Social Anthropology - MA

Overview

In our fast-changing world, humanity and society are facing momentous challenges. Anthropology, as the study of the human condition, focuses on the diversity of the relations between humans and the world.  It is in a unique position to help us respond to these changes and challenges. Social Anthropology provides critically useful skills to navigate through the complexities and uncertainties of an increasingly interconnected yet fragmented world.

This advanced programme in social and cultural anthropology provides training in contemporary anthropological theory and methodology focusing on the understanding of the human condition and the challenges it faces today.  It is designed to receive students with previous undergraduate training in the humanities or social sciences (such as history, sociology, geography), as well as students from biology, who wish to deepen their knowledge of human sociality.  It provides in-depth generalist training in contemporary social anthropology in preparation either for a research degree or for entering professional fields where anthropological knowledge and methods constitute valuable assets.

Anthropology at Kent is shaping the discipline and making a contribution to our contemporary world.

Why Study With Us?

  • One-year intensive Master's programme with research training committed to practice-led theory taught by researchers who shape the discipline with their research and publications,
  • Hands-on training in qualitative methods of social research (including visual and digital methods) preparing you for future independent research,
  • A personal approach to study in small groups with plenty of time for discussion and engagement with a diversified group of teachers,
  • A wide choice of optional modules allowing for further specialisation in a broad range of areas of regional and thematic expertise, and a diversity of methodological approaches,
  • Active regional specialisations among staff include: Europe and the Middle East; Latin America and Amazonia; South and Southeast Asia and the Chinese speaking world,
  • Opportunity to develop skills in visual anthropology through intensive training in the anthropological use of photography, film, video, and digitally assisted drawing,
  • Opportunity to join engaging and interactive field trips,
  • Participation in the activities of our Centre for Ethnographic Research: its seminars, courses, practical training workshops, and annual events.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (2.1 or above) in anthropology or associated fields. In certain circumstances, we will consider students who have not followed a conventional education path. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies and the programme convenor.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Form

A group of postgraduates sit outside the Kennedy Building on the Canterbury campus

Keep updated

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

Modules

This programmes offers a high level of flexibility with four compulsory modules, a research project dissertation and four optional modules from those listed below, or from the range of School modules.

Please note that modules are subject to change. Please contact the School for more detailed information on availability.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module aims to develop the anthropological imagination of master's students, that is, to instil the ability to apprehend theoretical issues and apply them with a critical and informed sense of difference in the human experience. The module is not a 'history of theory' survey; rather, it will proceed by means of a set of longstanding themes in social and cultural anthropology through which different theoretical approaches to the same ethnographic problem or issue have been explored. The module may be organised around a single theme that has long dominated anthropological discussions (such as 'the gift', hierarchy and scale, structure and agency etc.) which will be used as a lens through which to view theoretical discussions within social anthropology as well as its appropriations from other disciplines.

Find out more about SE882

This module aims to aid postgraduate students in making connections between theoretical issues and the ways in which they recur in the practices and debates of social anthropologists. The module teaches theoretical engagement by means of tracking the way that similar problems in ethnographic practice have been approached by different theoretical schools. The module engages a series of themes that illustrate how social anthropologists throughout the history of the discipline, and from different national traditions within the discipline, have each engaged with the pressing political and social concerns of their day.

Find out more about SE883

The module will consist of twelve two hour classes consisting of short introductions to weekly topics by the course convenors followed by practical exercises to allow students to experience and learn by doing several key methods and tools used in anthropological fieldwork. Assignments based on the use of several methods, a research proposal abstract for their future dissertation project, and an essay will be used to assess the student's achievement of learning outcomes. Seminar topics may include: Introduction to research in the natural and social sciences, participant observation, choosing informants, interviewing, processing interview data, analysis and presentation of qualitative data, questionnaire design and analysis, developing an integrated research design, running workshops and focus groups, ethics and consent.

Find out more about SE885

Fieldwork is the hallmark of anthropological research. Its style and delivery, as well as the discourses surrounding it, have changed alongside the discipline. In his book Routes, Travel And Translation In The Late Twentieth Century, Clifford (1997) flags two important aspects of fieldwork: first, the formation of intensive interactions and relationships that produce "deep" cultural understanding in settings that can vary in time and location, and, second, a sense of displacement, movement or travel for the fieldworker thus allowing for an objective detached perspective. The ways in which anthropologists strive to interact with people while maintaining objectivity, make research ethics and methodological choices particularly important since their presence in the field has implications on the people whom they study.

Find out more about SE886

This module provides the opportunity for students to undertake a detailed review of a specific topic of interest that relates directly to their programme of study. The topic will be decided upon after consultation with the supervisor and module convenor. The module will be team-taught and consist of tutorials, as well as independent work. Tutorials will cover representative advanced topics in the relevant programme of study. For the independent work, the topic of interest will be explored using a comprehensive literature review.

Find out more about SE821

Optional modules may include

The module addresses the causes, effects, treatments and meanings of health, illness and disease for humans and the ecosystems that they live in. The module content will be structured around five broad themes related to holism, health and healing, drawing on ethnographic examples from around the world. We will begin with a consideration of the evolutionary basis of human medicine and dietary behaviour. Next, we will take a closer look at healing systems, their structure and the various theories of illness and therapeutic techniques that they encompass. This will be followed by a critical examination of the biopolitics of health and healing, including the question of how to define and assess the efficacy of various medical treatments. We will then take a closer look at the spiritual aspects of health and healing before concluding with the final theme of holism, health and healing in the globalized world.

Find out more about SE880

Students will be expected to read a set of ethnographies over the course of 24 weeks. A three hour seminar will be held to discuss each work. For each seminar, students will be expected to prepare, for evaluation, a book review. In discussing each study substantive issues concerning the case studies will be highlighted. Theoretical issues will be raised concerning the representation of anthropological knowledge, book organization and writing styles, and the relationship between theoretical perspective and presentation. In addition attention will be drawn to the way fieldwork and ethical issues are presented and discussed in ethnographies.

Find out more about SE893

'The Anthropology of Europe' surveys the social anthropology of contemporary Europe. The module explores changes in European societies since the end of the Cold War, including conflict related to the reorganisation and 'fortification' of Europe’s southern and eastern borders. We read ethnographies exemplifying contemporary approaches to studying industrial and post-industrial societies. We critically review key debates in the study of community and identity politics; nationalism and ethnic conflict; borders, migration and transnationalism; tradition, modernity, and heritage; tourism; industrial and post-industrial work; new religious movements; and biosocialities. A further focus is interrogation of the concept of ‘Europe’ itself, through analyzing the process of ‘Europeanization’ within the European Union, and issues raised by the financial crisis; and through presenting ethnographic vantage points from which students can rethink the idea of ‘Europe’ for themselves. The module includes a critical history of anthropological study of Europe and the Northern Mediterranean, with special attention to the role of the University of Kent in the development of the regional literature.

Find out more about SE894

This module introduces some of the main theoretical approaches and some practical applications of the study of environmental anthropology (in particular, the cultural ecology of Steward, the concepts of carrying capacity and limiting factors as used in eco-systematic models, historical and political ecology, and new approaches deriving from post-modern anthropology). It considers some of the main cultural and social aspects of the human-environment interface, such as the relationship between social organisation and ecology; alternative forms of land use and management; the impact of processes of globalization on human interactions with the environment in a number of non-western societies; and the cultural dimension of human adaptation to the environment. The middle section of the module looks at five categories of subsistence strategy and the environments they occur in, foraging and hunting (in arid, arctic and tropical forest ecosystems), fishing (coastal marine environments), pastoralism (in grassland and arid ecosystems), low intensity and high intensity agriculture (in arid, grassland and tropical environments). For each of these production systems we will also examine a complementary contemporary issue in conservation and/or development. These issues may involve great debates in theory, problems of methodology or issues in applying research results to solve practical problems.

Throughout the module we address methods and problems of applying research in environmental anthropology to related development, conservation and human rights issues, and in particular this year we look at adaptation to climate change among Indigenous peoples.

Find out more about SE896

This module is intended to enable students to discuss critically the relationship between people and other organic species, in terms of the social and knowledge systems of which they are part, using anthropological approaches and data. The module deals with the ways in which different societies and cultures have come to perceive, know, use, classify and symbolically represent plants and animals. It also introduces students to the ways anthropologists have approached the study of local systems of classification and knowledge, and people's management and use of plants and animals.

Find out more about SE897

This module seeks to critically and dynamically explore the diverse, complex, dynamic, recursive and multi-scalar nature of human-environmental interactions, including associated knowledge and practices. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, class discussions and student-led seminar discussions on specific papers it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyse and theorise the material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future, , particularly in the context of the cascading planetary crises signalled by such concepts as the Anthropocene and in a way that considers the interplay between local, supra-local and planetary-scale processes and scales.

Find out more about SE990

Ethnicity' and 'nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world., and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.

Find out more about SE991

Visual anthropology is a subfield of social anthropology focussed on the production, dissemination and analysis of film, video, photography and computer-based multimedia. It is at the heart of contemporary anthropological experiments in sensory ethnography, collaborative and publicly accessible research, and analysis of the encounter between media makers and the subjects of their productions. Central concerns of the module are the cross-cultural reception of media, the use of video and photography as and for research, the social history of film and photography relating to ethnographic subjects, the study of national and regional cinematic traditions (outside Europe and America) and the comparative ethnography of television and broader consideration of issues of social representation and political ideology in visual imagery. Some of the main areas covered in the module include 1) Reflexivity and Intersubjectivity, 2) Soundscapes, Dance and the Senses, 3) Photography and Sociality, 4) Observational and Participatory Cinema, 5) Ethno-fiction and Indigenous Media 6) Intersections of Medical and Visual anthropology and 7) New Media and Activism.

Find out more about SE995

Anthropology has an important role to play in the examination of our own organizational lives as embedded in various forms of capitalism. This module will allow students to gain anthropological perspectives on business formations, structures, practices and ideologies. Businesses – be they individuals, families, corporations, nation-states or multi-lateral corporations - have identities that are invariably distinct from one another and which are forged upon and promote particular social relationships. Ethnographic case-studies, with a strong emphasis on the stock market in the last third of the course will provide the basis for discussing how these social relationships that enact power, are embedded in broader cultural processes such as ethnicity, nationalism, migration, and kinship as well as ideologies of gender, aesthetics and religion among others. Acknowledging the multiple dynamic relationships between businesses, people and marketplaces will allow us to evaluate their roles as reactive producers, consumers and disseminators of cultural processes within our surrounding environments, extending from the local to the global.

Find out more about SE997

Compulsory modules currently include

Throughout the terms preceding the initiation of the dissertation module students will be encouraged by their supervisor and the instructors of other modules they take to develop ideas for their dissertation research project. They will also be taught appropriate research methods. The final essay of their pre-dissertation work will draw together materials they have learned through the preceding terms and will synthesise these with students' research interests in order to set up a prospectus for the thesis proposal itself. Students will be passed into the dissertation module by the examiners meeting on the basis of a pre-presented written plan for their research project prepared under supervision by their tutor and modified in relation to questions and comments raised by staff and fellow students during the research presentation day. Subsequent to this, the student will intensively discuss methods of data collection, theoretical models for the analysis of this material, and the use and integration of research methods into both its preparation and its final presentation with his or her supervisor and other concerned members of staff. . The student will then independently work on the thesis over the summer until mid-September when it will be submitted. Throughout this time the student will be able to gain supervision through electronic mail.

Find out more about SE998

Teaching and assessment

Assessment is by written reports, oral presentations and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with a broad range of knowledge in the major sub-divisions of the discipline, showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines.
  • provide you with an advanced level knowledge of the theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding the discipline
  • introduce you to a variety of different approaches to social science research, presented in a multidisciplinary context and at an advanced level
  • facilitate your educational experience through the provision of appropriate pedagogical opportunities for learning
  • provide an appropriate training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for those going on to employment involving the use of social science research
  • make you aware of the range of existing material available and equip you to evaluate its utility for your research
  • cover the principles of research design and strategy, including formulating research questions or hypotheses and translating them into practicable research designs
  • introduce you to the philosophical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding research and to debates about the relationship between theory and research, about problems of evidence and inference, and about the limits to objectivity
  • Develop your skills in searching for and retrieving information, using library and internet resources in a multidisciplinary and cross-national context
  • introduce you to the idea of working with other academic and non-academic agencies, when appropriate, and give you the skills to carry out collaborative research
  • develop your skills in writing, in the preparation of a research proposal, in the presentation of research results and in verbal communication
  • help you to prepare your research results for wider dissemination, in the form of seminar papers, conference presentations, reports and publications, in a form suitable for a range of different audiences, including academics, policymakers, professionals, service users and the general public
  • give you an appreciation of the potentialities and problems of anthropological research in local, regional, national and international settings
  • ensure that the research of the Department’s staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in ways which can achieve the national benchmarks of the discipline in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
  • specific themes  in social anthropology eg religion, politics, nationalism and ethnicity
  • human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world including central, West and east Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia (in particular Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines)
  • the history of the development of anthropology as a discipline
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within the discipline
  • the process of historical and social change
  • the application of anthropology to understanding issues of social and economic development throughout the world
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life anywhere in the world.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general learning and study skills
  • critical and analytical skills
  • expression of ideas both orally and in written form
  • communication skills
  • groupwork skills
  • computing skills
  • reviewing and summarising information
  • data retrieval ability.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to understand how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while nonetheless possessing a capacity for individual agency which can allow them to transcend some environmental constraints 
  • the ability to recognise the pertinence of an anthropological  perspective to understanding major national and international events.
  • the ability to interpret texts and performance by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
  • high-level competence in using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • high-level ability to identify and analyse the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
  • the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • the ability to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself
  • an openness to try and make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena that may appear at first sight incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to make a structured argument
  • the ability to make appropriate reference to scholarly data
  • time-management skills
  • the use of information technology including computers and library research
  • groupwork
  • handling audio-visual equipment
  • independent research
  • presentation skills
  • have the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
  • have the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £7900
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £3950
  • International part-time £8100

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.

Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Anthropology and Conservation was ranked 10th for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research impact and research power.

An impressive 94% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Research areas

Dynamic publishing culture

We publish research on timely contemporary topics using a vast range of formats: podcasts, documentaries, comic books and short fiction and monographs, as well as prestigious academic journals: e.g. American Ethnologist; Anthropological Theory, Anthropology Today, Current Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology, Critique of Anthropology, Ethnos, Focaal, Hau-Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Oceania, Social Anthropology,  and many more. 


Our School continues to be a centre for ethnographic innovation and for the development of new methods of qualitative research. Our students and staff are active in the production of ethnographic film, visual analysis, and ethnographic drawing. They also participate with regularity in a great number of collaborative projects, responding to the latest debates about politics, society and environment.

Areas of expertise

The regional expertise of our staff and graduate students has a global reach, with presently open field sites across Europe (including the UK), the Middle East, China, Central and South America, South and Southeast Asia, Southern Africa and the United States. Among others, research is presently being carried out in southern Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, southern Spain, southern France, southern England, southeastern Turkey, Amazonia, Panama, northeast Brazil, and New York.  

Thematically, we focus on the contemporary challenges to our changing world—a concern that unites us with the other disciplines that are present within our School.  Our specific thematic interests range from the politics of the Anthropocene to protest against neoliberal ‘austerity’.  

This is a list of some of our areas of research:
Persons and the World: we work on the relation between persons and the world they live in, focusing on the study of personhood and ontogeny, environmental issues, territoriality, indigenous tourism and conflict resolution, the study of food, the human-animal or human-plant relationship, ethnobotany, and the social implications of conservation. 
Diversity and Conflict: within each of our diverse field sites, we are concerned with the impacts of human conflict—such as violence, inequality, precarity, crime, and corruption.  We pay special attention to the intersections of personhood, gender, ethnicity, race, and temporality. We work on conflict resolution, on the human implications of development, on the study of austerity, and on the impact of neoliberal reforms.
Diversity and Knowledge: we have staff specialising in science and technology studies, in medical anthropology, in religious studies, in the anthropology of business, in biotechnology, and in mental health. We study closely a wide variety of religious movements, alternative beliefs and medical practices. We have a tradition of work using audio-visual media to research, represent and produce ethnographic knowledge.  Our work on creative writing adds to our expertise on ethnographic innovation, and encourages the pursuit of creativity through alternative ethnographic media that include drawing, filming and art. Since 1985, our School has pioneered new approaches to digital anthropology, namely in cultural informatics and computational methods.  

Visit our blog if you want to watch student videos, see photos from our recent events and watch talks. 

Research Projects

Students are allocated a supervisor to support them in the production of their 15,000 word dissertation.  Students are led from the beginning to develop an idea, research a specialised bibliography and employ their methodological training to produce a research thesis.  Students are assisted financially and academically in order to facilitate their research projects.

Examples of recent MA projects include:
• Rap, Identity, and Sense of Self in Eastern Kent.
• The future of the harbour of Ramsgate and the Brexit conundrum.
• A Study of Difference Externalisation and Political Violence in the Spanish Civil War.
• Transformation and Narrative of Trans/Disabled Persons Within Medical Encounters.
• “Humanitarianism” and Identities of Women after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
• An exploration of attitudes and motivations towards tattooing within the Medway Towns.
• Fishing Identities in the Context of Current Policies and Management.
• Transgressing 'Transgender': Institutional and Structural Exclusion of Non-Binary Students.
• Biopolitics, and Nation-building in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste's Population Boom.
• Policy and ‘Crisis’ in Mongolian Pastoralist Education.
• Everyday nationalism: lived experience in a Scottish market town. 
• Exploration of M?ori knowledge within bilingual and mainstream schools in Auckland, New Zealand.
• Voices of the Maya: An anthropological discovery of the past.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Miguel Alexiades : Senior Lecturer in Environmental Anthropology/Ethnobotany

Amazonian Peru; Ese Eja; Central Mexico; role and responsibility of science; indigenous land and resource rights; indigenous self-determination; higher education programmes for local communities.

View Profile

Dr Judith Bovensiepen : Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Anthropology of Southeast Asia; East Timor; place and landscape; kinship and reciprocity; colonial history; conflict; conspiracy talk; postconflict healing and reconstruction.

View Profile

Professor Michael Fischer : Professor of Anthropological Sciences

The representation and structure of indigenous knowledge; cultural informatics; the interrelationships between ideation and the material contexts within which ideation is expressed.

Dr Matthew Hodges : Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

France, Euskadi, Europe; time, historical consciousness, modernity, rural social transformation, cultural and heritage tourism; science and technology; continental philosophy; public anthropology, creative writing.

View Profile

Dr Daniela Peluso : Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Gender; exchange theory; kinship; development; indigenous urbanisation; medical anthropology; indigenismo; hybridity; personhood and identity; anthropology of business.

View Profile

Professor Joao Pina-Cabral : Professor of Social Anthropology

The relationship between symbolic thought and social power; family and kinship; ethnicity in colonial and postcolonial contexts.

View Profile

Dr Mike Poltorak : Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Tonga; Oceania; New Zealand; Brighton and Hove; Rajasthan; India; visual anthropology; mental illness; medical anthropology; transnationalism; ethnopsychiatry; vaccination; applied medical anthropology; cultural politics; indigenous epistemologies and modernities; the medical/visual/development anthropology nexus.

View Profile

Dr Rajindra K Puri : Senior Lecturer in Environmental Anthropology

Environmental anthropology; ethnobiology; hunting; tropical forests; conservation social science; biodiversity and climate change; South and Southeast Asia.

View Profile

Professor Dimitrios Theodossopoulos : Professor of Social Anthropology

Political and environmental anthropology; Panama; Greece; ethnic relations and stereotyping; globalisation and indigeneity; sustainability.

View Profile

Dr Anna Waldstein : Lecturer in Medical Anthropology and Ethnobotany

Medical anthropology; ecological anthropology; Mesoamerica; Rastafari; diaspora and migration; the effects of migration and acculturation on health; the use of traditional medical knowledge as an adaptive strategy among migrants; food and health sovereignty.

View Profile

Careers

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation, 100% of our postgraduate students, who graduated in 2014, found a professional job within six months or continued on to a PhD, ranking Anthropology at Kent 1st in the sector. Studying anthropology, you develop an understanding of the complexity of all actions, beliefs and discourse by acquiring strong methodological and analytical skills. Anthropologists are increasingly being hired by companies and organisations that recognise the value of employing people who understand the complexities of societies and organisations.

As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their Master’s qualification in employment ranging from research in government departments to teaching to consultancy work overseas.

Many of our alumni teach in academic positions in universities across the world, whilst others work for a wide range of organisations. Examples of positions held by our alumni include:

  • Corporate anthropologist
  • Campaign developer for War Child
  • Project director for the Global Diversity Foundation
  • Curator at Beirut Botanic Gardens
  • Film producer for First German Television
  • Project manager for Porchlight Homelessness Charity

Hear more from MA Social Anthropology alumni Victor Fiorini who found employment as Detainee-Visitor Manager for Dover Detainee Visitor Group.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School has a lively postgraduate community drawn together not only by shared resources such as postgraduate rooms, computer facilities (with a dedicated IT officer) and laboratories, but also by student-led events, societies, staff/postgraduate seminars, weekly research student seminars and a number of special lectures.

The School houses well-equipped research laboratories for genetics, ecology, visual anthropology, virtual paleoanthropology, Animal Postcranial Evolution, biological anthropology, anthropological computing, botany, osteology and ethnobiology. The state-of-the-art visual anthropology laboratory is stocked with digital editing programmes and other facilities for digital video and photographic work, and has a photographic darkroom for analogue developing and printing. 

Kent has outstanding anthropology IT facilities. Over the last decade, the School has been associated with many innovatory projects, particularly in the field of cognitive anthropology. It provides an electronic information service to other anthropology departments, for example by hosting both the Anthropological Index Online and Experience-Rich Anthropology project. We encourage all students to use the Centre’s facilities (no previous experience or training is necessary).

Anthropology at Kent has close links with the nearby Powell-Cotton Museum, which has one of the largest ethnographic collections in the British Isles and is particularly strong in sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asian material. It also houses an extensive comparative collection of primate and other mammalian material. Human skeletal material is housed at the Kent Osteological Research and Analysis Centre within the School.

Anthropology, together with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) form the School of Anthropology and Conservation.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Apply now

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

Contact us

bubble-text

United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MA at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827013

E: sacadmissions@kent.ac.uk

earth

International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk