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Click here to watch a recording of our most recent Anthropology postgraduate webinar.
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.
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
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
- Dissertation in Social Anthropology Research
- Thinking Anthropologically*
- The Anthropology of the Body
- Anthropology of the Person
- Critical Perspectives on International Development
- Kinship, Sex and Gender
- Guided Study Module
- Ethnicity, Identity and Culture
- Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
- Themes in Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
- Anthropology and Global Health
- Anthropology of Education and Learning
- Understanding Childhood and Youth
- Anthropological Perspectives on War and Humanitarian Assistance
*Strongly recommended for students without a first degree in Anthropology
- 60 to 90 credits of optional modules
- Compulsory modules (75 credits) + up to 45 credits of optional modules (depending on how many credits were taken in the first year)
Total 180 credits
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
The 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.
» More about Employability
Entry criteria 2019/20
- A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree , or an equivalent overseas qualification.
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)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Assessment and feedback
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.
- 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:
Dr Nicolas Argenti
Dr Andrew Beatty
Dr Liana Chua
Dr Peggy Froerer
Dr Eric Hirsch
Dr Maria Kastrinou
Dr Isak Niehaus
Dr Will Rollason
Dr James Staples
Fees and funding
Fees for 2019/20 entry
£8,000 full-time; £4,000 part-time
£15,400 full-time; £7,700 part-time
Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.
Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
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 year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International and postgraduate fees will increase annually in line with RPI, or 5%, whichever is the lesser.
There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about postgraduate student funding options.