Social Anthropology with Pacific Studies (MRes) 2017 entry
The MRes in Pacific Studies examines the history, languages, cultures and varieties of social organisation of Melanesia and the Pacific. The programme is designed for students who have a special interest in conducting their fieldwork for an anthropology PhD in the region or because they wish to work there in some other capacity.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Research (MRes)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. We welcome applications from 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.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £7,500
- 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 started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Social Anthropology with Pacific Studies MRes page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
The MRes in Social Anthropology with Pacific 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 modules provide an understanding of the highly complex social, political and cultural experiences of the historic populations of the Pacific.
- Small class sizes ranging from two to ten students encourages student-led seminars and discussion as well as more contact with supervisors.
- Students are equipped to work with non-government organisations and multinational corporations with interests in the region.
Over two semesters, students take four compulsory modules. Teaching methods include formal lectures combined with seminar style teaching and student-led group work. Lecture class sizes range from five to ten students and tutorial sizes range from two to six students. Modules are assessed through coursework which includes essays, independent research-led assignments and group assessed oral presentations.
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:
- 25 contact hours including lectures, seminars and practicals
- 100% coursework assessment.
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016-2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
Students may substitute one optional module with an Honours-level undergraduate module, with the approval of the course coordinator.
Semester 1 modules
- The Anthropology of Connections: Interdisciplinarity as Methodology: examines the relevance of other disciplines for social anthropology 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.
Semester 2 modules
- Anthropology of the Pacific 1: examines traditional issues and historical trends in the anthropology of the Pacific, with special reference to selected regions.
- Anthropology of the Pacific 2: looks at the challenges facing social anthropology and Pacific Studies in the twenty-first century.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 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.
Pacific 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 with Pacific 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 and Pacific non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- 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).