Course information




1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

Are you interested in a career in anthropology, but haven’t studied the subject before? Have you studied anthropology in the past, but need to consolidate this experience before moving into anthropological research?

This MA offers students from all disciplinary backgrounds the opportunity to build a solid base in social anthropology, its theoretical foundations, methodology and ethnographic diversity.

You'll be able to explore fascinating topics including:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality and the body
  • Religion and symbolism
  • Political economy
  • Psychological perspectives in anthropology
  • The anthropology of rights
  • Visual anthropology

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Prof Rebecca Cassidy

What you'll study

Core modules 

You take two core modules (60 credits) that will familiarise you with the most important theoretical positions within anthropology, and will introduce you to key methodological questions. You also complete a dissertation (60 credits).


Module title Credits
  Anthropological Theory 30 credits
  Anthropological Research Methods 30 credits

Option modules

You choose up to 60 credits of option modules from a list that has recently included:

Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Rights 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Critical Voices in Development 30 credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Anthropology of Art I 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Anthropology of Health and Medicine I 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Anthropology of Religion 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Economic and Political Anthropology I 30 credits
  Economic and Political Anthropology II 30 credits
  Intercultural Film 15 credits
  Photography & Sound 15 credits
  Anthropology and Gender Theory 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Borders and Migration 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Learning from Social Movements 15 credits (UG) or 30 credits (PG)
  Anthropology and the Visual 2 15 credits (UG) or 30 Credits (PG)
  Digital Anthropology Level 7 30 credits


Dissertation; reports; take-home papers; options may require a presentation or production of visual material.

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.



This programme is ideal if you're thinking of pursuing a career in the media, or in research, teaching, policy and many other fields.

Recent graduates have been employed by Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the Royal Anthropological Institute.

The Masters also provides an excellent grounding for students interested in pursuing research in social anthropology – several have gone on to complete research degrees at Goldsmiths.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

What our students say


"As mammals we protect what we love and my research has shown this applies to our love of the earth."

"I manage a social enterprise which I co-founded which helps vulnerable people to access natural spaces for health and learning. We are self sustaining by using income from training to offer our services free. We find woodlands in urban and rural spaces in which we offer activities. Some cities have more woodlands than rural areas. People have such rich experiences that time passes differently, colour returns to their cheeks and they feel replenished enough to face their day to day issues. People can return to these green places with their families and friends and know they will feel better. It is good medicine. One woman, with her GPs consent was able to stop taking anti psychotic drugs. Young brothers, who are carers for their mum became eco warriors. Mum said; 'I don't know what you have done to my bys but I can't throw anything away any more', despite us making no direct reference to recycling while we were with the boys in the woods.

We are simply mammals and will protect what we love and we have proved natural spaces are places where we can do this for own well being, to help others in our community and to nurture respect for the land and environments.

The economic model is now established and we are thriving. My research is published in child and adolescent health and adult mental health journals. We have won 2 awards in relation to our sustainability credentials, most recently at the Global Good Awards.

I took Social Anthropology MA in 1997 with Steve Nugent and Brian Morris (Environmental Anthropology) to complement my existing BSc in Plant Biology from Bangor, making me an ethnobotanist. My specific interests are the way we use plants for health and well being hence this is the focus of much of the work of the company. Before coming to Goldsmiths I had conducted research in Wales among the Welsh speaking women on Anglesey and in south America among the Quechuan speaking women of the high Andes.

As a single mum from a working class background my time at Goldsmiths gave me massive confidence. It also gave me credibility and these 2 assets have allowed me to aspire and achieve."


"I needed to be again in the place where ideas are constantly challenged and are put in movement."

"Studying a postgraduate degree was a necessity for me. After eight years working as a sociologist in different places but always in relation to the cultural realm – in its broader sense – it became evident that I needed to be again in the place where ideas are constantly challenged and are put in movement. Moreover, I felt the curiosity of knowing and understanding more about the latest theories to study the social and cultural phenomena, as well as in which ways the anthropological perspective is helpful in order to understand it. Both of my expectations were totally fulfilled in Goldsmiths and with the perspective that the Masters in Social Anthropology offers.  

So far I am very pleased with my academic results and this is partly due to the fact that I can dedicate more time to study, something that could not even be possible to think without having the scholarship that the University gave me. In other words, having the monetary support for me has been crucial to dedicate more time to really make the most of everything that being back in the university means."

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