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MPhil in Social Anthropology

The University of Cambridge was rated as the best in the world for Anthropology  by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) in 2018. The Department is also ranked first by the Complete University Guide and What Uni.

The Cambridge MPhil by Advanced Study in Social Anthropology is an intensive 11-month (October to September) graduate degree programme intended as a conversion course for students with little or no previous training in anthropological methods and perspectives. 

The MPhil provides a wide yet thorough grounding in the theoretical and ethnographic dimensions of the field. The degree can be a free-standing qualification, or a route to the original research involved in a PhD, or a means to acquire knowledge of anthropology for use in other fields and professional contexts.

The course addresses key problems in anthropological theory, interpretation, comparison and analysis, building on in-depth engagement with a wide range of recent and past ethnographies to explore major debates in the field's current concerns.  Through critical reflection on a range of anthropological theories, and through practice in the application of those theories to bodies of ethnographic material, students acquire a thorough grounding in a variety of styles of social anthropological analysis.

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

Papers offered for 2019/20

Paper 1 Scope of SA I: Production & Reproduction

Paper 2 Scope of SA II: Systems of Power & Knowledge

SAN3: Anthropological Theory and Methods 

Paper 3 Optional Papers:

(SAN9) Science and Society

(SAN12) Anthropology of Cities and Space

(SAN13) Gender, Kinship and Care

Please note,  Medical Anthropology and the Anthropology of Museums options will not be available in 2019-20.

Supervision of Graduate Students

Supervision

All MPhil students who are admitted to the Department of Social Anthropology will be assigned a Supervisor to support and guide their work. Your supervisor will be an expert in his or her field of research and will meet you regularly to discuss your work and oversee your progress.

Faclities

The Department has excellent facilities to support graduate students.

The Haddon Library houses a wide range of anthropological literature, journals, access to online materials and copies of previous MPhil and PhD theses dating back over a century,

The Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit is a dynamic interdisciplinary research unit at the University of Cambridge based within the Department of Social Anthropology. It was founded in 1986 by Professor Caroline Humphrey and Professor Urgunge Onon and has since become a centre of international importance for studies on the region.

The Department is particularly proud to host a significant research collection in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Several of the Museum's curators also teach in the Department:

The Department has a well-equipped Visual Anthropology laboratory, with a selection of cameras, and workstations with film-editing software and a large collection of anthropological films.

The Department hosts a vibrant student society, CUSAS, run by undergraduate and postgraduate students. CUSAS run a series of activities across the academic year, details of which can be found at: www.socanth.cam.ac.uk/events.

The Department provides a basement area for exclusive use of postgraduate students, which includes desk space for post-fieldwork doctoral research students who are writing up their dissertations and a separate room for MPhil students.

Students also have access to a range of University-wide support, including language learning through the Language Centre, training on research methods through the SSRMC, careers advice through the Cambridge University Careers Service and support for disabled students from the Disability Resource Centre. Students can also access various Area Studies centres in the university: African, Middle Eastern, Latin American, South Asian, Mongolia and Inner Asian and the Scott Polar Research Institute.

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