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Department of Social Anthropology


Kings College Chapel


A Cambridge PhD is very highly regarded in the field of Anthropology, both in the UK and overseas, and we have the largest cohort of postgraduate anthropology students in the UK. Cambridge is unparalleled as a place to study for a PhD, combining world class teaching and resources with a friendly but intellectually challenging atmosphere.

The PhD course consists in the first place of a period of training in research issues and methods culminating in the preparation of a research proposal. This training can either be undertaken through the nine-month (three-term) Pre-Fieldwork Course or through the one-year MRes in Social Anthropology.

Students then usually undertake 12-18 months of ethnographic fieldwork. If you are doing the Pre-Fieldwork Course, you can expect to leave for field research at the end of your third term (June-July). If you are doing the MRes course, you can expect to leave for fieldwork in your fourth term (October-December).

On return to Cambridge, students devote the remainder of their research time to writing their PhD thesis in close consultation with their supervisor.