The MA in Anthropological Research Methods (MaRes) may be taken either as a free standing MA or as the first part of a PhD [e.g. as a 1 + 3 research training program]. In either case, the student completes a program of research training that includes the Ethnographic Research Methods, Statistical Analysis and the Research Training Seminar as well as a language option. All MaRes students are assigned a supervisor at the start of the year, who will help the student choose other relevant course options. Candidates must also submit a number of research related assignments which, taken together with the dissertation, are equivalent to approximately 30,000 words of assessed work. All students write an MA dissertation, but for students progressing on to a PhD, the MA dissertation will take the form of a research report that will constitute the first part of the upgrade document for the PhD programme.
The MaRes is recognized by the ESRC.
The MA is designed to train students in research skills to the level prescribed by the ESRCs research training guidelines. It is intended for students with a good first degree (minimum of a 2.1) in social anthropology and/or a taught Masters degree in social anthropology. Most students would be expected to progress to PhD registration at the end of the degree. By the end of the program students will:
In addition to key issues of research design, students will be introduced to a range of specific research methods and tools including:
Discipline specific training in anthropology includes:
In addition to optional courses that may be taken (see below), the student must successfully complete the following core course:
This full unit course is composed of Ethnographic Research Methods (15 PAN H002, a 0.5 unit course) and Introduction to Statistics - A Graduate Programme at Three Levels (a 0.5 unit course convened at UCL).
MA Anthropological Research Methods students and first year MPhil/PhD are also required to attend the Research Training Seminar which provides training in the use of bibliographic/online resources, ethical and legal issues, communication and team-working skills, career development, etc. The focus of the Research Training Seminar is the development and presentation of the thesis topic which takes the form of a PhD-level research proposal.
MA/MPhil Students meet regularly with their supervisor to produce a systematic review of the secondary and regional literature that forms an integral part of their dissertation/research proposal. The dissertation, Dissertation in Anthropology and Sociology (15 PAN C998), is approximately 15,000 words and demonstrates the extent to which students have achieved the key learning outcomes during the first year of research training. The dissertation takes the form of an extended research proposal that includes:
The MA dissertation is submitted no later than mid-September of the students final year of registration. Two soft-bound copies of the dissertation, typed or word-processed, should be submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Office by 4 pm on the appropriate day.
Only those students who have clearly demonstrated their knowledge of research methods by completing a comparable program of study in qualitative and quantitative methods will be considered for a possible exemption from the taught courses. All students, regardless of prior training, are required to participate in the Research Training Seminar.
Learn a language as part of this programme
Degree programmes at SOAS - including this one - can include language courses in more than forty African and Asian languages. It is SOAS students command of an African or Asian language which sets SOAS apart from other universities.
A typical program of study would involve enrolling and passing (an asterisk * indicates a required component of the degree) three full units (this includes the two half units on research methods) and submitting a dissertation.
Term 1 Generic Training
Term 2 Generic Training
Students can choose to study any African or Asian language that is normally available to students taking one of the taught masters programs.
Scholarships and Bursaries
There are some scholarships and bursaries available for postgraduate students. These are very competitive and early application is advised.