Taught course

Medical Anthropology

Durham University · Department of Anthropology

Entry requirements

A minimum 2:1 Honours degree from a UK institution (or the overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject. Please email us on anth.postgrad-studies@durham.ac.uk for advice on relevant topics. References play an important part in the admissions process. English Language requirements Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

Months of entry


Course content

Our degree offers a unique opportunity to learn about anthropological approaches to the study of health drawing on both sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives. The course provides a strong grounding in ethnographic approaches to the study of health, the political ecology of health and the application of anthropology to contemporary public health concerns, as well as a diverse range of options in areas such as theories of the body and evolutionary medicine. We aim to provide strong training in both theory and methods.

The full-time course runs for a full year, from October to September. Full-time students attend classes between October and December (Michaelmas Term) and January and March (Epiphany), with further teaching and assessment in April and May (Easter Term), and then work, under the supervision of a specialist supervisor, to complete a dissertation in September. Core modules introduce the Anthropology of Global Health and Public Health Anthropology, and anthropological methods. Students can choose to focus on qualitative or quantitative methods or to train in both.

Each module we offer has a credit value. To obtain a Master’s degree you must register for and pass modules to the value of 180 credits. In recognition of the emphasis we place on independent research skills, the dissertation is a 60 credit module.

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation
  • Public Health Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Global Health.

Students choose at least one of the following:

  • Computational Methods for Social Sciences…
  • Fieldwork and Interpretation
  • Statistical Analysis in Anthropology.

Students will then choose 180 credits from a selection of the following.

Previous optional modules have included:

  • Academic and Professional Skills in Anthropology
  • Evolutionary Perspectives on Western Diseases
  • Advanced Anthropology of Mental Health and Illness
  • Advanced Perspectives on Science, Culture and Ethics
  • Evolutionary Perspectives on Reproductive and Infant Health…
  • Society, Energy, Environment and Resilience
  • Thinking Anthropologically
  • Anthropology and Development
  • Body, Politics and Experience
  • Evolutionary and Ecological Topics in Medicine and Health
  • Interrogating Ethnography
  • Key issues in Socio-Cultural Theory
  • Foreign language option.

Please seewww.durham.ac.uk/anthropology/postgraduatestudy/taughtprogrammes/mscmedicalanthropology for further information on modules.

Information for international students

English Language requirements Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Scholarships and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Department of Anthropology
(0)191 334 1612