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MPhil in Social Anthropology

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MPhil - Master of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    21 months

Course summary

About the course

Social anthropology considers people, through and through, as social beings. Everything that all of us do, in whatever society or culture at whatever period of history, rests on assumptions, which usually are not stated but which are largely shared with our particular neighbours, kin, friends, or colleagues.

Everything social is open to question, including solidly held beliefs and attitudes and ideas about causality, the self in society, and nature and culture. Learning to relate different versions of the world to each other is learning to be a Social Anthropologist and is what we hope you will learn over the course of your degree.

The MPhil in Social Anthropology aims to provide a solid background in analytical and methodological issues as they apply to social anthropology and allows you to develop an extended research project, which may involve fieldwork. It is intended both as a standalone degree and as a broader and deeper preparation for Doctoral research than is possible with the MSc in Social Anthropology.


The MPhil is examined in two stages, the MPhil Qualifying stage (MPQ), completed in the first year, and the MPhil Examination, in the second year. Assessment in the first year is by coursework as well as timed unseen examination, completed by the end of June. The core courses are assessed by both 5,000-word essay and by sat exam; some option courses are assessed by essay and/or review (5,000 words total), others by sat exam. The second stage consists of examination of your second-year option course, a 5,000-word essay, and your MPhil thesis of 30,000 words, completed in June of the second year. You receive support from your tutors in devising a viable thesis project, including discussion of relevant literature, questions of methodology and research implementation.

Graduate destinations

Research and teaching, though this often requires a doctorate, recruitment to public bodies, the larger private companies, development agencies, NGOs etc.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 30,330per 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 Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    3rd out of 32 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 212
    217 100%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.79 76%


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