Exit Menu

Medical Anthropology MSc

Course code

L620PMEDANTH

Start date

September

Subject area

Anthropology

Mode of study

1 year full-time

2 or 2.5 years part-time

Fees

2020/21

UK / EU £8,240

International £15,860

Entry requirements

2:2

Back to top

Overview

If you work in medicine or allied fields and want to learn more about how illness and wellness are considered in difference cultures, anthropology is an ideal route to greater understanding.

Medical anthropology is the study of cultural beliefs and practices associated with the origin, recognition and management of health and illness in different social and cultural groups.

Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a master's degree in medical anthropology and since then has continued to develop the course to reflect the changing world in which we live.

The Medical Anthropology MSc will equip you with a broad, general understanding of anthropology and how it might be applied to medical and health-related problems.

You will develop a deeper understanding of how people’s ideas about the world, as well as the structural constraints within which they find themselves, have an impact on their understanding and experience of health, sickness and disease.

You’ll achieve this through close study of key texts in medical anthropology, the original fieldwork experiences of your lecturers, and through designing and undertaking your own research project.

The course will address questions such as:

  • How does poverty contribute to the profiles of diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis?
  • Why are some diseases, such as leprosy or AIDS/HIV, feared and stigmatized?
  • Why do some biomedical interventions seeking to control infectious and non-infectious diseases work, and others fail?
  • What might stop some patients seeking conventional treatments for cancers and other conditions – even when they are offered for free – despite the apparent efficacy of the medicines available?

Students take the opportunity of fieldwork to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world that have included India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as in the UK and the rest of Europe.

In additional, Brunel offers an exclusive scholarship to help fund a student’s medical anthropology fieldwork in memory of pioneering Brunel Medical Anthropologist, Professor Cecil Helman (1944-2009).

A 30 month part-time option of the course is also available. If you wish to be considered for the part-time 30 month version, please make your application for the 24 month part-time route and then contact the Admissions team to request the change to the 30 month duration.

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

Back to top

Course content

The main objectives of the course are to provide a rigorous grounding in key topics and perspectives in medical anthropology, and to equip you with a range of research skills to enable you to complete your research successfully.

Optional modules are indicative and available subject to numbers.

Please see programme specification for the specific optional module combination choices that are available.

This course can be studied 1 year full-time or 2 or 2.5 years part-time, starting in September.

Year 1

Back to top

Careers and your future

Hundreds of students – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and other medical professionals among them – can testify to the quality of our programme, having used it either to enhance their professional practice, to change career or to develop their research interests for future studies.

Students will acquire analytical and research skills that can be used in a wide range of careers. In particular the course is ideal for enhancing professional development in fields such as midwifery, general practice, sexual health, psychiatry, nutrition, psychotherapy, public health, non-governmental agencies and international development.

Some of our graduates also go on to do further research for a PhD in medical anthropology.

Back to top

UK entry requirements

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification. 
  • Applicants with other degrees, that have relevant experience, will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Applicants will be interviewed either in person or by telephone.
Back to top

EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
  • TOEFL: 92 (min 20 in all)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

Back to top

Fees and funding

2020/21

UK / EU

£8,240 full-time

£4,120 part-time

International

£15,860 full-time

£7,930 part-time

N.B. UK and EU applicants: the 30 month part-time course will not be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan. If you wish to be considered for the part-time 30 month version, please make your application for the 24 month part-time route and then contact the Admissions team to request the change to the 30 month duration.

More information on any additional course-related costs.

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

Back to top

Teaching and Learning

The course is taught by a team of Brunel experts who have worked in many countries across the globe, including South, West and East Africa, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as Britain.

Find out more about their particular research interests by following the links:

Should you need any non-academic support during your time at Brunel, the Student Support and Welfare Team are here to help.

Back to top

Assessment and feedback

Assessment is typically by essay or practical assignments (for example, analysis of a short field exercise), and a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words based upon your own fieldwork experience. There are no examinations.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.