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MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability

MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability

Different course options

Full time | SOAS, University of London | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Anthropology Sustainability

Course type


Course Summary

Who is this programme for?

Are you interested in climate change, sustainability and global equality?

Do you want to find out how to influence policy and practice in places of power?

Climate politics, mass extinction, inequalities, racial injustice and global health crises raise questions about how we currently live our lives and pose crucial questions about how we can build a sustainable future.

This programme focuses on the big challenges of our times, offering students the opportunity to explore, communicate and address the major trends and debates as engaged global citizens.

It asks fundamental questions about what it is to be human in a complex and ever-changing world, critically questioning existing assumptions and knowledge, and productively thinking about how to envision and create a more just and sustainable world.

Why study MA Global Futures and Sustainability at SOAS?

  • This is an interdisciplinary MA with an anthropological core drawing on other disciplines.
  • Teaching is strongly informed by our regional interests in Africa and Asia, and from professional experiences of working in/with development banks, government departments, NGOs and activist organisations, social businesses and media collectives.
  • You will encounter literature raising difficult moral and ethical questions in an academic environment where debate is highly encouraged and prized.
  • You can take your own interests into a research project guided by an expert supervisor from our department.
  • Our focus on the future and sustainability are areas of growing global concern and significance among private, public and international institutions; our emphasis on skills, communication and methodology gives graduates a clear advantage with employers as we put education into practice.
  • Overall, this is a unique opportunity within the UK to explore the big issues with a practical focus on communication and change.

Our focus is on both understanding and change.

To understand: we explore anthropological literatures, methodologies and approaches to the future, sustainability and climate change.

To change: we explore how the world works so we can target our communication, improve the ways in which we speak, write and argue, and to develop the tools, approaches and skills to effect change.

The programme is a key part of the SOAS Department of Anthropology and Sociology’s commitment to economic and social justice, environmental equality and to engage strongly and critically with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.

Teaching & Learning

During the academic year, modules are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and/or seminars. Students can expect an average of two hours of classroom time per week for each module. Outside of the classroom, students explore topics of the module through independent study and through personal exchanges with teachers and fellow students. In some cases, modules are taught by several teachers within the department to provide students with an array of perspectives on the subject. All modules involve the active participation of students in the discussion of ideas, viewpoints and readings.

The Dissertation

The MA Anthropology of Global Futures and Sustainability culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation, based on original research on a topic of the student's own choosing and developed in discussion with a supervisor.


This module is a practical guide for engaging research and ideas in real-world settings. ?How to change things? is focused on advocacy, communication and learning to see how organisations work and ideas gain traction. Students will learn how to present research to different audiences, including parliamentary lobbying, report writing and social media. How to effectively put complex research ideas into engaging words, graphics, presentations? How to ensure that ideas are fed to the right audiences?. The module encourages students to make a positive difference in the world, building on their educational experience at SOAS as a resource. Students will explore how anthropology can be used to positively influence opinion, ways of working, thinking and institutions. With a strong focus on skills training and professionalisation as communicators and influencers, the module demonstrates new ways in which higher education can be used to impact realms outside of the academy as we focus on communicating what has been learned on other modules in a SOAS degree.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.

University information

At SOAS University of London, students are encouraged to challenge conventional views and to think globally. SOAS is the leading higher education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East, offering over a hundred postgraduate programmes, all taught by world-class specialists. The central London campus is home to a large postgraduate community, with 45% of students studying towards a...more