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Department of Social Anthropology


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Anthropology is one of the most exciting subjects to study at university today, and Cambridge is unmatched as a place to study, being rated top in four recent surveys; as a place to undertake research; and just as somewhere to be. We are a vibrant and friendly department, innovative and intellectually inspiring. The colleges offer first-rate student support to undergraduates and postgraduates and the University has some of the best intellectual resources in the world, from people to libraries. Everyone is part of a community that extends well beyond the department.

What we offer

  • The BA in Social Anthropology provides school-leavers with a broad-based training that combines theoretical developments in social anthropology with a range of thematic options, in-depth regional knowledge, and opportunities for hands-on research linked to a dissertation.  Find out more information about social anthropology as a subject.
  • As a conversion or top-up degree, the one-year MPhil in Social Anthropology is aimed at graduate students with little or no previous training in social anthropology.  It provides an intensive but thorough grounding in both theory and ethnography either as preparation for the PhD or for those who wish to use a knowledge of social anthropology in relation to other work.
  • The MPhil in Social Anthropological Research is a 9-month course aimed at students who already have a strong background in social anthropology (normally a good single or joint honours degree or Masters degree in the subject) and who wish to pursue further study and research in the discipline. It can be both free-standing and preparation for the PhD.
  • The MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society is a 9-month interdisciplinary course, run jointly with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Department of Sociology, which is designed to provide students with combined advanced skills in the social and historical analysis of health and medicine.
  • Students who already have a substantial background in social anthropology and a well-defined research project can be admitted directly to the postgraduate research programme that leads to the PhD. You may take the MRes in Social Anthropology first, or apply directly to the PhD programme.

Student Feedback

Third year undergraduate student feedback


“My supervisors, the lecturers and the entire department could not have been more encouraging, welcoming and warm and I'm so grateful to have been able to learn from such amazing teachers in such a supportive and lovely department.”


I think it's a great undergraduate course, and quite exciting in Part IIB through its engagement in contemporary anthropological debates.”


“Thank you for an amazing three years. Absolute privilege to be a part of a department filled with love and passion.”