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 have the opportunity to put this understanding into practice through academic events and work experience in Bristol’s thriving creative and cultural industries as well as social organisations. In addition to the core themes of the programme – which explore inter-related real-world issues such as sustainability, technology, engagement, arts and materiality - you will receive advanced training in theory and methods 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; participatory approaches and research ethics. There are opportunities for undertaking 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 and diverse industry while putting into practice the skills you have learned throughout the course.

The programme will enhance your transferable skills and employability by providing valuable research experience and developing a network of contacts in and beyond work placement providers.

Virtual open week

This programme will be covered in our Anthropology webinar.

Book your place today

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

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 2022/23

University of Bristol alumni who go on to study for a postgraduate degree – either taught or research – at Bristol can benefit from a 10 percent reduction in tuition fees.

International students may be awarded a Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship (2 rounds per year)

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. We help you gain a deeper understanding of the interconnected world we live in and encourage you to think about why people act the way they do, and how it affects our cultural, political, and environmental futures. We enable you to find your unique voice that challenges prejudice and inequality. After all, we cannot learn to work together without learning about each other through our differences and diversities.

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. 

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.

Being taught by research-active experts in the field, you will gain knowledge and understanding on some of the most relevant and urgent contemporary issues and public debates. From drugs and stimulants in Africa, to children and their art in Amazonia; from museums in Asia, to transhumance mobility in Europe, you will learn alongside leading academics through in-class lectures, small group seminars, field trips, and potential international knowledge exchange programmes.   

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


Anthropologists are in demand in a transforming economy and changing workplaces because we have a deeper understanding of human practices and cultural connections – a perspective hugely important for a sustainable future. Anthropologists are highly sought after in public and private sectors, including governmental bodies such as the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) or NGOs like Action Aid and Oxfam.

You could go on and work in academia as lecturers or researchers with postgraduate studies, find opportunities as corporate anthropologists in local and international businesses that value research and analytical skills. You could also explore broader career prospects in diverse fields such as policy, advocacy, heritage, health and the creative industries, capitalising on your planning, research and managerial skills and capacities.

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Find out how to apply

Expected application closure date

Overseas applicants: 29 July 2022. Home applicants: 12 August 2022. 
Places are limited and allocated on a continuous basis from October 2021 until all places are filled. Early applications are advised to avoid disappointment.

Virtual events

Discover the expertise and resources on offer at Bristol with our live and on-demand events.

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Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

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.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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