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PhD in Anthropology

Anthropology PhD students can take either a Sociocultural or Biological route. Both routes last three years and are examined by thesis. We encourage prospective PhD students to make informal contact with a member of the academic staff to discuss their application at an early stage.

PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology/ PhD in Biological Anthropology

Within the first few months of study, students will agree a work plan with their supervisors and identify any training needs, which may involve attending modules from our masters programmes as appropriate.

Students are encouraged to attend our writing seminars designed for research students. This seminar series brings together both pre- and post-fieldwork students to discuss reports of fieldwork in progress, draft chapters written by students and recent publications of relevance to students' work.

All PhD students are required to produce a 7,000 word progression report towards the end of their 1st year. This will be examined by two internal examiners who will hold a progression viva at which the student and examiners will discuss the progression script. Upon successfully passing their progression viva students will be permitted to proceed with their PhD research.

Students should aim to complete their research and write-up, and to submit their thesis by the end of their 3rd year.

Entry Requirements

The standard entry requirements for a PhD in Anthropology are usually:

  • Master’s degree in Anthropology or a related discipline (although may not be required for some funding competitions – e.g. NineDTP 1+3)
  • Two satisfactory academic references
  • English language evidence – Band C (more information on English Language requirements can be found here and here)
  • A viable research project supported by 2 supervisors within the Department (A list of academic staff in the Anthropology department can be found here)

Apply for postgraduate study

Previous PhD Theses

  • Beautiful Mistakes: An Ethnographic Study of Women’s Lives after Marriage in a Rural Sinhala Village.
  • Cultural Evolution of Material Knot Diversity.
  • Sedentary time during pregnancy and gestational diabetes risk: a mixed methods approach among women in the UK.
  • Establishing predictors of learning strategies; an investigation of the development of, and evolutionary foundations of, intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing when we learn from others and from whom we learn.
  • The evolution of brain size and structure in primates.
  • To Love An(other): Narratives of Mixed Marriage Amongst British Pakistani Muslims.
  • ‘Hands Up’: Female Call Centre Workers’ Labour, Protest and Health in the Seoul Digital Industrial Complex, Korea.
  • A study of Wai Phra Kao Wat (Paying Homage to a Buddha Image in the Nine Temples) in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Faith, Fashion, Feminism: Interrogating the Islamic Veil in Contemporary Britain.
  • Disease, Morality and Bioethics: An Ethnographic Study of a TB Vaccine Trial Site in South Africa.
  • ‘Hands Up’: Female Call Centre Workers’ Labour, Protest and Health in the Seoul Digital Industrial Complex, Korea.
  • Childhood Obesity in Bangladeshi Immigrants: A biocultural investigation.
  • Understanding the place and meaning of physical activity in the lives of young people: An ethnographic study with two youth centres in a low-income urban area of Northern England.
  • The Indigeneity question: State Violence, Forced Displacement and Women's Narratives in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.
  • “From the Café We Went to War”: Political Manoeuvring and Protest in Pristina's Public Spaces.
  • Human-primate conflict: an interdisciplinary evaluation of wildlife crop raiding on commercial crop farms in Limpopo Province, South Africa.
  • Immunities at the margins: Negotiating health and bodily care among Haredi Jews in the UK.
  • Entangling Molecules: an ethnography of a carbon offset project in Madagascar’s eastern rainforest.
  • An Ethnographic Analysis of the Use of Schooling as an International Development Tool in Eragayam Tengah, Papua.
  • Juvenile primates in the context of their social group: a case study of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in an afro-montane environment.
  • The Influence of Red Colouration on Human Perception of Aggression and Dominance in Neutral Settings.