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MRes in Social Anthropology

This ESRC-recognised 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 will be best suited to the MRes in Social Anthropology if you already hold an undergraduate degree or Masters in Social Anthropology and are fully versed in the methods and perspectives of Social/Cultural Anthropology. You can then use this year to work out plans for doctoral research.

The MRes can also serve as a free-standing degree if you wish to pursue advanced study and to acquire additional research skills without proceeding to the PhD programme.

It is a one-year period of rigorous training in research issues and methods that leads to the preparation of a research proposal and a 15,000 word dissertation.

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.

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.


Further details about the MRes in Social Anthropology, including information about eligibility, funding, teaching and assessment can be found in the Graduate Admissions Course Directory.

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.



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