Social Anthropology - Humanitarian and Environmental Crises (MA)

the United Kingdom

For more information about Social Anthropology - Humanitarian and Environmental Crises 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
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International course fees
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All study options

About Social Anthropology - Humanitarian and Environmental Crises at University of Kent

Location: Canterbury


This unique programme of study focuses on contemporary planetary emergencies and conflicts that have a humanitarian or environmental impact. We explore how to study such crises from an anthropological point of view using a variety of ethnographic research methods, such as interviewing, participant observation, and localised surveys. 

You assess key challenges emerging from humanitarian initiatives that respond to:

  • the global climate emergency 
  • environmental movements in national contexts 
  • migration, diaspora and refugee crises 
  • racism, xenophobia and national politics
  • war and conflict 
  • new forms of economic oppression
  • the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for vulnerable communities

We analyse such pressing issues from an ethical and non-ethnocentric perspective. The programme is particularly suited to students who want to make a difference in today’s complex world by understanding the roots of global challenges and human suffering.

The programme provides excellent preparation for people who aspire to enter fields in which anthropological training and cultural expertise is integral, such as:

  • non-governmental organisations aimed at humanitarian and/or environmental issues
  • state initiatives designed to provide aid as a response to conflict or planetary emergency
  • organisations involved in dealing with migration, racism and multicultural education
  • research degrees in the social sciences
Why Study With Us?
  • One-year Master's programme with dissertation. 
  • Academic commitment to practice-led and cutting edge theory taught by internationally renowned researchers with long-established experience of the study of environmental and humanitarian challenges.
  • Expert training in a range of research methods to prepare you for independent research.
  • A wide choice of optional modules to enable further specialisation in your chosen areas of expertise.
  • Small-scale group teaching with our experienced staff and exceptional facilities.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies with special reference to humanitarianism, social movements, environmental disputes, climate protest, and the politics of nationalism and ethnicity
  • several ethnographic regions of the world, in particular Europe, the Middle-East, South America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia
  • anthropological theory as applied to contemporary concerns;
  • the application of anthropology to understanding issues of development, social and economic change, and violence and conflict throughout the world
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life

Intellectual Skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • criticism and analysis
  • communication
  • groupwork
  • data retrieval, reviewing and summarising information
  • project-writing
  • presentation of research results

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding of people’s relation to environmental and humanitarian crises
  • understanding major national and international events, namely in terms of aid provision, humanitarian intervention, and ethical concerns
  • interpreting narratives and performances 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
  • the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • an openness to make rational sense of perplexing cultural and social phenomena. 
  • ethnographic research and analysis

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to make a structured argument, analyse and reference scholarly data
  • the ability to mine data bases, carry out interviews, and mobilise participant observation
  • the use of information technology including computers and library research for qualitative research
  • handling audio-visual equipment
  • research writing and presentation skills
  • the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility 
  • independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
  • enhanced understanding of how humanitarian intervention is shaped by political, social and cultural contexts;
  • in-depth understanding of environmental politics and protest, including the climate emergency;
  • advanced-level knowledge of the central theoretical and methodological issues in social anthropology today;
  • advanced-level knowledge of different approaches to social science research in a multidisciplinary perspective, with special reference in qualitative, intensive research;
  • intensive training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for employment involving the use of social science research; research design and strategy, including translating questions into practicable research designs and retrieving information in multidisciplinary and cross-national contexts.

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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