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Postgraduate MA, PhD

Anthropology

Anthropology at Kent is renowned for its dynamic postgraduate community and its contribution to emerging and established anthropological fields. Our regional expertise and breadth of thematic interests enables us to offer supervision across a wide range of topics within the fields social, biological, and visual anthropology.
Anthropology
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Overview

PhD

Social or Biological Anthropology research

The PhD is a three-year full-time and five-year part-time programme. You research and write a thesis of a maximum of 100,000 words under the supervision of an academic team. Students participate in the vibrant seminar-culture of the School and have opportunities to meet and interact with researchers who lead major anthropological fields.

The first year includes training in research methodology and, in the case of social anthropology, in the art of writing ethnography. The remaining years involve field or library research and writing up. In general, you work closely with two supervisors throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress.

We also offer a PhD in Ethnobiology

Choosing a topic

Although sometimes we have specific PhD research projects such as ESRC-funded CASE awards in which the PhD project has already been specified, most of our research students choose their own research topics. Once you have decided on the nature of your project, you should then contact the member of staff in the School whose expertise and interests most closely match your area of research and ask them if they will act as your supervisor.

You then work with your proposed supervisor on refining your research proposal which provides the starting point for your subsequent research. Usually each student has one supervisor but occasionally particular projects require two supervisors. Sometimes co-supervision is provided by a lecturer in another discipline, such as Film, Sociology, or International Relations, but usually the co-supervisor is another member of the School of Anthropology and Conservation.

Supervision

Postgraduate research can take place in any subject area that qualified members of the School are able to supervise. For further information, please refer to staff details on our web pages.

Students meet (or, while in the field, make contact) with their supervisor(s) several times over the course of each term. These meetings involve intensive discussion of the way your project is developing, the readings that have been done and that need to be done, and the way field research and writing-up is progressing. There is, in addition to your supervisor(s), a supervisory committee that, while not intensively involved in the routine development of the research, provides backup, ensures appropriate progress, and handles some of the administration.

Skills training

The University’s Graduate School co-ordinates the Research Development Programme for research students, providing access to a wide range of lectures and workshops on training, personal development planning and career development skills.

MA by Research

Social research

This programme is one-year full time or two-year part-time. You research and write a thesis under the supervision of one or two academic staff. We have a vibrant research group whose interests stretch across the range of social anthropology.

We also offer an MSc by Research in Biological Anthropology.

About the School of Anthropology

In anthropology we pride ourselves on having a close-knit group of research students who know and can approach any member of staff for help and assistance. We have a varied programme of seminars and symposia for students and staff, given by members of the School and visitors.

There is a special seminar run for research students in which advanced training is provided and students practise presentations and also present chapters of their draft thesis. Research students are encouraged to audit courses from the taught Master’s (eg, in field methods) and sometimes from the undergraduate programmes.

There are also special training courses for research students run by the Graduate School, Information Services and the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT). The School has an IT officer who can provide assistance and advice on IT matters and a statistics helpdesk is available.

Your future

All of our Anthropology Master’s programmes are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as having research training status, so successful completion of these courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social and biological anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research. Others use their postgraduate qualification in employment that includes international organisations, NGOs, government departments and consultancy work overseas.

The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. 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.

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

Career support
Whether you want to get ahead in your current career, change lanes, or kickstart a new one – we are here to help you realise your ambition.

Fees and funding

The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:

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.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

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.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

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

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

Scholarships

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Next steps

Ready to apply?

Prior to applying you need to have secured a supervisor.

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

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

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Join our community

Stay connected with our postgraduate community.

Kent focus

Supporting your success

We are here to support your postgraduate journey.

Top 50

Kent ranked top 50 in The Complete University Guide 2024.

Fees and funding

Support for funding so you can focus on your studies.

Research excellence

Kent has risen 11 places in THE’s REF 2021 ranking, confirming us as a leading research university.

Accommodation

It’s easy to study on or off campus at Kent – discover what is right for you.