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Anthropology (MA)

MA|Postgraduate Taught

Anthropology

Entry year
2023
Entry requirements
2.1
Duration
1 year (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
30 (Full Time)
30 (Part Time)

The Anthropology MA is designed to provide students with a strong grounding in the principles and methods of Anthropology. It offers the opportunity to study innovative modules taught by leading experts in key anthropological fields, including Conflict and Borders, Religion, Cognition and Culture, Business and Sustainability, Material Culture and Art, Migration and Diasporas, Anthropology of Ireland, Human-Animal relations and the cross-cultural study of Emotions. Anthropology at Queen’s also has a distinguished history in Ethnomusicology, the cross-cultural study of music.

The MA teaching is research-led and draws on our staff’s theoretical work in these areas, as well as regional expertise, including research in India, Pakistan, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Japan, the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Romania, Finland, the UK, and the island of Ireland. Anthropology at QUB is ranked 2nd in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2021) and 1st in relation to research intensity (Research Excellence Framework 2014). With 97.8% for overall satisfaction!

Our MA in Anthropology explores current debates in the study of cultures and societies and offers specialised knowledge and advanced skills for a range of competitive careers or further study at PhD level. Studying anthropology at postgraduate level combines an in-depth understanding of human diversity and critical social theory, with hands-on training in carrying out grounded ethnographic research.

Studying Anthropology at Queen’s gives you the opportunity to design and carry out field research anywhere in the world. Under the guidance of experienced supervisors, students develop original projects among diverse groups of people across the globe. Doing ethnographic fieldwork will give you real-world skills that are uniquely valued among employers and offer you unforgettable cultural and social experiences. At the same time, Belfast and the island of Ireland, more broadly, offer unique sites to conduct research locally on most topics of anthropological interest, including conflict transformation and peacebuilding, religion, borders, arts and creativity, identity, ethnicity and nationalism, material culture, and policy-engaged anthropology.

Studying anthropology is a great way to get involved in contemporary issues and gain a wide range of critical and applied skills highly relevant in a globally interconnected world. MA students in our programme learn how to discover and understand human societies and cultures, and to work in collaboration with people in their places and communities.

This programme provides students with the opportunity to work in the centre for anthropological study and research in Northern Ireland. Our staff and programmes have long-standing connections with a number of local and international organisations, NGOs, and community groups. Anthropology postgraduate life centres around the weekly Anthropology Postgraduate Seminar, and regular Anthropology Research Seminars, as well as regular events in the Institute for Cognition and Culture, the Institute of Irish Studies, and The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Anthropology highlights

In the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Anthropology was ranked 2nd in the UK, including: 2nd in the UK for: Teaching Quality 5th in the UK for: Student Experience 3rd in the UK for: Research 3rd in the UK for: Graduate Prospects

Global Opportunities

  • Studying Anthropology at Queen’s gives you the opportunity to design and carry out field research locally or anywhere else in the world. Under the guidance of experienced supervisors, students develop original projects among diverse groups of people across the globe.

Industry Links

  • Our staff and programmes have long-standing connections with a range of stakeholders and beneficiaries, including national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations, cross-border and community groups, arts, music and museum professionals as well as politicians and policy-makers. We value our student achievements and offer opportunities for placements and internships in our dissertation module which invites students to participate in work activities at home or overseas. Some of our students have completed successful placements through the Science Shop
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/ScienceShop/

Career Development

  • Studying anthropology is a great way to get involved in contemporary issues, and gain a wide range of critical and applied skills highly relevant in a globally interconnected world. In the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Anthropology was ranked 3rd in the UK for Graduate Prospects. Queen’s postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes, alongside sterling integration with business experts, helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally. Queen’s is ranked in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020).

World Class Facilities

  • Our new state of the art McClay Library has extensive book and journal holdings, and also subscribes to many of the principal online resources for anthropological study, including AnthroSource, Anthropological Index Online, JSTOR, Project Muse and many others. MA researchers also have access to other local libraries, like the historic Linen Hall Library, archives, such as the newly enhanced Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), and a number of collections and museums, such as the Ulster Museum and the Ulster Museum of Folk and Transport. Anthropology at Queen’s also has its own Performance room with several instruments from across the world, as well as revamped labs in the Institute of Cognition and Culture. Queen’s has a state-of-the art newly refurbished Graduate School. QUB was ranked 3rd out of 199 universities worldwide and 2nd out of 44 UK universities for our Graduate School.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • Anthropology at QUB has offered a seminal programme in Ethnomusicology since the 1970s, when the subject was introduced by the late Professor John Blacking. Students will also benefit from the work carried out in the Institute of Cognition and Culture (ICC) which is one of the world's first centres for research in cognition and culture. This is a burgeoning interdisciplinary field in which scholars seek to explain patterns of cultural stability and variation utilizing theories and methods of the cognitive and evolutionary sciences. Anthropology is ranked 2nd in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2021) and 1st in relation to research intensity (Research Excellence Framework 2014). With 97.8% for overall satisfaction! These results demonstrate the exceptional quality of the work done by Anthropology staff and related researchers in our School, many of whom enjoy international reputations.

Student Experience

  • Doing ethnographic fieldwork will give you real-world skills that are uniquely valued among employers and offer you unforgettable cultural and social experiences. In the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Anthropology was ranked 5th in the UK for Student Experience.
  • Queen’s is ranked 22nd in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education, World University Rankings 2020).
  • Queen’s is also in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellent (Times Higher Education, 2019).

Course Structure

If you wish to take the programme on part time basis you will be required to complete 3 taught modules each year (one in first semester and two in second semester or vice versus). It is advised you should complete the core modules in your first year. Please note, all modules run at the same time for full time and part time students. Please contact the programme convenor for further information.

Core Modules (Autumn)Students are required to take FOUR CORE modules (THREE in semester 1 and ONE in semester 2 PLUS the MA Dissertation). Students are required to take TWO Optional Modules, of which at least ONE should be from the Anthropology options.
MA students complete a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation, under the guided supervision of an expert member of staff. Full-time students design their research in the spring semester with the help of their supervisor, conduct fieldwork in the early summer, and write up and complete the dissertation over the summer months.

Students also participate in the weekly Anthropology Postgraduate Seminar were MA/PhD students present their on-going research and in addition attend the weekly Anthropology Research Seminar where established academics discuss their work. Students also have the option to audit an undergraduate module and participate in various music ensembles.

*(List core modules first followed by electives)
ANT7008 – Advanced Anthropological Perspectives
The module will study a core set of influential analytical perspectives through readings that demonstrate both continuities and shifts in anthropological enquiry. Topics covered include: anthropological and local perspectives; philosophical approaches in anthropology; new insights from studies of the self, narrative and the emotions; visual anthropology and ethnographic knowledge as part of the debate of ‘ways of seeing’; perspectives on environmentalism, materiality, affectivity, memory and subjectivity; cosmopolitanism as a political and moral condition.

ANT7009 - Anthropology: Ethnography and Evolutions
The module looks at the themes of ethnography and evolution in anthropology. Students choose to specialise in ethnography or evolution. Teaching of the ethnography takes the form of students reading a number of ethnographies and discussing and analysing these texts in class. Teaching of evolution draws on literature in the field of cognition and culture and focuses on the application of the logic of evolution by natural selection to the human mind and behaviour to help us better understand cross-culturally recurrent patterns in thought and behaviour.

HAP7001 - Approaches to Research Design
This module aims to introduce key approaches to research design, while also introducing some of the contemporary debates in research in the social sciences and humanities. It will also provide students with an introduction to some of the key practical research skills they will find of use when designing and conducting their academic research. These skills are also those which students will find necessary as they continue their academic and research career.

Students will have a high degree of choice across workshops, enabling them to tailor the module content to their pathway of student and personal research goals. The workshops will address five key areas: Fundamentals of Research; Debates; Philosophy of Science/Epistemology; Qualitative Methods; and Quantitative Methods.

The broad aims of the module are to:
• Introduce students to the diversity of research approaches and debates;
• Heighten awareness of methodological issues facing researchers in the social sciences and humanities;
• Develop an awareness of interdisciplinarity and its potentials and challenges in research;
• Encourage students to develop their research skills through the selective use of this reading guide and their own search for appropriate literature on research design topics that are of interest to them.

ANT7007 Advanced Anthropological Methods
This module focuses on the key qualitative and quantitative techniques used by anthropologists in their field research, including participant observation, interviewing, the use of archives and written information, the production of genealogies, the collection and analysis of numerical data, etc. Students will learn about the place of these methods in the history of the discipline, and about the key debates surrounding the relationship between the anthropologist and his or her informants in the field; through a series of practicals, the students will learn how to use these qualitative and quantitative methods themselves. Two of these exercises will be formally assessed.


Elective Modules (choose at least one):
ANT7013 The Anthropology of Music
This module aims to provide an overview of the field of ethnomusicology, outlining the major theoretical orientations and issues being debated within contemporary ethnomusicology. It begins with an introduction to some of the main scholars involved in shaping the discipline as it is currently constituted, and then proceeds by looking at how these ideas have shifted in the modern world. Throughout the semester students participate in an ensemble of non-western music in order to gain a reflexive understanding of the ways in which ethnomusicological knowledge can be obtained through personal musical experience.

ANT7023 Anthropology of Conflict: Ireland and Beyond
This module will explore the development of anthropological approaches to conflict, examining what social and cultural anthropologists have added to our knowledge of conflict. It will particularly examine issues of group identity and cohesion in relations to conflict. Examining theories of ethnicity and nationalism it will examine power and hegemony of the state. In relation to this there will be a focus upon aspects of remembering and social memory, on the use of rituals and symbols and of the way acts of violence are legitimised or delegitimised. The course will look at examples from Irish case studies but work on a comparative basis.

ANT7003 Anthropology of Business
This course will familiarise students with a range of theoretical debates that have shaped business anthropology with a particular emphasis on new innovations in design and tech industries. In the undergraduate business anthropology course, there is a strong foregrounding on consumer behaviour, advertising and marketing, as well as entrepreneurship and new labour forms. This course, building on these thematics, will develop a strong focus on how anthropologists of business are playing significant roles in design and technology spaces. The course will present itself as both a scholarly interpretation of what is happening in these spaces and also an applied learning of how to work in these spaces, providing students with a strong skill set for work in business, design and tech sectors.

ANT7014 - Dissertation
Discussions about research design, methods and ethics, based on readings and student presentations (including PhD student presentations)

Two sessions with the career service (one in each semester) about career possibilities and strategies

An individual piece of supervised research, on a topic mutually agreed with a supervisor. Students will prepare a research proposal and write a dissertation of between 12,000-15,000 words.

AND

Students will also be able to choose from a list of modules across the School and Faculty to support their specialisation.

Students are required to take FOUR CORE modules (THREE in semester 1 and ONE in semester 2 PLUS the MA Dissertation). Students are required to take TWO Optional Modules, of which at least ONE should be from the Anthropology options.

Students are required to take FOUR CORE modules (THREE in semester 1 and ONE in semester 2 PLUS the MA Dissertation). Students are required to take TWO Optional Modules, of which at least ONE should be from the Anthropology options.

Students also participate in the weekly Anthropology Postgraduate Seminar were MA/PhD students present their ongoing research and in addition attend the weekly Anthropology Research Seminar where established academics discuss their work. Students also have the option to audit an undergraduate module and participate in various music ensembles.

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer

HAPP
Dr Evi Chatzipanagiotidou is a political anthropologist researching conflict and peace, displacement, migration and diasporas, and the politics of memory and loss. She has conducted ethnographic research in Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and the UK. Email: e.chatzipanagiotidou@qub.ac.uk

Senior Lecturer

HAPP
Dr Fiona Murphy is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on Indigenous Australian politics and movements, refugees and mobility studies, and business anthropology. She has a particular interest in new forms of public anthropology. She has conducted research in Australia, Ireland, the UK, France and Turkey. Email: f.murphy@qub.ac.uk

Senior Lecturer

HAPP
Dr Ioannis Tsioulakis is an ethnomusicologist with a focus on popular music industries. He researches the impact of ‘The Greek Crisis’ on musicians, as well as the role of cosmopolitanism in subcultural creative practices. He is currently conducting collaborative research on performing artists in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Email: i.tsioulakis@qub.ac.uk

Reader

SHAPP
Dr John Knight has undertaken extensive field research in rural Japan on a range of topics, including migration, forestry, farming, and tourism, on which he has published widely. His main area of research is human-animal relations, including sportive hunting, wildlife pests, and the use of animals in tourism. Email: j.knight@qub.ac.uk

Programme Convenor/Lecturer

HAPP
Dr Raluca Roman is a social anthropologist specialising in the study of religion (specifically Christianity), humanitarianism and ethnicity. She is particularly interested in the relationship between Christianity, morality and social engagement, as well as the inter-linking of religious belonging, religious practice and social action. She has conducted fieldwork in Finland and Romania, focusing on the process of religious mobilisation and religious activism among the Roma. Email: raluca.roman@qub.ac.uk

Professor

HAPP
Professor Dominic Bryan’s work focuses on power and public space. He is interested in how identity is expressed through rituals and symbols and how these activities bond social groups and create conflict. His work looks specifically at peace and conflict in Northern Ireland. Email: d.bryan@qub.ac.uk

Teaching Times

Teaching times will be a combination of both morning and afternoon with the opportunity for occasional weekend training sessions.

Career Prospects

Introduction
Graduates have pursued careers in a wide range of fields, such as research (academic and non-academic), teaching, music therapy, consultancy, development and charity work, museum and heritage posts, journalism and radio broadcasting. Among those who have pursued academic careers, not all have done so within anthropology - several have taken posts in related disciplines. Others have found positions within governmental and non-governmental organisations abroad. Our graduates have found employment with a very wide range of employers, including the Council for International Educational Exchange, Handelsbanken Bank, the Institute for Conflict Research, US News and World Report and the Bangladesh Civil Service.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Learning and Teaching

The MA is taught through a combination of small-group seminars, lectures, and supervision. Assessment and Feedback: through a combination of essays, learning journals, blog-posts, placements, projects, presentations and a fieldwork-based dissertation.

Knowledge and Understanding

• Advanced understanding of theory and method as applied to anthropological study.
• Advanced knowledge of ethnographic accounts of various conflict-affected contexts studied in a comparative perspective.
• The ability to engage critically with historical and contemporary anthropological debates.

Subject Specific Skills

• The ability to explore social and cultural issues with reference to ethnographic case studies
• Familiarity with-and between- the ideas and approaches adopted by various anthropologists
• The ability to identify relevant information and utilise anthropological sources effectively

Transferrable Skills

• Enhanced skills in group work (through seminars), in note taking, in presentation and in written argument;
• Library research skills;
• Critical reading;
• Research Design, interviewing skills, surveying skills;
• Advanced writing and oral presentation skills.

Assessment

Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

Through a combination of essays, learning journals, blog-posts, placements, projects, presentations and a fieldwork-based dissertation.

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Modules

Modules

The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2022/23). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    Dissertation (60 credits)

    Optional Modules

Entrance requirements

Graduate
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject, including Anthropology, Sociology and Cultural Studies or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Other subjects, such as Music, Geography, Psychology, Irish Studies, History and Languages may also be considered, depending on the nature of the completed undergraduate programme.

Applicants who hold a 2.2 Honours degree in one of the disciplines specified above or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, who can demonstrate relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants may be required to submit a piece of written work in support of their application.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 11th August 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Career Prospects

Introduction
Graduates have pursued careers in a wide range of fields, such as research (academic and non-academic), teaching, music therapy, consultancy, development and charity work, museum and heritage posts, journalism and radio broadcasting. Among those who have pursued academic careers, not all have done so within anthropology - several have taken posts in related disciplines. Others have found positions within governmental and non-governmental organisations abroad. Our graduates have found employment with a very wide range of employers, including the Council for International Educational Exchange, Handelsbanken Bank, the Institute for Conflict Research, US News and World Report and the Bangladesh Civil Service.
http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £6,980
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,980
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £8,360
EU Other 3 £19,100
International £19,100

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2023-24, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Anthropology costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/international-students/international-scholarships/.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.


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