skip to content

Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Social Anthropology is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in Social Anthropology is a challenging but equally rewarding course for those interested in developing a strong grasp of the discipline. The course covers the major areas of social anthropology, including politics, economics, religion, and kinship, as well as the field’s history and main theoretical schools. The supervisions push students to refine their writing skills while the dissertation offers a substantive and well-supported opportunity to conduct original research. Beyond the core coursework, events in the department and university more broadly offer a rich academic environment—perfect for pursuing and cultivating your own intellectual interests.

I began the course with little background in Social Anthropology, but after completing it I now have a strong foundation in the field and a body of work I can use to propel further work in anthropology. My experience during the MPhil has made me a strong candidate for PhD programmes and I know that what I learned from faculty and supervisors will continue to help me as I advance further in the field.

Spencer Kaplan - 2019-20 cohort (April 2021)

The MPhil course in Social Anthropology may be quite intense for students with no background in Anthropology, but it is equally rewarding. It is amazing that in just eleven months one can gain a footing in this beautiful discipline, learn to look at the world through an anthropological lens, get familiar with its complicated history, thought-provoking theories, and unique methods of enquiry, and simultaneously develop their critique.

For me, this course was an opportunity to deepen my knowledge of the history of anthropological thought and to engage with new topics during elective lectures, seminars, group supervisions, and dissertation supervisions. In addition, Cambridge offers an abundance of interdisciplinary reading and discussion groups, societies, talks, exhibitions, and other events, where one can expand one's horizons and connect with people with similar interests across disciplines. The supervisions and seminars at the Department and different academic events beyond that, were for me spaces of intellectual challenge, exchange, and growth, where I was often invited to think beyond my academic comfort zone and explore new theoretical frameworks and topics beyond my primary research interests. Moreover, the dissertation research was for me a wonderful ethnographic experience that also provided me with the preliminary material for my PhD research proposal.

Beja Protner - 2018-19 cohort (April 2020)

Enrolling in the MPhil in Social Anthropology was a great decision. It’s an ambitious and challenging program but the structure of the course and the people you find yourself studying alongside make it a really engaging year.

The lectures and readings introduced us to the core ideas in anthropology, which we were then encouraged to analyse and challenge in seminars and our own research projects. The teaching and administrative staff were very supportive and the university at large offers a constant series of events and opportunities. I’d recommend the course to anyone looking to develop their knowledge of social anthropology and critical thinking skills more broadly. 

Kevin Yildirim - 2018-19 cohort (April 2020)

Key Information

11 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Social Anthropology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 1, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Similar Courses