Course Overview - Socio-Cultural Anthropology MA
The MA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology introduces you to the endlessly fascinating academic study that looks at humanity and the behaviours, societies and cultures that underpin the lives that are led as sentient beings.
The course enables you to move to anthropology from an undergraduate degree in another subject and offers a solid foundation of knowledge for carrying out research in socio-cultural anthropology in the future or preparing for an anthropology-related career.
You will undertake core modules covering topics such as thinking anthropologically, fieldwork...
The MA in Socio-Cultural Anthropology introduces you to the endlessly fascinating academic study that looks at humanity and the behaviours, societies and cultures that underpin the lives that are led as sentient beings.<br/><br/>The course enables you to move to anthropology from an undergraduate degree in another subject and offers a solid foundation of knowledge for carrying out research in socio-cultural anthropology in the future or preparing for an anthropology-related career.<br/><br/>You will undertake core modules covering topics such as thinking anthropologically, fieldwork and interpretation and understanding society and culture. There are also optional modules, including global health and a study into energy or climate change, allowing you to tailor the course to your own interests. The MA dissertation gives you the opportunity to explore your interests in greater depth.<br/><br/>You will develop a clear understanding of classical and contemporary writing and research on the subject through lectures, seminars and fieldwork with teaching provided by academic staff who are renowned experts in socio-cultural anthropology and have a wealth of fieldwork experience.<br/><br/>As part of your learning and development, you will be expected to spend a sizable proportion of your time, reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work. You will also meet with your degree tutor regularly for further academic support and guidance.<br/><br/>As an anthropology student, you will have access to the Department’s highly respected research laboratories including the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre, Behavioural and Ecological Physiology Lab, Physical Activity Lab, the South Africa field station and to material culture and skeletal collections.<br/><br/>**Course structure**<br/><br/>**Core modules:**<br/><br/>**Thinking Anthropologically** develops your understanding of the current issues and challenges in socio-cultural anthropology and will enable you to carry out the practical application of theories and concepts to these issues. This module develops the skills you need to think critically and carefully about relationships between theory and ethnography.<br/><br/>**Fieldwork and Interpretation** offers a comprehensive view of qualitative field methods used by social sciences, including the collection, management and interpretation of qualitative data. This module features content such as the relation of explanatory theories to methods of research, ethnography and participant observation, interviewing, participatory research methods such as focus groups and the issue of ethics.<br/><br/>**Understanding Society and Culture** explores the history and some of the recent developments in the theory of socio-cultural anthropology and enables you to critically assess the theoretical debates in socio-cultural anthropology and address them in their research.<br/><br/>**Interrogating Ethnography** explores the concept of ethnography as the distinctive method of socio-cultural anthropology and enables you to interpret ethnographic writing and ethnographic argument by looking at single issue studies. This module also allows you to develop the specific critical and theoretical skills required to analyse your own ethnographic account and those of others.<br/><br/>The **Dissertation** is an independent research project based on a specialist area of your degree of particular interest, using the knowledge gained in the research methods modules. You will be expected to write a literature review, collect data through fieldwork, laboratory work or from published sources, conduct data analysis and be able to initiate discussion of your findings.