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Why choose this programme?

Are you interested in the causes of burning issues such as climate change, financial crises, migration, social activism and how they influence people’s lives? Do you want to plan your own project and conduct fieldwork in an unfamiliar setting, at home or abroad? If so, the master’s programme in Social Anthropology is the right choice for you.

What is Social Anthropology?

Social Anthropology is a discipline that studies contemporary social issues through empirically grounded studies of people’s lives. Through our two-year master’s programme, you learn how anthropologists have developed theoretical and methodological tools for conducting such studies, and you learn to apply these yourself.

This study is a unique opportunity to do your own fieldwork aligned with your interests. You will design your own research project, carry out ethnographic fieldwork in a place and on a topic of your choice, and write up a master’s thesis based on your own fieldwork data.

Thematic specialisations

You will be introduced to cutting edge anthropological research and receive a thorough introduction to advanced anthropological theories and methods. In our programme, you can choose to specialise in either Contemporary Ethnography or Global Political Economy.

With a specialisation in Contemporary Ethnography, you will learn how anthropologists have made sense of the most important social issues of our times. This track also provides you with the flexibility to customize your studies according to your own interests and research focus. For instance, you can take credits in a language or a regional or thematic course in line with your own project plans. You will also learn how to apply ethnographic methods in practice, which will help you to turn your anthropological competence into an asset on the job market.

With a specialisation in Global Political Economy, you will gain a rigourous understanding of different anthropological approaches to capital, finance, business and work. By exploring the challenges that shape today’s global economy, you will be given the analytical and methodological tools to engage with issues such as economic crisis, banking, and labour. You will be able to design, conduct and write up your own ethnographic fieldwork project related to this set of themes.

Learn from renowned specialists

The Department of Social Anthropology is a world leading anthropology department. You will work closely with our academic staff, get individual supervision from day one and a chance to participate in the Department’s vibrant research environment, while learning from renowned specialists in their fields.

Student life

Our department has an active student environment where several existing groups arrange workshops, breakfast meetings, cabin trips and parties. These groups also represent the students’ interests in formal meetings at the Department. We emphasize close relations among our master students and provide excellent study facilities and generous work space. The teaching provided at the Department of Social Anthropology is tuition-free.

Career opportunities

Anthropologists work with a wide variety of issues such as urban planning, development, migration and refugees, communication, market and consumer research, environmental management, technology, foreign affairs and teaching.
They get jobs in both public and private sector, including humanitarian organisations, government agencies, schools and higher education, private businesses and consultancy agencies.

The two-year master’s programme leads to an master’s degree in Social Anthropology and qualifies for a PhD.

More information about career opportunities

Learning outcomes

Social Anthropology engages with contemporary social issues through empirically grounded studies of people’s lives. You learn how anthropologists have developed theoretical and methodological tools for conducting such studies. You also learn to apply these yourself through designing your own research project, carrying out ethnographic fieldwork and analysing qualitative research data.

Specialisations

The programme is academically broad and offers flexibility in the choice of empirical and theoretical specialisation. You can choose between specialising in Contemporary Ethnography or Global Political Economy.

Contemporary Ethnography

With a specialisation in Contemporary Ethnography, you will learn how anthropologists have made sense of the most important social issues of our times. This track also provides you with maximum flexibility to customize your studies according to your own interests and research focus. For instance, you can take credits in a language of your choice, or take a regional or thematic course in line with your own project plans. You will also learn how to apply ethnographic methods in practice, which will help you to turn your anthropological competence into an asset on the job market.

Global Political Economy

With a specialisation in Global Political Economy, you will gain a rigorous understanding of different anthropological approaches to capital, finance, business and work. By exploring in-depth today’s challenges that shape the global economy, you will be given the analytical and methodological tools to engage with issues such as economic crisis, banking, and labour. You will be able to design, conduct and write up your own ethnographic fieldwork project related to this set of themes.

Learning objectives

The teaching and learning methods are varied. At the end of the programme you will have completed a complex, independent ethnographic research project where you have developed your thesis, found relevant theory and turned it into a complete scientific analysis. Upon completing the master’s programme in Social Anthropology, you will have the following knowledge, skills and general competences:

Knowledge

  • advanced knowledge within the field of Social Anthropology, with a particularly thorough knowledge of political, socio-economic and cultural-historical perspectives on contemporary issues.
  • advanced knowledge of qualitative research methods.
  • advanced knowledge of how ethnography can be applied in contexts outside academia.
  • specific in-depth knowledge on the theme, theory and region chosen for your master’s thesis.

Skills

  • formulate a viable research problem on contemporary issues and conduct independent ethnographic fieldwork in line with academic, methodological and ethical guidelines.
  • identify, collect, select and assess relevant sources and data for purposes of analysing specific research questions.
  • analyse and deal critically with existing theories and methods within Social Anthropology in an independent manner.
  • apply your knowledge to current challenges within the field of Social Anthropology.
  • translate your academic research experience into job related competence.
  • compose a coherent and well-argued academic text.

General competence

You will learn how to:

  • discuss academic questions connected to your own and other people’s work.
  • use advanced skills in qualitative methods and apply them in a problem-solving context.
  • analyse and communicate existing theories and ethical considerations concerning political, economic and social problems.
  • carry out an independent research project within the field of Social Anthropology under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics.
  • apply your knowledge and skills in new research areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects.
  • communicate academic knowledge in English, both orally and written, using the terms and language required to convey your scholarly knowledge to both academic and other audiences.
  • analyse relevant anthropological literature, concretize social problems, and have insight into how you may draw the connection between theory and empirical conditions.

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