Taught course

Medical Anthropology and Mental Health

SOAS University of London · Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in a social science or humanities subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications.

See postgraduate entry requirements for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Medical Anthropology and Mental Health is a unique interdisciplinary programme designed to address pressing global challenges in health and mental health from diverse perspectives. This degree is distinctive in its comparative approach and focus on cultures of health and wellbeing pertaining to the so-called Global South, and is informed by clinical, psychological, philosophical, biomedical, STS, and anthropological perspectives.

You will be introduced to the practices and perspectives of medical and psychological anthropology and anthropological studies of health and wellbeing in relation to institutional belief systems, philosophies, and practices. You will also learn about the bioethical implications of ongoing cultural and technological shifts and the ethical stakes of a wide range of healing philosophies and practices. This will enable you to consider these debates as frameworks to engage with current affairs and global conditions pertaining to health, inequality, conflict, and justice.

In the aftermath of the pandemic our society has gained an increased awareness of the embedded-ness of health and mental health in socio-political and historical contexts. This programme will attract those with a cross-disciplinary interest in mental health, public health, health policy, humanitarianism, and global justice. It will appeal to various students with an intellectual interest in anthropological approaches to the study of health and mental health in particular, as well as those who work in health care, including medical students, healthcare practitioners, and dentistry, nursing, and pre-med students. We accommodate students of medicine and medical sciences who are interested in combining their training with an MA degree in anthropology.

Why study MA Medical Anthropology and Mental Health at SOAS?

  • SOAS is ranked 5th in the UK and 10th worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2022)
  • 4th in the UK (2023 Times/Sunday Times League Table)
  • we draw on the clinical and scientific expertise of our teaching staff with a wide range of backgrounds in medicine, biomedical sciences, psychological sciences, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and STS
  • we juxtapose ethnographic thinking and clinical thinking, and encourage students and practitioners to incorporate ethnographic methods in the clinical world
  • you join a unique plural environment. SOAS brings together a wide range of world leading scholarship, regional expertise, and deep knowledge of world religions, philosophies, value systems, cultural framings, literary and artistic expressions
  • we are specialists in the delivery of languages; your command of a language at SOAS will set you apart from graduates of other universities

Information for international students

Information for UK based international prospective students

Fees and funding

See Postgraduate feesfor funding information

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Orkideh Behrouzan
+44 (0)20 3510 6974