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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Social Anthropology is no longer accepting new applications.

Teaching

The taught element of this course consists of these compulsory streams:

  • The Pre-Fieldwork seminar
  • The Ethnographic Methods Course, Parts I (Michaelmas) and II (Lent)
  • Senior Research Seminar, scheduled for Fridays during term time. This is the place where the Department really gets together, and we usually attract very good speakers from across the UK and overseas.
  • Social Sciences Research Methods Programme courses on Reading and Understanding Statistics and Survey Research and Design (the exact title of the courses may change).
  • Anthropological Lives explores the lives of anthropologists who made striking and distinctive career decisions and/ or unexpected use of their anthropological material. The series reflects both ongoing and new knowledge and interests on the part of Departmental teaching staff, with contributions from former Department members now based elsewhere.

Students are also strongly encouraged to attend other optional elements:

  • "Experiences from the Field" seminar, run by writing-up students recently returned from the field.
  • Anthropology Beyond the Academy - a series of presentations from speakers from a range of fields, reflecting on how their study of anthropology has informed their subsequent careers. 
  • Ad hoc sessions in transferable skills or anthropological method, such as journal publication, technologies of research and data management, film-making and research with children.
  • Participation in Undergraduate or Masters level lectures and seminars which address themes specific to their research topic.

One to one supervision

Students will meet with their Supervisor for at least 4 hours per term in a pattern to be arranged with their Supervisor. The Supervisor's role is to advise students on the planning and execution of their research, to provide feedback on progress and to help students to complete their work within the required time.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

3-4 hours per week of compulsory seminars, plus the weekly Senior Research seminar.

Lectures

MRes students are encouraged to attend lectures relevant to their research topic.

Feedback

Students receive written feedback on their three assessed essays and dissertation.

In addition, students receive termly progress reports online from their Supervisor. Students will also receive regular informal feedback from their Supervisors, throughout the period of the course.

Students preparing for fieldwork receive guidance and advice from their supervisor as they draft their formal Fieldwork Proposal which sets out their detailed plan for the research on which their dissertation will be based.
 
Following their Fieldwork Clearance Interview conducted by members of the Departmental PhD Committee, students receive written feedback on their proposal. This will normally summarise and/or supplement comments and suggestions provided by Committee members during the interview, and may include comments on the student's research strategy, and suggestions for further reading and/or other matters which may facilitate productive work in the field.

Assessment

Thesis / Dissertation

A dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, including footnotes, but excluding tables, appendices, and bibliography, on a subject approved by the Archaeology, Anthropology and Sociology Degree Committee. An oral examination on the dissertation and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls may be held at the discretion of the examiners.

The primary aim of the dissertation should be the theoretical analysis of ethnographic material; it may also be a new synthesis of data or a new interpretation of existing material.

The mark awarded for the dissertation will comprise 60 per cent of the total.

Essays

  1. One essay of not more than 4,000 words ( including footnotes, but excluding tables, appendices, and bibliography), relating to anthropology and social theory chosen by the candidate from a list of questions announced by the Archaeology, Anthropology and Sociology Degree Committee by the division of Michaelmas term.
  2. One essay of not more than 4,000 words ( including footnotes, but excluding tables, appendices, and bibliography), relating to professional research practice chosen by the candidate from a list of questions announced by the Archaeology, Anthropology and Sociology Degree Committee by the division of Michaelmas term.  
  3. One essay of not more than 4,000 words (including footnotes, but excluding tables, appendices, and bibliography), relating to ethnographic research methods. This is the individual report on the extended case study prepared for the Ethnographic Methods course.  

Each essay will count for ten per cent of the total marks.

Other

Assessments for the Social Science Research Methods Programme modules (in the form of online tests and/or written assignment) will be administered on a pass/fail basis as part of the relevant modules and will comprise ten per cent of the total.

Key Information


12 months full-time

Master of Research

Department of Social Anthropology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 1, 2021
Application deadline
April 30, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2022

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Jan. 6, 2022
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 13, 2021

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2022, Lent 2023 and Easter 2023.


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