Research course


Brunel University, London · Social Sciences, Media and Communications

Entry requirements

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study. This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.

Social Anthropology.

Months of entry

January, December, November, October, August, July, June, May, April, March, February

Course content

Brunel has, for over 25 years, maintained a distinctive profile in British anthropology, pioneering research fields that were new in Europe as well as making significant contributions to mainstream theory. With expertise covering south Asia, Melanesia, south-east Asia, central and South America, and southern Africa, Brunel anthropologists have also carried out influential ethnographic research in Britain and Europe.

Our wide-ranging research has underpinned innovation in postgraduate training, with thriving MSc programmes in Medical Anthropology, the Anthropology of Childhood, Youth and Education, Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology, the MRes is Social Anthropology, MSc in Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance. Many of our Masters students conduct ethnographic research that is closely aligned to staff members’ interests and on-going projects, and several go on to do PhD research. Whether in the classroom or in the field, we are committed to engaging with the broader discipline and to making anthropology count beyond the academy, in professional contexts and public debates.

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline.

A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.
MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.
Facts and Figures

Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Anthropology and Development Studies

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students

For research interests of our Anthropology staff please visit our website:

For general information about research degrees:

Our Graduate School supports all Brunel Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers though the provision of a comprehensive skills development programme, workshops and networking events, research prizes and 24/7 study and social facilities.

Department specialisms

Areas of research strength include: Ethnography of Africa, Britain, Europe, Latin America, Melanesia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Medical anthropology, the body, disability, suicide Global health politics, evidence & policy Anthropology of biomedicine, biotechnologies & science Embodiment, performance & identity Landscape, personhood, historicity and property relations Childhood, youth and the life-cycle Education and schooling Psychological and psychiatric anthropology Political violence and collective memory International development: politics, policy and practice

Information for international students

The department has special expertise in a number of ethnographic settings; and current research students from many countries. International students are welcomed. IELTS 6.5 (min 6.0 in all sections) or equivalent is required. Please visit our dedicated web pages.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £4,121, Part time: £2,060
International students
Full time: £14,100, Part-time: £7,050

Read more about Phd funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
60 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Research Administrator
+44 (0) 1895 267051