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Postgraduate Admissions

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 the 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 their 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)

All the while encouraging in-depth explorations of each of the weekly seminar topics, the course enabled me to step back and trace the history of anthropological thought and discipline, and put theories and debates in conversation. The course itself is carefully structured and demanding; but there is also sufficient leeway for students to take the supervisions and the dissertation as opportunities to hone in on their interests. Most importantly, the wide array of offerings –– lectures, seminars, and more informal talks –– at my disposal, and members of this very supportive academic community who all made themselves so kindly available, helped me grasp and articulate more effectively the kinds of questions I wanted to ask through anthropology.

Sera Yeong Seo Park - 2017-18 cohort (April 2019)

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Key Information


11 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Social Anthropology

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2021

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2020
Application deadline
April 30, 2021
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2021

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 7, 2021
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 14, 2020

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