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MA Social Anthropology

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Arts (MA)
Duration
MA 1/2 years (ft/pt); PGDip 9/18 months (ft/pt)
Entry requirements

UK 2:1 (or overseas equivalent, eg GPA 3.00+ in many North American systems) in an appropriate subject for direct MA entry

UK 2:2 (or overseas equivalent, eg GPA 2.70+ in many North American systems) in an appropriate subject for Postgraduate Diploma route entry.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MA Y Y N N
PGDip Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Question taken-for-granted assumptions and view the world from a new perspective
  • Acquire the ability to read ethnography and use it in comparative anthropological interpretations of what it means to be human
  • Benefit from a course offering personalised and specialist supervision

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and courses.

On this day, you will find out more about the School of Social Sciences and our resources, you meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see open days and visits .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
    International students (per annum): £20,000
  • MA (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750
    International students (per annum): £10,000
  • PGDip (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £6,334
    International students (per annum): £13,333
  • PGDip (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £3,167
    International students (per annum): £6,666

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

For details of funding opportunities, visit our website .

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class Bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Debra Hau
Email
Website
https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/social-anthropology/
School/Faculty

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

UK 2:1 (or overseas equivalent, eg GPA 3.00+ in many North American systems) in an appropriate subject for direct MA entry

UK 2:2 (or overseas equivalent, eg GPA 2.70+ in many North American systems) in an appropriate subject for Postgraduate Diploma route entry.

English language

  • IELTS - overall score of 7, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5;
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section. TOEFL code for Manchester is 0757.
  • Pearson - overall 73 with 73 in writing and no further score below 66

Scores are valid for 2 years.

Due to the current Covid-19 crisis there is a small degree of flexibility in the required English scores.  Please contact us for details - see email address below.

Please note that CAS statements are issued only when all conditions of the offer have been satisfied, PDF copy of passport received and the offer accepted.

Applicants from certain countries may be exempt from having to provide an IELTS or TOEFL score. For further advice, email pg-soss@manchester.ac.uk.

Pre-Sessional English Courses

If you are eligible to do a pre-sessional English course (either 6 weeks or 10 weeks, depending on your English score), you will need to successfully complete the course at the required level before you are permitted to register on your academic course.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

Due to high demand for this course, we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year, as follows:  
  • 1 November (decision by 8 December, accept offer by 15 January) 
  • 7 January (decision by 15 February, accept offer by 15 March);
  • 2 March (decision by 8 April, accept offer by 8 May);
  • 1 May (decision by 1 June, accept offer by 1 July).

If we make you an offer, you will have approximately 4 weeks to accept (conditional and un-conditional offers). Any offers not accepted by the deadline will be withdrawn so that an offer can be made to another candidate.

All conditional offer holders will have until 1 August to satisfy the conditions of their offer.

Due to competition for places, we give preference to students with grades above our minimum entry requirements. 

You need to ensure that you submit your supporting documents with your online application as it may delay us processing your application.

Whilst we aim to give you a decision on your application by the decision date, in some instances due to the competition for places/volume of applications received, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next deadline date. If this is the case we will let you know after the deadline date.

Applications received after our final selection deadline will be considered at our discretion if places are still available.

We can accept your application before you complete your undergraduate studies; please submit your latest transcripts with your online application. 

Please note: 

  • all places are subject to availability and if you apply for one of the later dates, some courses may already be closed, we recommend that you apply early in the cycle to secure your place;
  • meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer;
  • if you are a current undergraduate student at the University of Manchester, you may be eligible to apply via the 'Fast-Track' scheme, email pg-soss@manchester.ac.uk for further information;
  • international applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK can obtain up-to-date information on the latest student visa advice and guidelines;
  • for a copy of the postgraduate prospectus, email pg-soss@manchester.ac.uk.

How your application is considered

Applications are initially assessed by the Admissions Team and referred to the Admissions Tutor when required.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

The objective of this course is to communicate an anthropologically-informed understanding of social life in both Western and non-Western societies. By confronting you with the remarkable diversity of human social and cultural experience, our aim is to encourage you to question taken-for-granted assumptions and to view the world from a new perspective.

Through a set of core course units, comprising about a third of coursework credits, you are provided with a comprehensive grounding in classical as well as contemporary debates in social anthropology and are introduced to the distinctive research methods and ethical positions associated with the discipline. You then complete your coursework credits by choosing from a broad range of units offered around the Faculty of Humanities. 

Through these options, you apply the social anthropological theories and methods learnt on the core units to particular substantive themes and topics. Diploma students complete their coursework in May and formally graduate in July. Over the summer vacation, MA students carry out research for a 15,000 word dissertation that is submitted in September; normally expecting to graduate formally in December.

Teaching and learning

You will take three 15-credit core course units, and a selection of optional units that you select shortly after arrival. Many optional units are worth 15 credits. In total, you are required to achieve 120 coursework credits. Over the Summer vacation, you are required to write a dissertation which is worth a further 60 credits.

Part-time students complete the full-time course over two years. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time course.

You must first check the schedule of the compulsory units and then select your optional units to suit your requirements.

Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your unit choices during induction week with your course director.

Coursework and assessment

Most units are assessed by means of an extended assessment essay. Typically, for 15 credit units, these will be 4000 words, whilst for 30 credit courses, they are normally 6000 words.

Certain options involving practical instruction in research methods, audio-visual media or museum display may also be assessed by means of presentations and/or portfolios of practical work. In addition, all MA students are required to write a 15,000 word dissertation.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MA Ethnography Reading Seminar SOAN70691 15 Mandatory
Key Approaches in Social Anthropology SOAN70811 15 Mandatory
Contemporary Debates in Social Anthropology SOAN70822 15 Mandatory
Anthropology of Development and Humanitarianism SOAN60112 15 Optional
Anthropology of Childhood and Education SOAN60372 15 Optional
The good life: an anthropology of ethics SOAN60392 15 Optional
Anthropology of Health and Wellbeing SOAN60411 15 Optional
Documentary and Sensory Media SOAN60992 15 Optional
Images, Text, Fieldwork SOAN70452 15 Optional
Anthropology of Vision, Senses and Memory SOAN70591 15 Optional
Screening Culture SOAN70771 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

The MA Social Anthropology course trains you in a broad range of transferable skills that are useful in many walks of life, including assessing basic research reports, effective essay-writing, oral presentational skills in seminars and other contexts, basic computing skills, using the internet as a research tool and conducting bibliographic research.

Past graduates of the MA in Social Anthropology have gone on to many different careers, both inside and outside of academic life. As it is a 'conversion' course aimed at those who want to explore anthropology after undergraduate studies in another field, or at least within a different anthropological tradition, it often represents a major change of career direction, opening up a wide range of different possibilities.

About 20% of our graduates carry on their studies and enrol in doctoral research, either here or elsewhere. The MA in Social Anthropology also provides appropriate preparation for careers in which an informed awareness of social and cultural diversity is important. Other past students have gone on to work in the voluntary sector, either in the UK or with overseas development agencies, while others have gone on to work in the media or cultural industries, or in education at many different levels.

A number of graduates have found opportunities in business or the civil service, where ethnography-based studies are increasingly popular as a way of finding out how people - from consumers to employees - interact with their everyday worlds.