Learning outcomes

Social Anthropology engages with contemporary social issues through empirically grounded studies of people’s lives. You learn how anthropologists have developed theoretical and methodological tools for conducting such studies. You also learn to apply these yourself through designing your own research project, carrying out ethnographic fieldwork and analysing qualitative research data.


The programme is academically broad and offers flexibility in the choice of empirical and theoretical specialisation. You can choose between specialising in Contemporary Ethnography or Global Political Economy.

Contemporary Ethnography

With a specialisation in Contemporary Ethnography, you will learn how anthropologists have made sense of the most important social issues of our times. This track also provides you with maximum flexibility to customize your studies according to your own interests and research focus. For instance, you can take credits in a language of your choice, or take a regional or thematic course in line with your own project plans. You will also learn how to apply ethnographic methods in practice, which will help you to turn your anthropological competence into an asset on the job market.  

Global Political Economy

With a specialisation in Global Political Economy, you will gain a rigorous understanding of different anthropological approaches to capital, finance, business and work. By exploring in-depth today’s challenges that shape the global economy, you will be given the analytical and methodological tools to engage with issues such as economic crisis, banking, and labour. You will be able to design, conduct and write up your own ethnographic fieldwork project related to this set of themes.

Learning objectives

The teaching and learning methods are varied. At the end of the programme you will have completed a complex, independent ethnographic research project where you have developed your thesis, found relevant theory and turned it into a complete scientific analysis. Upon completing the master's programme in Social Anthropology, you will have the following knowledge, skills and general competences:


  • advanced knowledge within the field of Social Anthropology, with a particularly thorough knowledge of political, socio-economic and cultural-historical perspectives on contemporary issues.
  • advanced knowledge of qualitative research methods.
  • advanced knowledge of how ethnography can be applied in contexts outside academia.
  • specific in-depth knowledge of the theme, theory and region chosen for your master’s thesis.


You will develop the skill to:

  • formulate a viable research problem on contemporary issues and conduct independent ethnographic fieldwork in line with academic, methodological and ethical guidelines.
  • identify, collect, select and assess relevant sources and data for purposes of analysing specific research questions.
  • analyse and deal critically with existing theories and methods within Social Anthropology in an independent manner.
  • apply your knowledge to current challenges within the field of Social Anthropology.
  • translate your academic research experience into job-related competence.
  • compose a coherent and well-argued academic text.

General competence

You will learn how to:

  • discuss academic questions connected to your own and other people’s work.
  • use advanced skills in qualitative methods and apply them in a problem-solving context.
  • analyse and communicate existing theories and ethical considerations concerning political, economic and social problems.
  • carry out an independent research project within the field of Social Anthropology under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics.
  • apply your knowledge and skills in new research areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects.
  • communicate academic knowledge in English, both orally and written, using the terms and language required to convey your scholarly knowledge to both academic and other audiences. 
  • analyse relevant anthropological literature, concretize social problems, and have insight into how you may draw the connection between theory and empirical conditions.
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Published June 14, 2018 10:39 AM - Last modified Nov. 11, 2020 10:42 AM