Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance MSc

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

The course will appeal to graduates from a variety of backgrounds, including: anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, geography, law and development studies. It will provide the necessary training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs (such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund), international agencies (such as the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme) and the civil service (such as the UK Department for International Development). It will also provide a useful stepping stone for those seeking to undertake doctoral research in international development.

Aims

Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. International agencies, governments and NGOs are working more intensely than ever before to deliver appropriate policies and interventions.

Anthropology has played a key role in the emergence of new perspectives on humanitarian assistance and the livelihoods of populations caught up in extreme circumstances such as famines, natural disasters and wars.

On the one hand, this has led to a radical re-thinking of what has been happening, but on the other hand, it has led to anthropologists sometimes playing controversial roles in agendas associated with the "war on terror".

This course examines these contemporary issues and debates, and explores their implications. It also sets them in the context of anthropology as a discipline. In so doing, students will discover how the apparent insights and skills of anthropologists have a long history associated with ethnographic work on economics, education, health, deprivation and conceptions of suffering dating back to the origins of the discipline.

Enquiries

Course enquiries
Email sss-pgenquiries@brunel.ac.uk
Tel +44 (0)1895 265951

For applications already submitted
Contact Admissions online
Tel +44 (0)1895 265265

Course director: Dr Peggy Froerer

View the Social Sciences website

Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265814 (College Marketing Office)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Course Content

Full-time

  • Dissertation in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance (60 credits)

Term 1 (September to December)

  • Ethnographic Research Methods 1 (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of International Development (30 credits)
  • Compulsory Reading Module: Political & Economic Issues in Anthropology (0 credits)

Term 2 (January to April)

  • Ethnographic Research Methods 2 (15 credits)
  • Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory (0 credits)
  • Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance (15 credits)
  • Anthropological Perspectives of War (15 credits)

Plus 30 credits from:

  • Globalisation (30 credits)

Term 1 (September to December)

  • Minority and Indigenous Rights (15 credits)
  • The United Nations Human Rights Regime (15 credits)
  • The Anthropology of Childhood (15 credits)
  • The Anthropology of Youth (15 credits)
  • Ethnicity, Culture and Identity (15 credits)
  • Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings (30 credits)
  • Young Lives in the Global South (15 credits)
  • International Development, Children and Youth (15 credits)

Term 2 (January to April)

  • The Migrant, the State, and the Law (15 credits)
  • Theory and Practice of Human Rights (15 credits)
  • International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of Global Health (15 credits)
  • Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of Education (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of Learning (15 credits)
  • Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation (30 credits)

Part-time

Year 1

Term 1 (September to December)

  • Anthropology of International Development (30 credits
  • Compulsory Reading Module: Political & Economic Issues in Anthropology (0 credits)

Term 2 (January to April)

  • Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance(15 credits)
  • Anthropological Perspectives of War (15 credits) 
  • Compulsory Reading Module: Contemporary Anthropological Theory (90 credits)

Year 2

  • Dissertation in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance (60 credits)

Term 1 (September to December)

  • Ethnographic Research Methods 1 (15 credits)

Term 2 (January to April)

  • Ethnographic Research Methods 2 (15 credits)

Plus 30 credits from:

  • Globalisation (30 credits)

Term 1 (September to December)

  • Minority and Indigenous Rights (15 credits)
  • The United Nations Human Rights Regime (15 credits)
  • The Anthropology of Childhood (15 credits)
  • The Anthropology of Youth (15 credits)
  • Ethnicity, Culture and Identity (15 credits)
  • Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings (30 credits)
  • Young Lives in the Global South (15 credits)
  • International Development, Children and Youth (15 credits)

Term 2 (January to April)

  • The Migrant, the State, and the Law (15 credits)
  • Theory and Practice of Human Rights (15 credits)
  • International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of Global Health (15 credits)
  • Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of Education (15 credits)
  • Anthropology of Learning (15 credits)
  • Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation (30 credits)

Module descriptions View module descriptions

Special Features

This degree programme is for those interested in critically assessing the policies and practices of international development and humanitarian assistance to war-affected regions from an anthropological perspective.

While its approach is anthropological, this degree offers genuine multi-disciplinary possibilities by drawing on modules from Politics, Health Sciences, Law and Business. Students will have the opportunity to explore the multiplicity of issues arising from critical shifts in global policy across the following key themes:
  • The ways in which economic anthropologists have enhanced our understandings of livelihoods in ways that are dramatically different to dominant approaches in economics.
  • The hazards and limitations of relying solely upon biomedical interventions to alleviate suffering and sickness.
  • The ostensibly positive relationship between education and development, and the role of education as a vehicle for eradicating illiteracy and lowering fertility and mortality rates.
An exploration of such themes together will make it possible for students to think and engage in new and critical ways about the relationship between anthropology and development.

The programme is run by experts in their field, who have worked in countries across the globe including South, West and East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain. Find out more about our course team and their research interests.

The Anthropology Department also has two associated research centres focusing on children, child development, youth education, learning and medical anthropology:

•    Centre for Anthropological Research on Childhood, Youth and Education (CARCYE)
•    Centre for Research in International Medical Anthropology (CRIMA)

Assessment

Assessment is variously by essay and practical assignment (eg analysis of a short field exercise). A final dissertation of approximately 15,000 words, based on fieldwork in the UK or abroad, is also required. There are no examinations.

Employability

Students who complete the MSc in the Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance would be suitable to enter the following areas of specific study and/or general employment:
  • Doctorial research and research assistant positions
  • NGOs (e.g. Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, Islamic Agency for International Relief) and international agencies (e.g. World Health Organisation, World Food Programme)
  • Civil service employment (the UK Department for International Development)
  • General private sector employment (e.g. administrative/managerial positions and consultancy)

Careers

The course will provide the necessary training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs (such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund), international agencies (such as the World Health Organisation and the World Food Programme) and the civil service (such as the UK Department for International Development). It will also provide a useful stepping stone for those seeking to undertake doctoral research in international development.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

UK/EU students: £6,250 full-time; £3,125 part-time

International students: £13,000 full-time; £6,500 part-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

A UK first or second class Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification 

Applicants with other degrees that have relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants will be interviewed either in person or by telephone.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4.5) PBT
  • TOEFL Internet test: 92 IBT (R20, L20, S20, W20)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Tuesday 01 July 2014