The MRes in Social Anthropology provides a firm foundation in the methods and methodologies of social anthropology and the human sciences, to serve as a basis for knowledgeable and skilled research in Social Anthropology.
The MRes in Social Anthropology is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the Department of Social Anthropology within the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies.
The programme provides a general introduction to social anthropology at the postgraduate level, which includes enhancing existing anthropological knowledge and developing knowledge in those coming to anthropology for the first time. The MRes includes various social science components, research and methodology training, and core social anthropology teaching.
- The programme combines opportunities for theoretical development and special interests with training in research methodologies.
- Small class sizes ranging from two to ten students encourages student-led seminars and discussion as well as more contact with supervisors.
- The course introduces cross-disciplinary connections and differences.
Over two semesters, students take two compulsory and two optional modules. Teaching methods include formal lectures combined with seminar-style teaching and student-led group work. Lecture class sizes range from five to ten students and tutorial sizes range from two to six students. Modules are assessed through coursework which includes essays, independent research-led assignments and group assessed oral presentations.
Over the course of the year, with particular focus during the summer months, you will devise a research project culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation. Every taught postgraduate student is assigned an individual supervisor from among the Anthropology staff who works with them closely to develop a topic and direction for the end of degree dissertation.
The Department of Social Anthropology provides postgraduates access to a museum collection of ethnographic objects and a common room that includes a general anthropological class library, providing a space that is shared by both staff and postgraduates. The departmental libraries, along with the main library which holds a fine anthropology collection, include materials from all ethnographic regions of the world.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
- The Anthropology of Connections: Interdisciplinarity as Methodology: examines the relevance of other disciplines for social anthropology by working with methodologies and concepts drawn from history, social science, philosophy, language and the arts.
- Research Methods in Social Anthropology: examines the methodology of anthropological research through close attention to the relationship between method and fieldwork experience.
Core social science training modules are listed below. These are required for recognition of the MRes by the ESRC as a doctoral pathway. They are optional without ESRC recognition.
- Being a Social Scientist: Skills, Processes and Outcomes
- Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences
- Qualitative Methods in Social Research
- Quantitative Research in Social Science
Non-ESRC funded students may substitute up to 30 credits from 3000 or 4000-level Social Anthropology modules, with the approval of the course coordinator.
Students choose two optional modules, taking one in each semester. For the latest optional module information, see the module catalogue. Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students.
- Being a Social Scientist: Skills, Processes and Outcomes: focuses on how to design and produce a research dissertation and addresses issues of professional development (e.g. ethics, careers, grant writing).
- Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences: introduces students to the basic theoretical approaches in the social sciences, covering the methodological and epistemological issues involved in conducting social scientific research.
- Qualitative Methods in Social Research: offers both a theoretical and practical introduction to the collection, analysis and writing of qualitative social science research.
- Quantitative Research in Social Science: an introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.
- Anthropology, Art and Perception 1 or Anthropology, Art and Perception 2.
- Anthropology of the Pacific 1 or Anthropology of the Pacific 2.
- Amerindian History and Ethnography or Special Subject (Amerindian Studies).
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MRes, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGCert or PGDip instead of an MRes.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Social Anthropology graduates have characteristics many employers seek and a Social Anthropology degree provides openings to a wide range of careers. Our graduates have gained successful employment in areas such as:
- wildlife conservation
- international policy
- journalism (BBC and The Independent)
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. We welcome applications from students with an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology and from those with no previous anthropological experience.
- If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
- personal statement (optional).
- a sample of academic written work (2,000 words).
- two original signed academic references.
- academic transcripts and degree certificates.
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
The Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) consortium brings together social anthropologists from the Universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen and Edinburgh to support innovation in research and teaching.
In addition to co-hosting international conferences and workshops, the consortium runs two free week-long residential training courses each year in anthropology for postgraduate students and early career researchers. The first course is for students at the pre-fieldwork level and the second is for those at an advanced stage of research writing.
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
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