Anthropology of Education MSc (MSc)

Brunel University London the United Kingdom

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The award
MSc

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
GBP 4030

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
GBP 10070

All study options

About Anthropology of Education MSc at Brunel University London

This MSc aims to give candidates a solid grounding in key topics in the anthropology of education. Through detailed consideration of cases from the UK and around the world, we explore the relationship between culture, education and learning, along with the different educational forms and processes through which cultural knowledge is transmitted, and how culture impacts upon wider learning processes.Entry RequirementsNormally a good Honours degree from a UK institution; an equivalent overseas qualification; or an equivalent professional qualification (eg from a teaching or child welfare background or similar). Candidates not fully meeting these criteria may nevertheless be considered. Students whose first language is not English must have IELTS of at least 6.5 or equivalent. Course AimsThose interested in education and learning will have asked themselves the following questions: How does culture shape and inform the learning process? How does education impact upon social and cultural practices? Are distinctions between "formal" education and "informal" education useful? How are social distinctions, like social class or ethnicity, reproduced through processes of education? What is the role of schools in the production and transmission of particular cultural values? How does literacy alter processes of learning? However, they are less likely to have asked themselves how we can recognise and analyse different learning processese and different forms of education in other cultural settings. In this new MSc degree, we address these and other issues from an anthropological perspective. The first of its kind in the UK, its distinctivess derives from an anthropological approach to the study of education and learning that focuses on issues concerning the transmission and acquisition of cultural knowledge, and looks explicity at how people from different cultural settings learn in childhood and throughout the course of life. The course engages with debates on these important topics, and through the examination of world ethnography (including the UK), participants will learn about the cultural and social dimensions of education and learning. This MSc aims to give candidates a solid grounding in key topics in the anthropology of education. Through detailed consideration of cases from the UK and around the world, we explore the relationship between culture, education and learning, along with the different educational forms and processes through which cultural knowledge is transmitted, and how culture impacts upon wider learning processes. Candidates from backgrounds in education, teaching, social work, development, psychology and social and public policy will be able to challenge the categories and assumptions inherent in standard approaches to learning and education. Course ContentModules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular module of interest will be running in their year of entry.Typical ModulesCompulsory ModulesAnthropology of EducationMain topics of study: history of anthropology of education and learning; evaluating the anthropological contribution to research in education; education, learning and the politics of culture and society; education, learning and international development; education and schooling in social context; education, authority and the transmission of knowledge; education and apprenticeship; education, learning and literacy; education and categories of social distinction - age, kinship, nationalism and religion; education and categories of social distinction - race, class, gender and ethnicity; education, knowledge and social memory; education, the state and nationalism.Anthropological and Psychological Perspectives on LearningMain topics of study: models of learning in anthropology and psychology; children as subjects and objects; learning as an embodied microhistorical process; space-time coordinates of learning; kinship and intersubjectivity; person and gender; language and consciousness; ritual and learning.Ethnographic Research MethodsMain topics of study: the centrality of fieldwork to anthropological research; theoretical and practical issues of participant observation, open-ended unstructured interviews and semi-structured interviews; the advantages and disadvantages of using questionnaires during fieldwork; different styles of ethnographic writing; gaining access in ethnographic research; ethical clearance and ethical dilemmas arising in the course of fieldwork; constructing a research proposal.DissertationThe specific topics and/or research problems discussed in the dissertation are a function of the student’s particular research interest in the domain of the anthropology of education and learning and the data generated by the student’s own fieldwork. Recent examples of dissertation by students taking this course include: Children with English as an additional language and their friendships; A Greek Community School in a London District: ethinic socialization among third generation children.Optional ModulesKinship and New Directions in AnthropologyMain topics of study: descent and alliance, the household, the incest taboo, new reproductive technologies, kinship and the state, gay kinship, the abortion debate, conceptions of social reproduction, kinship and migration, the social and cultural construction of paternity. Anthropology of the BodyMain Topics of Study: The social body; embodiment, ‘habitus’ and phenomenological approaches to the body; cross-cultural perceptions of the body; the body in parts; sex and gender; childhood and the body; bodily norms, beauty and ideas of the perfect body; biomedicine and the body; death and the dying body.Anthropology of the PersonMain topics of study: theories of the person; the notion of 'normality'; the emergence of memero-politics; classifications, kinds, and kind-making; 'looping effects'; cultural bound syndrome and 'ecological niche'. Anthropology of Disability and DifferenceMain Topics of Study: A critical overview of the medical and social models of disability that have framed discourse on disability; ethnographic and phenomenological alternatives to such approaches; conducting fieldwork with cognitively and physically impaired people; disability across the life course, with a focus on childhood disability; identity and disability; social policy, development, the state and disability; ethical dilemmas and the new genetics.Foundation Disciplines of Education*Main topics of study: Psychology – the science of human behaviour; How can the study of psychology inform education?; History of education; What is philosophy?; The philosophy of education; The Sociology of education; Ethnographic studies; Social class external to and within individuals; Aspects of the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu; The social construction of childhood; children, childhood and schooling; The problem of adolescence; Social and emotional development in childhood and adolescence; Values and education; Multiculturalism and education; Psychological aspects of motivation; Philosophical considerations relating to thinking and the curriculum.Literature Policy and Analysis*Main topics of study: What is policy analysis? The role policy plays in education in the UK and elsewhere; Social values and political forces shaping (higher) education policies; Recent theory, practice and research in policy formation and implementation in education settings at the national and local levels; The development of policy analysis; Models of policy analysis; Theoretical underpinning and ethical considerations of policy analysis; Stages of planning (identifying a topic, locating topic within existing research, planning action, gathering data, analyzing data and dissemination); The processes of researching and writing a literature review; Accessing and critically reviewing literature in specialist area PLUS content as appropriate to specialist pathways in Gender and Education, Children’s Rights and Participation, Education for Sustainable Development, Educational Management Gifted Education, Special Educational Needs, Science, Maths and Technology, Adult Learning. * As these modules are offered by the School of Sport and Education, they will be taught on different days from the normal attendance days.Plus two unassessed reading modulesHistory and Theory of Social AnthropologyMain topics of study: evolutionary' anthropology; 'race', 'civilisation'; diffusionism and the Boas school; the development of ethnographic research; functional, structure and comparison; structuralism; neo-evolutionism; culture and the interpretation of cultures; critiques (Marxism, feminism, post-modernism).Issues in Social AnthropologyMain topics of study: kinship; gender; religion; anthropology of the body. Further detailshttp://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/acad/sss/depts/anthropology/postgraduate (School of Social Sciences web pages) Teaching and LearningYou will be taught via a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and filmAssessmentAssessment is variously by essay and practical assignment (eg analysis of a short field exercise). A final dissertation of approximately 15,000 words, based on fieldwork in the UK or abroad, is also required. There are no examinations.CareersCandidates will acquire analytical and research skills that can be applied in a wide range of careers. For example, graduates will find that the degree enhances professional development in areas such as teaching and education, social work, counselling, educational and child psychology, social and public policy, and the development sector. We expect that some of our graduates will also go on to do further research for a PhD in the anthropology of education.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 4030International course feesGBP 10070
  • The awardMScHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study2 - 3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 2015International course feesGBP 5035

Entry requirements for this course

Contact Brunel University London to find course entry requirements.

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