Medical Anthropology MSc
Medical Anthropology offers unique insights into contemporary health problems through its range of sociocultural, ecological and evolutionary approaches. Co-ordinated by members of our world-renowned Anthropology of Health Research Group, the course demonstrates both the theoretical vitality of the discipline and its practical application to a diverse range of current issues in global and public health. There are also opportunities to explore a range of options such as theories of the body and evolutionary medicine.
The course provides a strong grounding in ethnographic approaches to the study of health, the political ecology of health and the application of anthropology to contemporary public health concerns, as well as a diverse range of options in areas such as theories of the body and evolutionary medicine. Our unique biosocial approach to the anthropology of health is one of our key strengths and attracts a wide range of students, contributing to a stimulating and exciting learning environment.
Who Should Apply?
The programme is designed to provide a strong grounding in theory and methods for students interested in pursuing further research in medical anthropology, careers in relevant international, governmental or non-governmental organisations, or to fresh perspectives for those already engaged in a health profession. It is a popular degree for intercalating medical students.
The course is suitable for those with an undergraduate degree in anthropology, psychology, sociology, nutrition, health sciences, biology or a related discipline, and for health professionals.
Programme Aims and Transferrable Skills
The programme aims to develop understanding of global health issues and critically examine debates within medical anthropology. This course has an emphasis on developing and applying research skills that can be used in both anthropology and broader contexts.
Those who have completed this degree have gone into careers with relevant international, governmental or non-governmental organisations, as well as continuing research in medical anthropology. Examples include the Parent and Child Health Initiative, the International Longevity Centre, and careers in medicine.
L6K507 Medical Anthropology MSc Postgraduate Taught 2020
The MSc in Medical Anthropology offers a unique opportunity to engage with anthropological approaches to the study of health drawing on sociocultural, ecological and evolutionary perspectives. The course provides a strong grounding in ethnographic approaches to the study of health, the political ecology of health and the application of anthropology to contemporary public health concerns, as well as a diverse range of options in areas such as theories of the body and evolutionary medicine. Our unique biosocial approach to the anthropology of health is one of our key strengths and attracts a wide range of students, contributing to a stimulating and exciting learning environment. An emphasis on developing and applying research skills is also central to our degree. The course is taught by academic researchers from our highly regarded Anthropology of Health Research Group.
Please see here for further information on modules.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Full-time students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with further assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete your dissertation by September. Core modules introduce the Anthropology of Global Health and Public Health Anthropology and anthropological methods. You can choose to focus on qualitative or quantitative methods or to train in both.
The course is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, practical sessions and workshops, in addition to one-to-one dissertation supervision. Typically, lectures deliver key information on progressively more advanced themes and topics. Seminars provide an opportunity to reflect in more depth upon material delivered in lectures and gathered from independent study outside the course formal contact hours. They give you an opportunity to engage with academic issues at the cutting-edge of research in Anthropology, in a learning environment focused on discussion and debate of current issues.
Full-time students have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week, and you are also expected to attend weekly departmental and Anthropology of Health Research Group research seminars, often given by prominent visiting speakers. You also have the opportunity to present your work at the Department’s annual postgraduate conference, and to join activities with other universities, such as our annual advanced medical anthropology workshop with the University of Edinburgh. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.
Throughout the course, all students meet fortnightly with their degree tutor, who provides academic support and guidance. Furthermore, all members of teaching staff have weekly office hours when they are available to meet with you on a ‘drop-in’ basis, or can be e-mailed to arrange a mutually agreeable time. You will work closely with leading academics to develop an original piece of research for your dissertation, and guidance on your dissertation is also provided by the dissertation leader. Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparing for the course. On arrival, we have induction sessions, including a field trip and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the degree tutor for Medical Anthropology. You can also attend an introduction to our departmental research groups, including the Anthropology of Health Research Group.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A minimum 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution (or the overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.
References play an important part in the admissions process.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£10,000.00 per year|
|Home Student||£10,000.00 per year|
|Island Student||£10,000.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,000.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£5,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£5,500.00 per year|
|Island Student||£5,500.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£11,600.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
You can apply for this course through the University's online application process.
Dr Andrew Russell is the Degree Tutor for the MSc Medical Anthropology:
''The MSc in Medical Anthropology is a superb way to develop your knowledge and understanding of the causes and interpretations of health, illness and wellbeing worldwide. As degree tutor my role is to support you as you develop your skills and interests in this fascinating programme through your own efforts and through dialogue with other members of the Anthropology of Health Research Group, the Department and the University more generally. I am very happy to discuss the course with potential applicants."
Contact Andrew at email@example.com
"Pursuing MSc Medical Anthropology at Durham University was the best thing that ever happened to my academic life. The University has world class facilities to support learning and excellent academic staff that are capable of bringing out the best in students."
MSc in Medical Anthropology (2011-2012)
“There is a warmth and established openness amongst the students and the staff in the Anthropology department, which makes me feel relevant and part of a growing family of academics. The intellectual stimulation that I continuously receive in this environment is an amazing and unquantifiable experience”
MSc Medical Anthropology (2013-2014)