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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Aberdeen

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    FEB-21, MAR-21, APR-21, MAY-21, JUN-21, JUL-21

  • Duration

    36 months

Course summary

Aberdeen’s anthropology department was established at the turn of the millennium, initially with a specific focus on the Anthropology of the North, an orientation unique among UK departments. Our research has since expanded to encompass other ethnographic regions, from South America to Europe to Central and South Asia. It addresses a broad range of contemporary social and cultural themes, including religion, the state, human-animal relations, museums and indigenous politics.

Postgraduate research applicants to the Department can choose between two programmes:

MRes in Social Anthropology

Provides cutting-edge courses in anthropological theory, advanced training in anthropological research methods and the opportunity to develop a research project under the guidance of a supervisor. The MRes project may lead to PhD research.

PhD in Social Anthropology

Suitably qualified applicants develop and work on their own research projects under the guidance of supervisors with related research interests. PhD applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors before applying to this programme.

Doctoral studies in The School of Social Science can be undertaken on a full or part-time basis and we would be happy to discuss the feasibility of distance study which will depend on the nature of the research project. For the session 2020/21 we can support all students to take up their PhD study at a distance and either remain as a distance student or complete their studies on campus in Aberdeen.

This Anthropology research programme can be offered to support most areas of social anthropology interests and research, and we have expertise in the areas listed:

  • The Anthropology of the North - Scotland and The North - Diaspora, emigration and immigration in Scotland, Canada and Siberia
  • Comparative Anthropology of The Post-Soviet Era - religion, politics and identity
  • Relations Between Indigenous Peoples and Nation States
  • Anthropology of The State and Biodiversity - sustainability and resource management
  • Systems of Knowledge, Practice and Training - perceptions and constructions of society, nature and environment.

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Please note that part-time study is not available for resident international students. The PhD may be conducted, full-time or part-time, by distance learning, which carries no residency requirement.

The PhD at the University of Aberdeen is a research degree. Research degrees are defined by the student’s own research proposal, on which the student will write a thesis. Research students read on their own research topic and work closely with their supervisors to define their research and write a thesis. They also attend regular research seminars, are provided with opportunities to attend conferences and for some postgraduates, there are opportunities to gain undergraduate teaching experience.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 16,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Aberdeen

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Aberdeen, Directorate of External Relations, King's College, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, City Of, AB24 3FX, Scotland

One of the top 30 universities in the UK (Complete University Guide).
Student population includes over 130 nationalities, with strong international global networks.
An International Centre provides support to students from application to graduation.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    16th out of 34

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    153 77%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    50 50%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.16 83%



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