Social Anthropology (MA)

the United Kingdom

For more information about Social Anthropology at University of Kent, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MA

How long you will study
12 Months

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
find out

International course fees
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All study options

About Social Anthropology at University of Kent

Location: Canterbury


This advanced programme in social and cultural anthropology provides training in contemporary anthropological theory and methodology focusing on the understanding of the human condition and the challenges it faces today.  It is designed to receive students with previous undergraduate training in the humanities or social sciences (such as history, sociology, geography), as well as students from biology, who wish to deepen their knowledge of human sociality.  It provides in-depth generalist training in contemporary social anthropology in preparation either for a research degree or for entering professional fields where anthropological knowledge and methods constitute valuable assets.

Anthropology at Kent is shaping the discipline and making a contribution to our contemporary world.

Why Study With Us?
  • One-year intensive Master's programme with research training committed to practice-led theory taught by researchers who shape the discipline with their research and publications,
  • Hands-on training in qualitative methods of social research (including visual and digital methods) preparing you for future independent research,
  • A personal approach to study in small groups with plenty of time for discussion and engagement with a diversified group of teachers,
  • A wide choice of optional modules allowing for further specialisation in a broad range of areas of regional and thematic expertise, and a diversity of methodological approaches,
  • Active regional specialisations among staff include: Europe and the Middle East; Latin America and Amazonia; South and Southeast Asia and the Chinese speaking world,
  • Opportunity to develop skills in visual anthropology through intensive training in the anthropological use of photography, film, video, and digitally assisted drawing,
  • Opportunity to join engaging and interactive field trips,
  • Participation in the activities of our Centre for Ethnographic Research: its seminars, courses, practical training workshops, and annual events.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
  • specific themes  in social anthropology eg religion, politics, nationalism and ethnicity
  • human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world including central, West and east Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia (in particular Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines)
  • the history of the development of anthropology as a discipline
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within the discipline
  • the process of historical and social change
  • the application of anthropology to understanding issues of social and economic development throughout the world
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life anywhere in the world.

Intellectual Skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general learning and study skills
  • critical and analytical skills
  • expression of ideas both orally and in written form
  • communication skills
  • groupwork skills
  • computing skills
  • reviewing and summarising information
  • data retrieval ability.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to understand how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while nonetheless possessing a capacity for individual agency which can allow them to transcend some environmental constraints 
  • the ability to recognise the pertinence of an anthropological  perspective to understanding major national and international events.
  • the ability to interpret texts and performance by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
  • high-level competence in using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • high-level ability to identify and analyse the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
  • the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • the ability to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself
  • an openness to try and make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena that may appear at first sight incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to make a structured argument
  • the ability to make appropriate reference to scholarly data
  • time-management skills
  • the use of information technology including computers and library research
  • groupwork
  • handling audio-visual equipment
  • independent research
  • presentation skills
  • have the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
  • have the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with a broad range of knowledge in the major sub-divisions of the discipline, showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines.
  • provide you with an advanced level knowledge of the theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding the discipline
  • introduce you to a variety of different approaches to social science research, presented in a multidisciplinary context and at an advanced level
  • facilitate your educational experience through the provision of appropriate pedagogical opportunities for learning
  • provide an appropriate training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for those going on to employment involving the use of social science research
  • make you aware of the range of existing material available and equip you to evaluate its utility for your research
  • cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating them into practicable research designs
  • introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits to objectivity
  • Develop your skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary and cross-national context
  • introduce you to the idea of working with other academic and non-academic agencies, when appropriate, and give you the skills to carry out collaborative research
  • develop your skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation of research results and in verbal communication
  • help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of different audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public
  • give you an appreciation of the potentialities and problems of anthropological research in local, regional, national and international settings
  • ensure that the research of the Department’s staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in ways which can achieve the national benchmarks of the discipline in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

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 awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR | Part Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Part Time Overseas: N/A

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

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