.

For students with previous Anthropology degree

Core Module

Compulsory Module

All students must audit the compulsory module, Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1. This will not count towards the 180 credits.

and

Guided Option

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

and

Choose modules from the Postgraduate Open Options list to the value of 30 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 Globalisation (PG)
    • Anthropology of Human Rights (PG)
    • Anthropology of Law
    • Issues in Anthropology of Media
    • 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 Anthropology and Film
    • Issues in Mind, Culture and Psychiatry
    • Issues in the Anthropology of Gender
    • Media Production Skills (Group B)
    • Perspectives On Development
    • Religions on the move: New Currents and Emerging Trends in Global Religion
    • Therapy and Culture
    • Tourism and Travel: A Global Perspective

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

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

English Language Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

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.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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