Graduate Programme: M.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology

The two-year M.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Ethnologie) programme offers research-oriented training in anthropology as a general and comparative discipline in the context of social and cultural studies, which deals with the diversity of human life styles and explores their commonalities and differences. This training is closely connected with the department’s main research interests. The programme combines a broad engagement with the areas, theories and methods of anthropology on an advanced level in the context of a student research project, which is supervised by members of the department’s academic staff and in which students explore a thematically and regionally specific topic, plan and carry out field work, and process, analyse, interpret and present their data.

The programme enables students to conduct independent scientific research. In the course of the student research project, relevant anthropological research methods are acquired and practised. By carrying out their own research projects, students acquire theoretical and analytical skills and learn to develop their own research strategies and approaches. Students are also facilitated in critically examining their own projects in the context of the current state of anthropological research. They also learn to reflect critically on questions of research and work ethics and to be aware of their responsibility towards research partners within the research projects in the respective research regions as well as towards their own society. Thanks to the research skills and intercultural competence they gain on the M.A programme, our graduate students qualify for senior positions or doctoral studies.

Recent and current student research projects deal or dealt with Youth in Africa – economies, politics, culture (2014), National day celebrations in Africa (2010, 2014), African music festivals in Germany (2011), Christianity in Madagascar (2010), Popular culture and media in Tanzania (2007, 2009), State institutions and bureaucracies in West Africa (2006, 2007, 2009) and French colonial soldiers in Mainz (2007).

The M.A. is required as a step toward the doctorate.