The Student Room Group
School of Oriental and African Studies
London

SOAS Postgraduate 2022

Hi! Are there any applicants for SOAS anthropology programmes? Wanted to know more about the faculty, departmental resources and modules.
(edited 2 years ago)
Hi there! I’m a first-year student currently studying anthropology at SOAS so I hope I can help you out a bit.

I’ve had a great experience at SOAS so far. It’s very diverse and its location in central London is fantastic. Outside of the department itself, there are lots of cultural activities held by societies at SOAS which can be a great way to supplement your classes. I’d suggest having a look at the SOAS Instagram page @soasuni and the SOAS Blog to get a feel for what the place is like. The SOAS Blog has an interesting anthropology section you can browse too https://study.soas.ac.uk/category/anthropology/ to see what kind of topics anthropology students are engaging with on their programmes. For example, here’s a post by an MA Anthropology of Food student about that programme https://study.soas.ac.uk/ma-anthropology-of-food-a-lightning-tour/

SOAS has a highly international student body, meaning that in my classes there are people from all around the world who each provide their own insights into the topic we’re studying. It makes for some really eye-opening discussions, often providing a comparative cultural view reflecting on lived experiences. As an international student myself, the diverse student body has also helped me feel more welcome.

The faculty consists of really helpful and kind people. A lot of lecturers are conducting fascinating research and are very passionate about their subject. They encourage critical thinking and tend to give detailed feedback about assignments, helping the improvement of your work. They’re also very approachable, both during tutorials and their office hours. This page lists the faculty and their research interests https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/staff/

Concerning departmental resources, SOAS has a huge library with an expansive collection as well as online access to most anthropological journals to facilitate your research. That library is quite well known, but fewer people know that there’s also another separate library at SOAS just for the anthropology department! It has anthropological books and also provides a space to meet other anthropology students: https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/helen-kanitkar-departmental-library/

I’m currently studying three anthropology modules and one optional one outside of my department. Personally, one of the decisive factors in choosing SOAS for me was the modules available. I’ve loved the variation in the themes we study within each module, we’ve learned about topics ranging from the anthropology of humour to the relationship between robots and humans. There are also more specialised modules if you’re doing a postgrad course and already know what you want to focus on.

The exact module structure will depend on the anthropology course, I’d suggest you check this page to see the structure for each anthropology programme available https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/ although usually it will consist of a few compulsory modules about anthropological theory and ethnographic practice, a dissertation, and choosing between modules in a guided options list. This is a non-definitive list of postgrad anthropology modules https://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/programmes/pgcourses/ It’s also worth mentioning that SOAS is famous for its language modules, so you could also do a combined degree, for example in MA Anthropology of Food and an intensive language.

I hope that answers some of your questions, and feel free to ask me about anything else you want to know about. Best of luck in your application!

Agustina
Anthropology student
School of Oriental and African Studies
London

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