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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Career Options and Employability

Postgraduate study at Durham presents an opportunity to develop a range of higher level skills that can be transferred to the wider graduate job market. The specific learning opportunities presented by Anthropology are relevant to careers in a diverse range of areas including development, health, youth & community, government, social research, market research, policy, culture, heritage and media.

Some postgraduate students progress into careers with no direct link to Anthropology but which utilise the transferable skills developed including advertising, publishing, journalism, human resource management, public relations, finance, law, consultancy and marketing. Examples of recent high profile employers of Anthropology postgraduate students include Save the Children, HM Prison Service, Civil Service, Durham University, VSO, Office for National Statistics, National Graduate Development Programme (local authority graduate scheme). Postgraduate students have also had recent success in finding positions with NGOs such as Concern Universal and Kenwa.

I am currently working in Malawi as Research Coordinator with the Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI), a research and development NGO founded by the Wellcome Trust and UCL.

Collins Zamawe
MSc in Medical Anthropology (2011-2012)


Following my graduation in 2010 I was interested in working in policy but with a grounding in research, so applied for policy internships during the summer while researching and writing my dissertation. I accepted an initially unpaid internship at the International Longevity Centre-UK, an independent think tank focused on population ageing, where I was subsequently offered a staff position. The research skills gained during my MSc were extremely useful in carrying out policy-based research projects, as was my background knowledge of health issues. Three years and three internal promotions on, I'm just about to move to a new organisation, My Home Life, promoting evidence-based good practice in care homes.

Jessica Watson
MSc Medical Anthropology (2009-2010)


Even several years after having finished the course, what I learnt that year has stayed with me and I continue to apply principles of Medical Anthropology to my day to day life as a junior doctor.

Ana Liddie Navarro
MSc Medical Anthropology (2011-2012)


Since completing my MSc. I have gone on to study Restorative Practices and Transformative Mediation, with the goal of introducing fair process strategies into professional, non-profit and non-governmental spaces.

Claudia Abbott-Barish
MSc Sustainability, Culture and Development (2011-2012)


My education at Durham prepared me for success as a humanitarian aid worker in one of the largest international NGOs, in multiple emergency and disaster contexts around the globe.

Leah Rush
MSc Sustainability, Culture and Development (2010-2011)


Throughout my studies I gained valuable quantitative skills in statistical analysis and critical appraisal, which in particular put me in an excellent position to gain my PhD studentship. I am now experimenting with advanced computational methods for infectious disease modelling, and am looking to pursue a career in Epidemiology.

Today I have my dream job, and owe much of my recent success in getting here to taking this course.

Shona Lee
MSc Evolutionary Medicine (2011-12)

A number of students progress onto PhD level study following their Masters in Anthropology. This presents an opportunity to remain within their academic field of interest and pursue higher level anthropological research, notably at Durham but also other institutions. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes. Recent examples include management, teaching, law, HR, nursing and medicine.

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works closely with the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance.

A dedicated Careers Adviser is available to support postgraduate Anthropology students individually and collectively.