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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Social Anthropology is no longer accepting new applications.

Apply using the Applicant Portal

The Apply Now button on the right will take you to the Applicant Portal. There, you can create and submit your application and supporting documents, and you can also request your references.

An application is only complete when:

  1. you have submitted your application and supporting documents via the Applicant Portal
  2. you have paid the £70 application fee. Further information on application fees see here.
  3. your referees have provided their references.

If you miss the deadlines specified in this section, you will not be able to submit your application.

The PhD course is intended for students who already have full training at undergraduate and/or Master's level in the methods and perspectives of Social/Cultural Anthropology. 

Selection Process

Applications are considered as they are received (on a rolling basis). In some cases, the Department may defer a final decision until after the course closing date, in which case applicants will be informed of this by the Department.

Further information on How To Apply

Things You'll Need

In order to apply for this course you'll need to think about getting a few things ready before you apply.

  • Two academic references  
  • Transcript  
  • CV/resume
  • Evidence of competence in English  
    If required - you can check using our tool
  • Sample of work (2)
    Please upload a sample of work of around 3,000–5,000 words. Applicants may submit a longer piece of work, but must highlight the section to be considered. The sample must be entirely your own work, fully referenced and in English.
  • Research proposal (M)
    This is a vital document and it is not sufficient to simply fill in the research summary box on the application form. Applicants should head the document with their name and the title of their intended project. Proposals are usually 1,000 to 2,500 words in length (excluding references) and should give a clear idea of the viability and importance of the research area. It should take note of relevant academic literature, and some thought should be given to the methodology by suggesting appropriate research methods.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference  
  • Research Proposal (PhD applicants only)

See Gates Cambridge for more information.

How to Find a Supervisor

For the PhD in Social Anthropology it is advisable that applicants attempt to make contact with a potential supervisor within the Department of Social Anthropology before submitting their application. Such contacts may provide an opportunity to discuss the applicant's proposed research topic, and are desirable because the Department must confirm the availability of a willing and appropriate supervisor as one of the conditions of admission to the PhD programme.
However it is not obligatory to name a potential supervisor on the application form. Indeed the Department may consult a number of staff colleagues whose expertise might make them suitable as an applicant's potential supervisor. Please note that applicants must not send generic 'fishing' emails to multiple members of staff.
A list of the Department's academic staff with summaries of their research and teaching interests can be found here.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Social Anthropology

Course – related enquiries

Application – related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

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

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2021, Lent 2022 and Easter 2022.

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