L6K507 Medical Anthropology MSc Postgraduate Taught 2017
Our degree offers a unique opportunity to learn about anthropological approaches to the study of health drawing on both sociocultural 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. We aim to provide strong training in both theory and methods.
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 teaching and assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete a dissertation in September. Core modules introduce the Anthropology of Global Health and Public Health Anthropology, and anthropological methods. Students can choose to focus on qualitative or quantitative methods or to train in both.
Each module we offer has a credit value. To obtain a Master’s degree you must register for and pass modules to the value of 180 credits. In recognition of the emphasis we place on independent research skills, the dissertation is a 60 credit module.
- Public Health Anthropology
- Anthropology of Global Health.
Students choose at least one of the following:
- Computational Methods for Social Sciences
- Fieldwork and Interpretation
- Statistical Analysis in Anthropology.
Students will then choose 180 credits from a selection of the following.
Previous optional modules have included:
- Academic and Professional Skills in Anthropology
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Western Diseases
- Advanced Anthropology of Mental Health and Illness
- Advanced Perspectives on Science, Culture and Ethics
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Reproductive and Infant Health
- Society, Energy, Environment and Resilience
- Thinking Anthropologically
- Anthropology and Development
- Body, Politics and Experience
- Evolutionary and Ecological Topics in Medicine and Health
- Interrogating Ethnography
- Key issues in Socio-Cultural Theory
- Foreign language option.
Please see www.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/postgraduatestudy/taughtprogrammes/mscmedicalanthropology for further information on modules.
Course Learning and Teaching
The programme is delivered through a mixture of interactive lectures, seminars, student-led 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 programme’s formal contact hours. Student-led seminars give students 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.
We place an emphasis on independent learning. This is supported by the University’s virtual learning environment, extensive library collections and informal contact with tutors and research staff. We consider the development of independent learning and research skills to be one of the key elements of our postgraduate taught curriculum and one which helps our students cultivate initiative, originality and critical thinking.
Full-time students have on average 6-8 hours of formal teaching and learning contact per week. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work. Following the May assessment period, students undertake their dissertation. This crucial piece of work is a significant piece of independent research that constitutes a synthesis of theory, method and practice in anthropology and is supported by an individual supervisor and a dissertation course leader.
Throughout the programme, all students meet regularly with the 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 students on a ‘drop-in’ basis. In term time, the department also has an extensive programme of departmental and research group seminars which postgraduate students are encouraged and expected to attend. The undergraduate Anthropology Society also organises its own visiting lecturer programme. We ensure that we advertise any other relevant seminars and lectures in Durham, Newcastle and further afield, and encourage students to attend relevant conferences.
Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparation for the course. On arrival we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff. Students also attend an “Introduction to Research Groups in Anthropology”.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A minimum 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution (or the overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on relevant topics.
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
Full Time Fees
|International non-EU Student||£16,500.00|
Part Time Fees
|International non-EU Student||£9,100.00|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Department of Anthropology
Students with a postgraduate qualification in Anthropology pursue a diverse array of careers in areas such as conservation, tourism, public health, health research and management, captive primate care and zoological research management, local government research and management, education (secondary, further and higher), social care, social research, in addition to academia.
For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please visit our employability web pages.
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Overseas Visit Schedule
Postgraduate VisitsPGVI or
Department of Anthropology
Founded in 1965, the Department of Anthropology at Durham University is now one of the largest integrated anthropology departments in the UK, carrying out cutting-edge research across social anthropology, evolutionary anthropology, and the anthropology of health. Our taught Masters programmes offer you the opportunity to pursue advanced specialist courses and ‘conversion’ from other degrees, while our PhD students study topics from primate behaviour to rhetoric culture and indigenous knowledge to internet technologies. With our first-class facilities, innovative programmes, and world-leading academics, Durham University is setting the agenda for twenty-first century anthropology.
Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-Leading research impact and research environment in REF 2014.