Master's Programme in Cultural Anthropology

120 credits

Why are we who we are? How do people organise socially and politically in relation to gender, sexuality, religion and ethnicity? The Master's programme in Cultural Anthropology aims to give you a better understanding of people. Students in this programme come from both Sweden and the rest of the world, which gives you a rich learning experience and a global network that will be very useful in your future.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

The Master's Programme in Cultural Anthropology offers you an opportunity to study cultural and social anthropology in an international learning environment where approximately one-half of the students are from outside of Sweden. The diversity of student backgrounds contributes to a rich educational experience and gives you a global professional network that will be very useful in your future career in the field. Our teaching is grounded in ethnographic research and inspired by the teachers' own field research experiences and insights.

The two-year programme broadens and further deepens your anthropological competencies. In addition to enrolling in courses in applied anthropology at the Department, you have additional opportunities to select courses in other relevant disciplines at the University, to enrol for a semester at another university in Europe or elsewhere in the world, and to carry out an internship.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • study cultural and social anthropology in an international context,
  • study courses grounded in ethnographic research,
  • carry out your qualitative fieldwork,
  • do an internship in an organisation that fits your interests.

Student profile

You have studied cultural or social anthropology for a year in your Bachelor's studies. You may have a Bachelor's degree in Cultural or Social Anthropology, but you may also have studied enough anthropological subjects in other programmes such as Development Studies, Political Science, Sociology or Archaeology. You have probably spent some time working or travelling to experience the world. This has increased your interest in understanding the world from a social and cultural perspective. You have a strong motivation and are prepared to take responsibility for shaping your education through the range of courses that Uppsala University offers. You are used to planning your work yourself and staying within given time frames.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with Cultural Anthropology as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The programme's focus is on cultural and social anthropology. The first semester is pre-planned to give you time to settle in. Four compulsory courses are scheduled, among them a methods course in ethnography. During the first semester, you will also spend time designing your thesis project. You will study together with the students in the Master's Programme in Ethnology and Folkloristics.

The next three semesters are more flexible, allowing you to specialise and select courses that suit your research focus. During these semesters, you will carry out fieldwork for approximately two months and work on your thesis under the guidance of your supervisor.

While most students choose to complete a two-year degree, it is also possible to follow a one-year course of study. The one-year programme provides in-depth knowledge of theory and methods in anthropology and includes the opportunity to complete a minor anthropological field study.

If you have previously completed the one-year Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology you may be admitted to the second year of the programme and will then write a 15-credit essay during the second year.

You may also take advantage of the possibilities for inspiring and challenging international student exchanges and internships. Such an internship can be done in Sweden, but previous students have also done internships in, for example, South Africa, Luxemburg and the Philippines.

Courses within the programme

Compulsory courses

  • Introductory Course for Master's Students in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, 7.5 credits
  • Advanced Study of Anthropological Theory, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnological Epistemology, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnography, 7.5 credits

Elective courses in the field of anthropology

  • Political Ecology, 7.5 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Medical Anthropology, 7.5 credits
  • Anthropology and Ethnology in Practice, 7.5 credits
  • Ethnography and Multiculturalism, 7.5 credits
  • Contemporary Debates and Developments in Cultural Anthropology, 7.5 credits

Additional courses are available as elective courses and you may select from among more than 50 courses in other departments in the Faculty of Arts.

The Department's advanced level courses comprise 7.5 ECTS credits each and are given at half speed. Normally, two courses are read in parallel. The courses include both lectures and seminars, mostly on campus in Uppsala. Individual lectures and seminars can take place remotely via zoom. The courses are examined through oral and written seminar assignments, which sometimes take place in groups, as well as through home exams and shorter essays.

The courses in cultural anthropology are given in English and many students also take ethnological courses at the department, also given in English.

You have the opportunity to do a credit-bearing internship for five or ten weeks (7.5 and 15 credits, respectively). The internship is carried out in Sweden or abroad.

This programme provides you with professional, analytical capacities in areas such as international development and humanitarian assistance, migration, multiculturalism, journalism and media, tourism, museums and exhibitions. It also gives you a solid basis for pursuing a research career in anthropology and other related subjects.

Our previous students who graduated recently from the Master's programme have been employed, for instance as an/a:

  • educator by the Swedish organisation Friends, which works to prevent bullying;
  • curator at a German municipal museum;
  • developer within the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova.

These are solid first jobs, and a few years further down the road former students have gained important positions in development aid organisations such as the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) or started their own companies, such as Inculture, doing anthropological studies for leading international companies.

The possibilities are many, and experience holds that the focus of research that students carry out for their Master's thesis is vital for what kind of job they will get. Therefore, if you know where you want to work, this Master's degree from us and a thesis with the right focus will help take you there.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.