Find a Degree Postgraduate Research Areas Anthropology
Anthropology Ranking

Research Degrees

MPhil, PhD


Excelling in both research and teaching, Anthropology at Aberdeen has excelled in its distinctive focus on the Anthropology of the North (from Scotland to Finland, Canada and Siberia), complemented by specialists on Papua New Guinea, South America, Central Asia, Tibet and the Himalayas.

The outstanding quality of its research has been recognised from the very start: the Department received 5* rating in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, and in 2008, 30% of its research output was classed as world-leading, with an additional 25% deemed to be internationally excellent.

Postgraduates are fully integrated into academic life in Aberdeen. All graduate students are provided with personal computers, office space and access to an excellent central computing service. Postgraduate students also have access to the University's well stocked library, as well as rare manuscript and printed materials in Special Collections. Aberdeen University's Marischal Museum holds nationally and internationally significant ethnographic collections. The Elphinstone Institute holds rare collections of books and audio recordings from North East Scotland.

Training workshops are held at regular intervals throughout each academic year for postgraduate students and staff. Week-long pre- and post-fieldwork events are organised jointly with other Anthropology departments in Scotland under the ESRC Scottish Training in Anthropological Research programme (STAR). Further joint postgraduate events are held with the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.

Applicants to the MPhil or PhD must provide a detailed research proposal and two academic references from their most recent academic institution. Applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors before making an application.  Please see PhD Supervision which details our research interests and our leaflet: Guidelines for writing a Research Proposal.

Head of Research Area

Head of Department: Dr Johan Rasanayagam


Academic Staff: 13

Research Students: 35

For Further Information Contact

Postgraduate Office                                                                                               School of Social Science                                                                  

Related Taught Programmes

Our Research

Postgraduate supervision leading to the MRes, MPhil or PhD can be offered in most areas of social anthropology, but we have particular expertise in the areas listed below.

  1. The Anthropology of the North - Scotland and The North - Diaspora, emigration and immigration in Scotland, Canada and Siberi
  2. Comparative anthropology of the post-Soviet era
  3. Religion, politics and identity - Relations between indigenous peoples and nation states - the anthropology of the state; 
  4. Biodiversity, sustainability and resource management - systems of knowledge, practice and enskilment - perceptions and constructions of society, nature and environment.

A postgraduate degree in Social Anthropology can be a stepping stone to a number of careers. Some postgraduates aim for an academic career, working in research or teaching posts. Others are interested in working - or already work - in the media, public or voluntary sectors, where training in anthropological research can offer significant advantages. Some are independent learners, whose sole motivation is to enhance their anthropological knowledge and understanding, or their capacity to undertake independent research of their own.


Tuition fee rates for the academic year can be found at :-


Related Information

General Information

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