The first nine months of both the MSc and MPhil courses consist of a structured programme of lectures, classes, and tutorials from October to June. Throughout the courses, formal teaching is supplemented by attendance at research seminars, and, lectures as each student chooses.
In the first-year students will critically read key intellectual contributions to the discipline and they will be introduced to ethnographic methods and experiences of living among, and writing about, people. They will learn how to comparatively study what makes humans simultaneously similar and yet different. Students follow core courses in social anthropology as well as choosing an option course from a range offered within the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography.
The MSc is examined in two stages. Part One of the assessment process (comprising coursework and timed unseen examination) is completed by June. Part Two (the MSc dissertation of 10,000 words) is submitted in late August.
In the summer vacation leading into the second year of their course, MPhil students will start researching their MPhil dissertation. This may involve fieldwork. In the second year of study, students take a further specialist option course from the range on offer within the school and choose two research methods training modules. They also research and write their MPhil thesis (30,000 words).
Core teaching covers the major theories, approaches and themes in social anthropology, plus comparing cultures, anthropology in the world, and fieldwork theories and methods. Option courses offered vary from year to year, but are chosen from around twelve to fifteen that are available, with topics ranging from specific areas of geographical focus, to current anthropological themes.