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The MPhil in Social Anthropological Research provides specialist training in Social Anthropology to students with a first degree in the discipline, either on its own or as part of a joint degree. 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 new 9-month MPhil is for students who already have 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 non-academic job for which Social Anthropology is a good foundation: for example, in the media, think tanks, public or private sector research, the civil service, NGOs etc. The MPhil gives students the chance to draw on the expertise of one of the leading Anthropology departments in the world.

Course Structure

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. 


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.

Provisional specialist modules to run in 2024 -25 can be found here.



For information on graduate supervision and facilities see the Supervision and Facilities page.

Further information about applying to the University, including instructions on how to submit your supporting documents, is available from the Postgraduate Admissions website. All prospective applicants should read the information on the Postgraduate Admissions website carefully prior to applying. To apply, visit the MPhil pages in the Postgraduate Admissions Course Directory.

Applications for each academic year open from mid-September and close on 30 April each year. Applications for funding close early December each year. 




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