Social Anthropology, M.Phil.

  • Application Deadline
  • 21 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #1 ,
This MSc to provide a strong background in analytical and methodological issues in Social Anthropology, and practice in the critical evaluation of its sources, both in the library and in the context of fieldwork;


In the first year of the MPhil, you will sit four exams in June, two core papers and two option papers.

The option papers are taken from a list issued during the first term and may consist of both topical and regional themes.

In the second year you will prepare and write a 30,000-word dissertation, write a 5,000-word take-home paper from a list of topics issued by the examiners, and take a third option paper.

Teaching is by a mixture of lectures, classes (especially for the option courses) and tutorials.

Graduate destinations

Many graduates of the MPhil in Social Anthropology enter teaching and research, though this often requires a doctorate. There is some recruitment to public bodies, the larger private companies, development agencies, NGOs etc.

Programme Structure

  • You will receive all or most of your academic supervision in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. You will have a named supervisor, possibly two, who will have overall responsibility for the direction of your work from inception to submission.
  • Workspaces are available in the School on a first-come, first-served basis, though your college will also have library and workspace facilities and desks are available in the Bodleian and other University libraries. Laboratory and other dedicated workspaces and equipment for methods of teaching will be provided where required.
  • The School houses the Tylor Library, the main subject library for anthropology, and the Pitt Rivers Museum and Centre has its own library, the Balfour Library. Most books in the Tylor Library will be available to you on loan, though journals and certain other materials are reference-only. You may also use other departmental libraries, your college library and the University’s Bodleian Library and its dependent libraries. The University has a wealth of electronic resources, some specific to particular libraries.
  • A programme of research seminars is available, some specifically for research students and others featuring talks by invited speakers, often from outside the university. The principal event in this programme is the departmental seminar, run weekly during term time.
  • A student-run society, the Oxford University Anthropology Society, runs coffee mornings, talks and other social and academic events throughout the year. Seminars, especially those involving outside speakers, often proceed to local pubs or restaurants after the talk.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 21 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 7

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

  • Minimum required score (Grade B): 193

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score: 100

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in any discipline. Under the UK system, applicants should have a minimum of 65% in at least one prior degree.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • GBP 21068 International
  • GBP 14438 EU/EEA

Home/EU £10,300 Non EU £16,200


  • Over 900 fully-funded scholarships covering fees and a grant for living costs are available for new graduate students in 2015-16 from the University, our colleges and supporters. Information about the full range of funding available (including a search tool to help identify which scholarships you may be eligible for) can be found in the Fees and funding section.
  • The only thing you need to do to be considered for many of these scholarships is to apply to Oxford by the January deadline for your course. However, please note that some scholarships require additional application materials and may have different deadlines, so do make sure you check the application process for each scholarship carefully.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.