Social Anthropology and Amerindian Studies (MRes) 2016 entry
The MRes in Social Anthropology and Amerindian Studies is geared towards students seeking ethnographic and historical specialisation in the Americas. The programme aims to give students an awareness of research topics and trends in Amerindian Studies, and to prepare them for anthropological fieldwork.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Research (MRes)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. We welcome applications from both students with an undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology and from those with no previous anthropological experience.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £6,800
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate
- letter of intent (optional).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Social Anthropology and Amerindian Studies page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
- Opportunities for learning a South American language, such as Quechua or Spanish.
- Provides an understanding of the highly complex social, political and cultural experiences of the historic populations of South America.
- Equips you for a wide range of extension, development and support activities in relation to Amerindian and South American peasant and urban communities.
The MRes in Social Anthropology and Amerindian Studies is a full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the Department of Social Anthropology within the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies.
The programme aims to prepare you for a range of related activities in different parts of the world, to participate in national and regional debates, and to provide the delivery of academic and extension talks and courses in different countries of the Hispanic world.
Over two semesters, students take two compulsory and two optional modules. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorial supervisions and reading groups. Lecture class sizes range from five to ten students and tutorial sizes range from two to six students. Modules are assessed through coursework consisting of two essays per module.
Over the course of the year, with particular focus during the summer months, you will devise a research project culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation. Every taught postgraduate student is assigned an individual supervisor from among the Anthropology staff who works with them closely to develop a topic and direction for the end of degree dissertation.
The Department of Social Anthropology provides postgraduates access to a museum collection of ethnographic objects and a common room that includes a general anthropological class library, providing a space that is shared by both staff and postgraduates. The departmental libraries, along with the main library which holds a fine anthropology collection, include materials from all ethnographic regions of the world.
Each module typically comprises:
- Four contact hours per week (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and reading groups)
- 100% coursework assessment consisting of two essays.
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.
Students may substitute up to 30 credits from 3000 or 4000 level modules, with the approval of the course coordinator.
- The Anthropology of Connections: Interdisciplinarity as Methodology: through lectures and seminars, students are shown how anthropology can be extended and illuminated by working with methodologies and concepts drawn from history, social science, philosophy, language and the arts.
- Research Methods in Social Anthropology: examines the methodology of anthropological research through close attention to the relationship between method and fieldwork experience.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and attendance may be limited (see the University’s position on curriculum development). Students also have the option of choosing other modules available within the Department.
- Amerindian Language and Literature: introduces students to different forms of oral and written expression in Amerindian Societies, with Quechua and Spanish as the commonest languages taught.
- Amerindian History and Ethnography: examines the South American continent in time and space, with emphasis on the evidential and methodological bases of specialised and comparative knowledge.
- Special Subject (Amerindian Studies): available for students with a well thought out and specific research interest in a particular topic; chosen in discussion with the supervisor.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on the choice of subject and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation of not more than 15,000 words must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MRes, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGCert or PGDip instead of an MRes.
Amerindian Studies at St Andrews
The Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) consortium brings together social anthropologists from the universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to support innovation in research and teaching.
In addition to co-hosting international conferences and workshops, the consortium runs two free week-long residential training courses each year in anthropology for postgraduate students and early career researchers. The first course is for students at the pre-fieldwork level and the second is for those at an advanced stage of research writing.
After the MRes
In addition to the MRes, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Social Anthropology and Amerindian Studies. Students with an advanced background in Social Anthropology may be permitted to enrol directly into the second year of the MPhil and receive the degree solely from the 40,000-word thesis.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. The Department of Social Anthropology offers PhD supervision across a diverse range of theoretical interests and topics.
The Economic & Social Research Council offers studentships for UK residents which covers university and college fees as well as a maintenance element to contribute towards living costs.
Social Anthropology graduates have characteristics many employers seek and a Social Anthropology degree provides openings to a wide range of careers. Our graduates have gained successful employment in areas such as:
- wildlife conservation
- international policy
- journalism (BBC and The Independent)
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).