Master of Science by Coursework in Social Anthropology

  • 1. The Social Sciences Divisional Board shall elect for the supervision of the course a Standing Committee, namely the Teaching Committee of the School of Anthropology, which shall have power to arrange lectures and other instruction. The course director shall be responsible to that committee.

  • 2. Candidates must follow a course of instruction in Social and Cultural Anthropology for at least three terms, and will, when entering for the examinations, be required to produce a certificate from their supervisor to this effect.

  • 3. Candidates will be required to present themselves for written and (if requested) oral examinations and to submit three copies of a dissertation in prescribed form on an approved topic as defined below.

  • 4. The written examination will consist of four papers on the syllabus described in the Schedule.

  • 5. Each candidate will be required to submit a dissertation of no more than 10,000 words, on a subject selected in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the Chair of Examiners. The proposed title of the dissertation, together with a paragraph describing its scope and the supervisor's written endorsement, must be submitted to the Chair of Examiners by Tuesday of the fifth week of Trinity Term.

  • 6. Three typewritten copies of the dissertation must be delivered not later than noon on the last Wednesday in August in the year in which the examination is taken, to the Chair of the Examiners, M.Sc. in Social Anthropology, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. The dissertation shall be provided with an abstract of up to 250 words, to be placed immediately after the title page. The word count shall be stated on the outside front cover of the thesis.

  • 7. The oral examination (if requested) may be on the candidate's written papers, or dissertation, or both.

  • 8. The examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.

  • 9. In order to pass the degree, a student must pass all its assessed components. Where one or more components are failed, the student will be given the opportunity to re-sit or re-submit them once, as the case may be. Any subsequent award of the degree on successful completion of all the assessed components may be delayed by up to three terms, i.e. until the Examination Board next meets.

  • 10. The four papers will be taken to constitute Part I of the degree and the dissertation to constitute Part II. At the close of the written examinations, the examiners will publish a list of those who have satisfied them in Part I.


Students must satisfy the examiners in four papers, two of a general nature and two options. 

  • I.Culture and Identity

  • II. Kinship, Power and Change

  • III.Option Paper I

  • IV.Option Paper II

The two option papers (Papers III and IV above) must be selected from the lists below, within which the student has a free choice:

  • List A. Anthropology of a Selected Region

  • List B. Topics in Material Anthropology

  • List C. Anthropology and Topical Issues

Options offered in any of the three lists may vary from year to year. Lists for the current academic year will be issued by the Director of Graduate Studies or his or her delegate by the end of the third week of Michaelmas term.