skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology

Cattle farmer, Karnataka, India

How do I apply?

General Admission

Details of how the application process works, including how the Department and the Colleges will consider your application, is available on the Graduate Admissions website. Applications for October 2020 entry open from 2 September. Applications for October 2019 entry are now closed.

General queries about the MPhil, MRes and PhD programmes should be addressed to the Department's Graduate Administrator. Questions about the application process should be directed to the Graduate Admissions Office.

To apply for graduate admission to the Social Anthropology Department, you should visit the relevant course in the Graduate Admissions Course Directory:  




Applicants for the MRes or PhD course should have achieved a first-class honours degree or high pass (70) in a master's degree in social anthropology or equivalent. Applicants for the MPhil course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree in any subject.

Current MPhil students applying for the PhD should discuss their writing samples with their supervisor and in most cases should submit at least one of their MPhil essays with their application so that the PhD Committee can evaluate their engagement with an anthropological topic an its literature.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.


Supporting documentation

All additional materials should be submitted as soon as possible after submitting your application. The onus is on applicants to ensure that their referees are aware of the relevant deadline and will be able to submit their reference in time.

Academic references
Two academic references are required, one of them preferably by the supervisor of the last course studied. For Gates Scholarship funding a third, personal reference is required.


Applications should include full transcripts of all previous university studies. It is not sufficient to send only degree certificates. Transcripts can be sent as copies, but the GAO will ask for originals in case an applicant is recommended by the Department to be admitted to a course.

Research Proposal
 (MRes and PhD appicants only)
Usually 1000 - 2500 words in length (excluding references), the proposal should give a clear idea of the viability and importance of the research area. It should take note of relevant academic literature, and some thought should be given to the methodology by suggesting appropriate research methods.

Sample of written work
For the PhD and MRes, applicants should submit a 3000 – 5000 word sample of academic written work in English. Applicants may submit a longer piece of work, but must highlight the section to be considered.

Applicants for the MPhil can submit a shorter sample, we realise that not all applicants will have written long academic texts, 2,000 – 4,000 words would be the norm.




open day