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Social and Cultural Anthropology (M.A.)

The Master’s degree programme “Social and Cultural Anthropology” equips students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and methodological skills to adequately analyse the multilayered processes of social and cultural transformation in the contemporary, globally interconnected world. Research and teaching focus on the Asia-Pacific (especially Southeast-Asia and Oceania) and Africa, two major regions that are characterized by some common but also many distinct challenges and opportunities. The programme allows students to develop their own thematic focus by electing and combining different ‘profile areas’ (see below).


Subject: Social and Cultural Anthropology
Degree: Master of Arts
Standard period of study: 4 semesters, up to 7 semesters as part-time studies
Start: Winter and summer semester
Part-time studies possible

Admission requirements: Bachelor or equivalent degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology or a closely related subject (see below)
Application deadline: May 15th (for the winter semester); November 15th (for the summer semester)
Lottery procedure: October 1 – 5 (winter semester), April 1 – 5 (summer semester)
Application:Application for Master's degree programmes
Language of the programme: German


Programme description
The Master’s degree programme expands and deepens basic research skills and knowledge acquired in undergraduate studies. It offers students a solid anthropological training and a range of possible specializations. In particular, students are able to develop their own thematic focus by electing and combining different ‘profile areas’ that may be studied in various intensities. Available are: “Materiality and Environment”, “Mobility and Identity” and “Knowledge and Religion”.
Ethno Profile April 2018 engl

The Master’s degree programme is research-oriented: its core element is the extensively supervised preparation and implementation of an anthropological research or internship project in one of the three profile areas outlined above. Ideally, the project will be located in one of the Institute’s key re-gions of research (Asia-Pacific or Africa), thus providing students with the opportunity, and challenge, of doing research in diverse linguistic and cultural contexts. Projects may also be integrated into ongo-ing research activities of the Institute or The Ethnographic Collection. Students are encouraged to make use of the Institute’s cooperations with universities and research institutions in our key regions.

Structure of the Master's degree programme
The M.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology is a four-semester programme that may be begun in either October (winter semester) or April (summer semester). The master’s programme offers the choice be-tween a single major, anthropology-only study programme (‘Single Major MA’) and a ‘Combined MA’ in which anthropology as a major is combined with an elective minor (‘module package’ in German termi-nology). Please note the entry requirements for elective module packages (see link in the adjacent pan-el).

To obtain a master degree, students must complete 120 credits which, depending on the chosen op-tion, are distributed as follows:

'Single Major MA':

  • Anthropology Modules: 78 C
  • Key Competencies: 12 C
  • MA Thesis: 30 C


'Combined MA':

  • Anthropology Modules: 42 C
  • Modules in Minor: 36 C
  • Key Competencies: 12 C
  • MA Thesis: 30 C


The ‘Single Major’ master’s degree programme is suitable for part-time studies. For the ‘Combined MA’ option, this only applies if the minor is also suitable for part-time studies.

Career perspectives
Those who have successfully completed an M.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology have gained a pro-found understanding of the diverse processes of social and cultural transformation in the contemporary world. Furthermore, they are equipped with solid methodological and analytical skills, which qualify them for working in a range of different fields (see below). The master’s degree also serves as a qualifi-cation to enter a doctoral programme. Career perspectives include:


  • Research and teaching at universities and other anthropological or interdisciplinary research institutions
  • Academic and transdisciplinary work in museums, exhibition projects and other institutions of cultural exchange
  • Consultancy work in developmental cooperation, humanitarian aid, conflict mediation and peace research
  • Mediation and consultancy in intercultural contexts (e.g. migration and refugee work, public healthcare, educational institutions, tourism and international companies)
  • Media and public relations as well as adult education, notably in intercultural settings
  • International science management





Admission requirements
Applicants must have a bachelor‘s or equivalent degree in social and cultural anthropology or a closely related field. For studies not yet completed at the time of application, a minimum of 150 credits (ECTS points) is required. Formal requirements are as follows:

  • A minimum of 50 credits in social and/or cultural anthropology (including at least 6 credits in qualitative research methods + 6 credits in non-European regional anthropology).
  • Applicants whose native language is not German must provide proof of DSH 2 or TestDaF (4x4).