Research course

Social Anthropology

University of St Andrews · School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies

Entry requirements

A good honours degree is required. Typically, PhD studies will be preceded by the completion of an MRes (or equivalent) year of study

Months of entry


Course content

The Department has a number of academic specialisations, backed up by field work conducted across the globe.

Research Centres

  • CAS—The Centre for Amerindian, Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • CCS—The Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies
  • CPS—The Centre for Pacific Studies
  • LACNET—St Andrews Latin American and Caribbean Network (interdisciplinary network)
  • European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS)

Research projects

The University of St Andrews, Centre for Pacific Studies (CPS), is the UK member of the European Consortium for Pacific Studies (ECOPAS), a European Commission FP7 funded project consisting of six universities; four based in Europe and two in the Pacific. ECOPAS addresses issues and concerns arising from ‘climate change’ in the region by adopting a people centred approach that reflects Pacific needs.

In order to do this we are developing a long-term strategy for SSH research in the Pacific; we are forging links with climate research in the natural sciences, and engaging with policy communities in Europe and the Pacific with the aim of defining better options for sustainable development. You can find out more about CPS involvement and ECOPAS activities on the Centre’s homepage, the ECOPAS project website or by joining us onFacebook.

Rebellions, Alliances and Politics

The research project on Rebellions, Alliances and Politics aims to compare and contrast social unrest, upheaval and alliances in the Brazilian Amazon with the Guianas, Mexico and the Andes between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. This research breaks new ground by comparatively discussing ethnicity, race and class in territories that were under British, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Dutch rule, in which people were subject to different laws, policies and economies, and where independence happened (if at all) at different moments.

This approach will bring to light how regional experience re-articulates itself (or not) in relation to global processes and pressures, and how uniqueness can be questioned or reaffirmed within its Latin American context. This research project is jointly funded by a Leverhulme Research Project Grant awarded to Dr. Mark Harris (2013-2016) and a British Academy Small Research Grant awarded to Dr. Silvia Espelt Bombín and Dr. Mark Harris (2014-2015).

Department specialisms

Anthropological Theory; Semantic Anthropology; Linguistic Anthropology; Anthropology and Literature; Evolution and Development; Regional Specialism in the Americas, Africa, Europe (including Britain) and the Middle East.

Information for international students

A high proportion of research students are from overseas. Students whose first language is not English are required to sit an appropriate test and achieve IELTS overall 7.0 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

UK students
Fees confirmed early 2017
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


full time
12-24 months
part time
24-48 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0) 1334 462977