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Mongolia (credit: David Sneath)

This ESRC-recognised one-year course provides intensive research training in Social Anthropology, social science research methods more generally, and the opportunity to complete a research thesis under academic guidance. You can use this year to work out plans for doctoral research. It is ordinarily expected that MRes students will progress directly to registration for the PhD course and fieldwork, subject to excellent results in their MRes. However, the MRes can also serve as a free-standing project if you wish to pursue advanced study and to acquire additional research skills without proceeding to the PhD programme.

The course is a one-year period of rigorous training in research issues and methods that leads to the production of an independently-researched 15,000 word dissertation and a substantial research project proposal. 

The taught part of the programme is the same as the 9-month pre-fieldwork part of the PhD, so you will take the same courses in ethnographic methods and social theory, and have the same close interaction with your supervisor. In addition, you will be trained in quantitative social science methods. Apart from the additional training in quantitative social science methods, the main difference between the two routes to a PhD lies in how they are assessed.

For information on postgraduate 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 MRes pages in the Postgraduate Admissions Course Directory.

Applications for each academic year open from 15 September and close on 30 April each year. Applications for funding close early January each year (5th January 2023).


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognition

If you are a UK or EU student, you should note that, in order to be eligible for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) award, you must do a one-year research training Master’s degree at a recognised outlet. The MRes in Social Anthropology has ESRC recognition and is equivalent to the MSc by Research or MRes degrees awarded by other UK universities. These qualifications are transferable: if you already have an ESRC-recognised research training master’s degree from another university, you can normally expect to begin the fieldwork for your Cambridge PhD without further training, following our normal fieldwork clearance procedure. Further details are available on the ESRC website.





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