Brunel University London

Course Introduction

About the course

Over the last ten years, global aspirations to reduce the suffering of the "bottom billion" have led to unprecedented attention on international development. International agencies, governments and NGOs are working more intensely than ever before to deliver appropriate policies and interventions.

Anthropology has played a key role in the emergence of new perspectives on humanitarian assistance and the livelihoods of populations caught up in extreme circumstances such as famines, natural disasters and wars.

This degree will appeal to those interested in critically assessing the policies and practices of international development and humanitarian assistance to war'affected regions from an anthropological perspective. It provides the training to enable students to seek employment with NGOs, international agencies and the civil service.

Special features

You can choose your own research topic and geographic area , in consultation with your academic supervisor. The dissertation research project provides valuable experience and, in many cases, leads to job contacts, forming a bridge to a future career or time out for career development. Our students have undertaken fieldwork in locations across the world, including in India, Mexico, Bolivia, China, Nepal and Morocco as well as in the UK and in Europe.

Teaching and learning

You’ll be taught through lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and film screenings.

Assessment is by essay, practical assignments (such as analysis of a short field exercise) and a dissertation of up to 15,000 words. There are no examinations.


Students who complete the MSc in the Anthropology of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance would be suitable to enter the following areas of specific study and/or general employment:

'Doctoral research in international environment and research assistant positions

'NGOs (e.g. Oxfam, Save the Children Fund, Islamic Agency for International Relief) and international agencies (e.g. World Health Organisation, World Food Programme)

'Civil service employment (the UK Department for International Development)

'General private sector employment (e.g. administrative/managerial positions and consultancy).

Course Modules

<b>Typical modules: </b> <p>

Ethnographic Research Methods <p>

Anthropology of International Development <p>

Dissertation Project <p>

Anthropological Perspectives of Humanitarian Assistance <p>

Anthropological Perspectives of War <p>

Thinking Anthropologically <p>

The Anthropology of Childhood <p>

The Anthropology of Youth <p>

The Anthropology of Global Health <p>

Anthropology of Education <p>

Anthropology of Learning <p>

Ethnicity, Identity and Culture <p>

Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings <p>

International Development, Children and Youth <p>

Young Lives in the Global South<p>

Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation<p>

Globalisation <p>

Theory and Practice of Human Rights <p>

International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance <p>

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Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
MSc £14,800 Overseas Fees
1 year
Full Time
MSc £7,700 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc £3,850 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
MSc £7,400 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • A UK 1st or 2nd Class 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. English Language Requirements: IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas); Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores); BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas).