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Department of Social Anthropology

MPhil Students

The new MPhil in Social Anthropological Research has got off to a strong start, with an inaugural batch of 11 students joining the Department in October. 

This 9-month degree has two key aims. First, it gives students with an Anthropology background the chance to develop their research specialisms with guidance from senior anthropologists. Second, it offers important professional development opportunities – for example, through training in public communication, pitch-writing and audio-visual methods. As such, it’s well suited to students who are either preparing for a PhD or looking to take anthropology beyond the academy – and sometimes, a combination of both.

Teaching for the MPhil SAR is done mainly through seminars led by research active staff and external experts. These include an annually revolving programme of specialist modules on staff members’ research expertise and a fortnightly core seminar featuring professional skills training and various guest speakers who work outside academic anthropology (e.g. journalism, civil service, conservation). In addition, students benefit from regular one-to-one supervisions with senior members of the department, with whom they work to design their dissertation and programme of research. 

MPhil student, Althea Tan, who is considering researching the Anthropology of Ethics for her dissertation, commented on her motivations for selecting the course, saying “The MPhil course is one of the few Masters degrees in the UK which is pitched at students who have already done an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology.  Plus, the opportunity to carry out independent research attracted me to this course.”

The MPhil Convenor, Dr Liana Chua, stated, ‘It’s been really exciting to launch this new MPhil, which fills an important niche in the postgraduate Social Anthropology landscape. I’m delighted to be working with such a committed, enthusiastic group of students this year, and look forward to building up the course in the future’.