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PhD in Social Anthropology




What will I learn?

The PhD course is intended for students who already have full training at undergraduate and/or Master's level in the methods and perspectives of Social/Cultural Anthropology. It includes intensive fieldwork training in the first year, a research period of 12 to 18 months, and a further year for writing the thesis (a maximum of four years is allowed in total). Students work with the main Supervisor and a Faculty Advisor, who acts as a source of supplementary advice.

The PhD course begins with nine months of training in research issues and methods, culminating in the writing and submission of a fieldwork proposal. PhD students doing the pre-fieldwork course can expect to leave for field research at the end of their third term (June–July), subject to passing the fieldwork clearance interview.



A PhD thesis must not exceed 80,000 words and is expected to be near that length. The word limit includes all footnotes, text, figures, tables and photographs, but excludes the bibliography, cited references and appendices. Statistical tables should be counted as 150 words per table. Only under exceptional circumstances, and after prior application, will the Degree Committee allow a student to exceed these limits.

Which department am I in?

Division of Social Anthropology

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
£28,401.00 (US$ 35,282) per year
University Composition Fee: £28,401; Maintenance: £17,668

This is a fixed fee
Start date

1 October 2023


University of Cambridge

The Old Schools,

Trinity Lane,



CB2 1TN, England

Entry requirements

For international students

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK First class Honours Degree. A first-class Honours degree or strong High Pass in a Master's degree in Social Anthropology is normally required. Applicants need an IELTS score 7.5 overall with 7 in listening, 7 in writing, 7 in reading and 7 in speaking; TOEFL Internet Score 110 overall with 25 in each listening, writing, reading and speaking.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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