Taught course

Social Anthropology - Humanitarian and Environmental Crises

University of Kent · School of Anthropology and Conservation

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in anthropology or associated fields. In certain circumstances, we will consider students who have not followed a conventional education path. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies and the programme convenor.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

Months of entry


Course content

Our world is experiencing humanitarian and environmental challenges of disturbing dimensions. This programme addresses these challenges from a human and ethical angle, exploring the social, political, economic and technological aspects of the crises that mark our contemporary world.

This unique programme of study focuses on contemporary planetary emergencies and conflicts that have a humanitarian or environmental impact. We explore how to study such crises from an anthropological point of view using a variety of ethnographic research methods, such as interviewing, participant observation, and localised surveys.

You assess key challenges emerging from humanitarian initiatives that respond to:

• the global climate emergency
• environmental movements in national contexts
• migration, diaspora and refugee crises
• racism, xenophobia and national politics
• war and conflict
• new forms of economic oppression

We analyse such pressing issues from an ethical and non-ethnocentric perspective. The programme is particularly suited to students who want to make a difference in today’s complex world by understanding the roots of global challenges and human suffering.

The programme provides excellent preparation for people who aspire to enter fields in which anthropological training and cultural expertise is integral, such as:

• non-governmental organisations aimed at humanitarian and/or environmental issues
• state initiatives designed to provide aid as a response to conflict or planetary emergency
• organisations involved in dealing with migration, racism and multicultural education
• research degrees in the social sciences

Why Study With Us?

  • One-year Master's programme with dissertation.
  • Academic commitment to practice-led and cutting edge theory taught by internationally renowned researchers with long-established experience of the study of environmental and humanitarian challenges.
  • Expert training in a range of research methods to prepare you for independent research.
  • A wide choice of optional modules to enable further specialisation in your chosen areas of expertise.
  • Small-scale group teaching with our experienced staff and exceptional facilities.

Information for international students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding web pages for the most current opportunities and application details.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

School of Anthropology and Conservation
+44 (0)1227 827013