Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
Our MRes Social Anthropology programme focuses largely on the study of the developing world, from remote communities to more recent urban development. We are curious about the world and innovative in our approach to finding new solutions to recurring problems.
Studying the programme at SOAS is unique as it draws from our expertise in a plethora of humanities subjects including sociology, philosophy, linguistics, literature, and history. If you are interested in nurturing a better understanding of what it is to be human in the complex world in which we live, then this discipline is suited to you.
Why study MRes Social Anthropology at SOAS
- Our 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 programme optional modules and/or our Open Options modules from other departments, including the opportunity to learn a regional language.
- We are specialists in the delivery of languages. Your command of a language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities.
This programme has a first-rate graduate employability record, with graduates moving on to find employment in information and technology, the media, tourism, commerce and banking, government, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration.
The MRes is recognised by the ESRC.
Aims and Outcomes
The MRes is designed to train students in research skills to the level prescribed by the ESRC’s research training guidelines. It is intended for students with a good first degree (minimum of a 2.1) in social anthropology and/or a taught Masters degree in social anthropology. Most students would be expected to progress to PhD registration at the end of the degree. By the end of the program students will:
- Have achieved practical competence in a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools.
- Have the ability to understand key issues of method and theory, and to understand the epistemological issues involved in using different methods.
In addition to key issues of research design, students will be introduced to a range of specific research methods and tools including:
- Interviewing, collection and analysis of oral sources, analysis and use of documents, participatory research methods, issues of triangulation research validity and reliability, writing and analysing field notes, and ethnographic writing.
- Social statistics techniques, relevant for fieldwork and ethnographic data analysis (including chi-square tests, the T-test, F-test, and the rank correlation test).
Discipline-specific training in anthropology includes:
- Ethnographic methods and participant observation;
- Ethical and legal issues in anthropological research;
- The logistics of long-term fieldwork;
- Familiarisation with the appropriate regional and theoretical literature;
- Writing-up (in the field and producing ethnography) and communicating research results; and
- Language training.
Students of the MRes Social Anthropology develop a wide range of transferable skills such as research, analysis, oral and written communication skills.
The communication skills of anthropologists transfer well to areas such as information and technology, the media and tourism. Other recent SOAS career choices have included commerce and banking, government service, the police and prison service, social services and health service administration. Opportunities for graduates with trained awareness of the socio-cultural norms of minority communities also arise in education, local government, libraries and museums.
The programme consists of 180 credits: 90 credits of modules and a dissertation of 15,000 words at 90 credits.
All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed below and must participate in the Research Training Seminar.
All students are required to take 30 credits from the Anthropology and Sociology list.
The remaining credits can be selected the Department of Anthropology and Sociology list or relevant options from other departments or a language module.
All students are required to take the compulsory dissertation module worth 60 credits.
- Dissertation in Anthropological Research Methods (90)
- Research Methods in Anthropology
All students are expected to attend the MPhil Training Seminar. This will not count towards your 180 credits.
Choose a module(s) from the List of Modules below to the value of 30 credits.
Choose a module(s) from the List of Modules below to the value of 30 credits.
Choose a module(s) from Listed Options from other departments below to the value of 30 credits.
Choose Postgraduate Language modules to the value of 30 credits.
List of Modules (subject to availability)
- African and Asian Cultures in Britain
- African and Asian Diasporas in the Modern World
- African and Asian Diasporas in the Contemporary World
- Anthropology of Development
- The Anthropology of Food
- Anthropology of Globalisation (PG)
- Anthropology of Human Rights (PG)
- Anthropology of Law
- Comparative Studies of Society and Culture
- Comparative Media Studies
- 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
- Medical Anthropology in Global Perspective
- 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.
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.
Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Social Anthropology. This Masters is designed for students wishing to pursue a PhD in Social Anthropology. Exceptionally this course may be taken as a conversion MA. Students who would like to take this path must demonstrate the regional and language expertise necessary for continuing onto a PhD.
English Language Entry Requirements
Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).
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.
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.