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Department of Social Anthropology



The MPhil in Social Anthropological Research is distinct from the MPhil in Social Anthropology.

This new MPhil course provides specialist training in Social Anthropology to students with a first degree in the discipline. It will consist of a core course on contemporary themes and professional development, together with an evolving programme of methods teaching and specialist training in cutting edge social anthropology, directly linked to staff research interests.

This MPhil is for students who have already a strong engagement with the core themes of our discipline but wish to develop their expertise along more specialist lines, either as grounding for a PhD or as preparation for a job outside the academy.

If you have a degree in Social Anthropology – either as a single track or as part of a joint degree – this MPhil could be for you.

Many of these graduates do not yet have in mind a PhD topic, or do not intend to continue onto a PhD. Instead, they plan to work in one of the many non-academic jobs for which Social Anthropology is a good foundation: in the media, think tanks, public or private sector research, the civil service, NGOs and so on. This MPhil gives those students the chance to draw on the expertise of our department, one of the leading Anthropology departments in the world.


Structure of the course

Students are supervised on an individual basis. In addition, students attend a core course seminar, run fortnightly throughout the year, and choose a total of six specialist modules to attend during Michaelmas and the first half of Lent term. All the papers to be offered are new. Please see below for details.


Core seminar

The core course runs fortnightly and covers contemporary themes in social anthropology as well as professional and skills development. The latter includes training in writing research proposals, blogs, news items and comment pieces; producing podcasts or other audiovisual material; preparing research presentations.


MPhil Specialist modules

Each specialist module consists of 4 seminars; students choose 6 modules from a range on offer each year. Specialist modules cover research methods and ethics (2 modules) and topics related to staff research interests, in a dynamic programme, with precise topics varying each year. Seminars are focused around discussions of key readings and enable thorough exploration of contemporary theories and ethnographies.

The list of specialist modules on offer can be found here.