MA Anthropology

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Faculty Faculty of Arts
Awards available MA
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2021

Programme overview

The MA in Anthropology will help you to develop a nuanced and cross-cultural perspective on the challenges that humans face in our fast-changing world, with content that reflects our research strengths in adversity, adaptation and globalisation. You will put this understanding into practice through hands-on activities and work experience in Bristol’s thriving media, creative and cultural industries, as well as social enterprises. In addition to the core themes of the programme – which explore inter-related real-world themes such as sustainability, technology, engagement, arts and materiality - you will receive advanced training in theory and method delivered through world-class research-led teaching.

The programme will introduce you to anthropological research design and data analysis using qualitative and mixed methods, including ethnographic and visual methods; survey, interview and focus-group design; statistical analyses and hypothesis testing; and ethics. You will have the opportunity to undertake an off-campus placement with an external partner such as a media-tech company, museum, heritage organisation, NGO or local authority. You can gain first-hand experience of working in a vibrant, innovative and diverse industry while putting into practice the skills you have learned throughout the course. The programme will enhance your skill set and employability by providing valuable work experience and developing a network of contacts in and beyond work placement providers.

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Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time (two years)
Overseas (including EU): full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2021/22

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Two mandatory units offer advanced anthropological training in theory, method and practice. In Anthropological Theory and Practice, you will explore contemporary social and political issues and think about what a shared, sustainable future might look like. It draws on diverse human experiences and strategies from Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Innovative peer-to-peer design and delivery methods help prepare you for the thriving sharing economy while developing your anthropological knowledge and ethnographic skills.

In Research Methods in Anthropology, you will be trained in anthropological research design and data analysis using qualitative and mixed methods. Sessions will explore ethnographic, reflexive and visual methods, as well as survey, interview and focus-group design. Sessions on data and analyses will include qualitative techniques, statistical analyses and hypothesis testing.

Optional units both within and outside the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology will allow you to tailor your programme to your particular area of interest, including a work placement opportunity. Optional units may vary but will highlight social and cultural diversities in human societies, discussing issues around health and substances from economic-political perspectives. You will be introduced to innovative visual methods that develop valuable transferable skills, and gain applied understanding of the heritage and technology sectors and enterprise management.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Anthropology.

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in an arts, humanities or social sciences discipline. Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


An anthropology master's degree can lead to employment in a variety of sectors, from education, government, charity and international development, to medicine, film and business.

Anthropologists are trained to understand cross-cultural issues and the complexities of social interactions between local groups and global forces. This deep understanding of cultural differences and human relations is highly beneficial for working with people and using diverse perspectives.

You could go on and work in academia as lecturers or researchers with postgraduate studies, or find opportunities as corporate anthropologists in local and international businesses that value research and analytical skills. Anthropologists are in demand within the public sector for their planning, research and managerial capacities.

How to apply
Application deadline: 31 July 2021 for International applicants. 19 August 2021 for UK applicants. Early applications recommended; places may fill before the deadline. As students from different regions tend to apply at different points in the application period, applications from some regions may close earlier in the year.

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Contact details

For questions regarding study and admission please contact our Enquiries Team. Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

School website: School of Arts
Department website: Department of Anthropology and Archaeology

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2014 results

Please see the full REF 2014 results for the University of Bristol.

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


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