Anthropology (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • Anthropology at Sussex is the largest UK department that focuses solely on social anthropology, and is ranked 7th for research quality and 4th for research impact in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  • Sussex is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for anthropology (The Complete University Guide 2017).
  • The Department is located within the School of Global Studies, which brings together anthropology, development studies, geography and international relations. The School houses a number of interdisciplinary research centres. We have developed a strong tradition of socially and politically engaged anthropology that focuses on real-world issues. Our research and taught courses reflect this engaged stance.
  • We have particular research expertise in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Europe, but also cover the Caribbean, Latin America, South-East Asia and China. Our key research themes are in the fields of economic and political anthropology, as well as in the anthropology of religion, human rights, migration, gender, reproductive health, development, science and technology.
  • Our faculty have undertaken consultancy and commissioned work in a range of fields, including immigration and asylum, international development, reproductive rights and sexualities, bio-ethics and environmental policies. Many of our graduates find employment in these fields, within which we have strong international networks.


  • PhD in Social Anthropology
  • MPhil in Social Anthropology

We welcome enquiries from students wishing to undertake research in any areas of faculty interest. We also provide interdisciplinary doctoral supervision in subject areas such as development studies, migration studies and cultural studies.

All research students are required to complete an appropriate programme of research methods training. This may involve enrolling on the MSc in Social Research Methods – before proceeding to the PhD. This is known as a 1+3 course. Students who have already completed a programme of research methods training can apply for the three-year doctoral degree leading to a PhD.

Coursework and supervision

Whether you start the three-year PhD or the 1+3 MSc/PhD degree, you are normally required to complete some research methods training modules and possibly some specialist thematic modules drawn from the MA courses.

Students are allocated two academic supervisors with whom they work for the duration of their course. Supervisors are allocated according to their regional and thematic expertise, to provide a complementary match with your research.


Research courses usually involve fieldwork away from Sussex during the second year of the PhD. Supervision continues during fieldwork, while you gather data to be written up on your return. Students on the 1+3 degree usually start their fieldwork in the year following successful completion of the MSc dissertation.

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School homepage

Recent thesis titles

Conflicts of a ‘peaceful’ diaspora: identity, power and peace politics among Cypriots in the UK and Cyprus

Negotiating educational desire: migrant youths and aspirations in Shanghai, China

Of the earthquake and other stories: the continuity of change in Pakistan-administered Kashmir

‘Our brother’s keeper’: moralities of transformation at YMCA Centres in the UK and Gambia

Producing beauty: the social politics of mass production at a special economic zone in South India

Entry requirements

MPhil in Social Anthropology

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in any relevant social science but applicants from other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit a short outline proposal of two to three pages in order to be considered

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

PhD in Social Anthropology

UK entrance requirements

A Masters degree in anthropology although those with a Masters degree in a closely related discipline may also be admitted. In exceptional circumstances, candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit an outline research proposal of two to three pages indicating the nature, ambitions and primary questions of the project

Overseas entrance requirements

If you are an international student and wish to find out if you have the necessary qualifications for this degree, please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545

Fees and funding


MPhil in Social Anthropology fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £14,8003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Social Anthropology fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £14,8003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs


The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

There is a close collaboration between Anthropology, schools, departments and interdisciplinary research centres at Sussex. We have strong links with the Department of History, the School of Media, Film and Music, and Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

Our faculty and students are members of the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies; the Centre for World Environmental History; the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies; the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Health and Technologies; the Africa Centre; the Asia Centre and the Sussex Centre for Migration Research.

Visit Department of Anthropology: People and contacts

Dr Paul Boyce
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Inteal Development

Research interests: Anthropology and Queer Theory in India, Anthropology of Sexualities, Anthropology of the Body, Applied Anthropology, Bioavailability, HIV prevention research, International Development, Intimacy, Male and Transgender Sex Work, Male Sex work in SE Africa, Psycho-social and Psychoanalytic perspectives in Anthropology, Queer and Transgender Representation, Queer Theory, Sexual and gendered subjectivities, Sexuality and Law in Nepal, Visual Anthropology and Media

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Prof Andrea Cornwall
Professor of Anthropology and International Development

Research interests: Brazil, democratisation, Empowerment, gender and development, Gender and Sexuality, Nigeria, participation, public engagement, Public health

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Prof Jane Cowan
Professor of Social Anthropology

Research interests: anthropology of gender and masculinity, Balkans, Dance Performance, Diplomacy & International Relations, Ethnography And Anthropology, Feminist theory, Gender and Sexuality, Greece, Human Rights, International Organization, Minority Rights, Social and political theory, Social anthropology

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Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou

Research interests: (Post)socialist governance, Airports, Albania, Anthropology of Crisis, Anthropology of Europe, Anthropology of Infrastructures, Anthropology of Postsocialism, Anthropology of Roads, Athens, Balkans, City at a Time of Crisis, Collective action, crisis-scapes, Development, Europe, Far-Right violence, Financial Crisis in Greece, Flows, gentrification, global inequality, Greece, Greek Crisis, Highways, infrastructural development, infrastructure politics, material culture, migration studies, neo-poverty, neoliberalisation, neoliberalism, Police Violence, Political economy, Protest, Public Spaces, Right to the City, social development, Social transformation, Spontaneity, State of Exception, structural adjustment, Transnationalism, Transport Infrastructure, Urban Anthropology, urban development, Urban Infrastructures, urban regeneration, Violence

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Dr Geert De Neve
Professor of Social Anthropology & SouthAsian Studies

Research interests: Anthropology of Development, anthropology of South Asia, Anthropology of the Global Economy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Trade, India, Poverty and inequality, Social Protection, Social transformation, Tamil Nadu

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Dr Nigel Eltringham
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

Research interests: Africa, Conflict and violence, ethnicity, Film, Genocide, Human Rights, international criminal court, International Criminal Law, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Political violence, Post conflict reconstruction, Rwanda, Transitional justice

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Prof James Fairhead
Professor of Social Anthropology

Research interests: Ebola, Environmental Anthropology, Green Economy, Health, Historical Anthropology, International Development, New Guinea, West Africa

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Dr Anne-Meike Fechter
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

Research interests: Aid, Aid Workers, Cambodia, childhood and youth, Development, Expatriates, gender, Indonesia, Migration, Mobility, Morality and Ethics, southeast asia, Transnationalism

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Prof Ralph Grillo
Emeritus Professor

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Dr Elizabeth Harrison
Reader in Anthropology and International Development

Research interests: Anthropology and ethnography, Anti-corruption, community, gender, International Development, Irrigation, Moralities, Natural Resource Management, Participation and engagement, Political anthropology, Sub-Saharan Africa, United Kingdom

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Prof Raminder Kaur Kahlon
Professor of Anthropology & Cultural Studies

Research interests: Aesthetics and Politics, censorship, Conflict and violence, creative arts, culture and health, cultures of sustainability, diaspora, digital anthropology, environmental movements, gender, health risk perceptions, heritage, identity-based conflict, indian cinema, migration studies, nuclear power and politics, public culture, public engagement, race and ethnicity, religion and media, Religion and ritual, South Asia, Visual Anthropology and Media, visual cultures

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Dr Pamela Kea
Senior Lecturer In Anthropology

Research interests: Anthropology of West Africa, Asylum and FGM, childhood and youth, Decolonial critique and the arts, Feminist theory, gender, Home-making practices, Intimacy and transnational kinship relations, Migration and Mobility, Postcolonial/Decolonial theory, race and ethnicity, The aesthetics of migration, The household moral economy, Transnational networks and subjectivities, Visual and Material Culture

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Dr Evan Killick
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and International Development

Research interests: Amazonia, Climate & Climate Change, Conservation, Development studies, ethnography, Friendship, indigenous peoples, International Development, Kinship, Latin America, REDD

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Dr Mark Leopold
Lecturer in Social Anthropology

Research interests: Anthropology and espionage, Anthropology and Literature, Biography, Borders, Conflict and violence, Embodiment, Forced migration, History, History of Anthropology, Masculinities, north east Africa, Peacemaking, Political anthropology, psychoanalysis, South Sudan, Uganda

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Dr Peter Luetchford
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

Research interests: Coffee producers and cooperatives, Economic anthropology, ethical consumption, food politics, Latin America, Organic farming, Political anthropology, Spain, The moral economy

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Prof Magnus Marsden
Professor Of Social Anthropology

Research interests: Afghanistan, Anthropology of Diplomacy, Anthropology of Islam and Muslim Societies, Anthropology of Postsocialism, Anthropology of Religion, Bazaars and Markets, Central Asia, Cosmopolitanism, globalisation, Migration and Mobility, Morality, Pakistan, Social anthropology, Tajikistan, Trade Traders and Trading Nodes, Trading Networks and Diasporas, Travel, Trust and Entrustment

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Dr Lyndsay Mclean Hilker
Lecturer in Anthropology and International Development

Research interests: Africa, Anthropology and ethnography, Anthropology of Development, Development Practice, DRC, ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, gender-based violence, identity-based conflict, reconciliation, Rwanda, Social transformation, Violence, youth and violence

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Dr Jon Mitchell
Professor of Social Anthropology

Research interests: Alternative Spiritualities/New Religious Movements, Anthropological Controversies, Anthropology of Catholicism, Anthropology of Religion, Anthropology of Sport, Anthropology of the Body, Anthropology of the Senses, Atheism/Secularism, Darkness in El Dorado, Experiential Anthropology, Football, Human Terrain, Malta, Marathon Running, material culture, Neoliberal subjectivities, Performance, Politics of Europeanisation, Religion and Cognition, Ritual, Statues, The Impact Agenda, UK

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Prof Filippo Osella
Professor Of Anthropology And South Asian Studies

Research interests: anthropology of gender and masculinity, anthropology of Islam and Hinduism, anthropology of migration, anthropology of South Asia, anthropology of trade and entrepreneurship, charity & philanthropy, Economic anthropology, India, Pakistan, Persian/Arab Gulf GCC countries, Sri Lanka

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Dr Jeffrey Pratt
Research Associate

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Dr Rebecca Prentice
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

Research interests: Development studies, Economic anthropology, Embodiment, Ethnographic Methods, Garment industry, gender, Health, Health and Safety, Human Rights, Labour relations, labour rights, medical anthropology, Neoliberal subjectivities, precariousness, Skill and craft, West Indies

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Dr Dinah Rajak
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and International Development

Research interests: anthropology of global capitalism, Anthropology of markets, Bottom of the pyramid enterprise, Conflict and resources, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Trade, Economic anthropology, Entrepreneurship, HIV/Aids, mining and extractive industries, Moral economies, private sector development, South and Southern Africa, Transnational corporations

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Dr Anke Schwittay
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology & International Development

Research interests: digital development, financial inclusion, humanitarian design, microfinance tourism, online microfinance, representations of development

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Prof Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner
Professor of Social & Medical Anthropology

Research interests: Anthropology of the Body, Biobanking and society, Bioeconomies and Biosocieties, bioethics, Biopolitics, China, Commodification of life, cultural studies of science, culture and health, East Asian cultures and societies, Embodiment and technology, Ethnography And Anthropology, Gender and ethnicity, genomics and society, Health, culture and development, Japan, Kinship and society, Life science, culture and ethics, Nationalism, Patient organisations and global health, Race, ethnicity and identity, Regenerative medicine and society, Reproductive cultures and technologies, Research Ethics, Science and global regulation, Science and innovation in society, Social anthropology, social studies of science

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Prof Roderick Stirrat
Research Professor

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Prof Maya Unnithan
Professor Of Social And Medical Anthropology

Research interests: caste and kinship, childbirth and infertility, gender and development, health and migration, human rights and reproductive health, maternal health inequalities, reproductive technologies, Social anthropology

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Prof Ann Whitehead
Emeritus Professor

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Careers and perspectives

Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in Higher Education, international development and humanitarian assistance, socially responsible business, museums and heritage, journalism, independent filmmaking, and as researchers for government agencies, think-tanks, or private consulting firms.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

Anthropology, University of Sussex, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9SJ, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 877107 

Visit the Department of Anthropology

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Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives


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