Social Anthropology MRes
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
Click here to register for our upcoming Anthropology postgraduate webinar Tuesday 7 June.
About the Course
The Social Anthropology MRes is a taught postgraduate degree that provides high quality training in anthropology and anthropological research.
The course is of particular relevance for those who wish to use such training as a foundation for PhD study or who are keen to enhance their careers through the acquisition of advanced knowledge and research skills. Accordingly, the MRes can be completed as a qualification in itself, or as the first stage in a four-year PhD programme.
For students with no previous anthropological training, it can also act as a conversion course to anthropology.
A unique feature of this programme is that students can design, in collaboration with academic staff, Guided Study Modules to focus on their particular areas of research interest.
Anthropology at Brunel is well-known for its focus on ethnographic fieldwork: as well as undertaking rigorous intellectual training, all our students are expected to get out of the library and undertake their own, original research – whether in the UK or overseas – and to present their findings in a dissertation. Students take this opportunity to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world – see “Special Features” for more details.
Attendance for lectures full-time: 2 days per week - for 24 weeks
Attendance for lectures part-time: 1 day per week - for 24 weeks (in each of 2 years)
- The MRes/MPhil/PhD programme marries the best aspects of the traditional apprenticeship system of anthropology - students work with a leading anthropologist in their geographical area of interest and undertake a formal training programme concerned with developing broader anthropological skills in the context of social science as a whole.
- Our students have been or are being funded by the British Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, the World Health Organization, national and local governments as well as NGOs.
Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 265599 (Course Enquiries)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online
Course director: Dr Eric Hirsch
The MRes consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Ethnographic Research Methods 1
Ethnographic Research Methods 2
Dissertation in Social Anthropology Research
The Anthropology of the Body
Anthropology of the Person
Anthropology of International Development
Kinship, Sex and Gender
Themes in Psychiatric Anthropology
Themes in Psychological Anthropology
The Anthropology of Childhood
Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance
Anthropological Perspectives of War
The Anthropology of Youth
The Anthropology of Global Health
Applied Medical Anthropology in the arena of Global Health
Anthropology of Education
Anthropology of Learning
Guided Study Module
Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
- Our course team has worked in countries across the globe including South, West and East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.
- All our degrees (whether full- or part-time) combine intensive coursework, rigorous training in ethnographic research methods, and a period of fieldwork in the summer term (final summer term if part-time) leading to a final dissertation of up to 15,000 words.
- Students are free to choose their own research topic and geographic area, in consultation with their academic supervisor. In all cases, the dissertation research project provides valuable experience and in many cases it leads to job contacts – forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development.
- In recent years, students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as within the UK and the rest of Europe.
A few examples of completed dissertations across our Anthropology courses include:
- Psychological suffering on the borders of Myanmar/Thailand
- An Inuit trauma unit in Ottawa, Canada
- NGOs and youth activism in Trinidad
- Neo-shamanism in Germany
- Outcast London: attitudes and perspectives among hard-to-reach TB patients
- Volunteer tourism and its impact on children in Nepal
- Rap music and politics in Equatorial Guinea
- Ayahuasca use among Westerners in the Amazon
- Religious education in London’s secondary schools
- Mental health in Ghana
- The Tibetan diaspora in India
- Life on a forensic psychiatric ward in Britain
- Gender and sexuality in a hammam in Cairo
- Youth and unemployment in Bari, Italy
- Cultural factors and the experience of dementia in the UK
- Management of diabetes in Cambodia
- Trachoma and medical pluralism in Ethiopia
- Training as a transcultural psychic in London
Internationally respected staff
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 their research interests by following the links:
The Anthropology Department has an associated research centre focusing on children, child development, youth education and learning - Centre for Anthropological Research on Childhood, Youth and Education (CARCYE).
Assessment is by essays, practical assignments (e.g. analysis of a short field exercise) and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. This dissertation is based on fieldwork undertaken by the candidate. There are no examinations.
CareersThe MRes is specifically designed for students wishing to proceed to doctoral study in anthropology. However, the broad range of research strategies taught also makes it an excellent basis for professional development and research in other areas of social science.
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.
UK/EU students: £7,300 full-time; £3,650 part-time
International students: £14,100 full-time; £7,050 part-time
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
- A UK first or second class Honours degree from a UK institution.
- An equivalent overseas qualification.
- An equivalent professional qualification (e.g. from a health, teaching or child welfare background or similar).
Candidates not fully meeting these criteria may nevertheless be considered.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have 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 number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.