Social and Cultural Anthropology (Master of Arts)

Overview
Conditions of admission
Applications


Overview

Course content and focus areas 

The MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology offers students the opportunity to intensively devote 4 semesters to their own, more extensive social and cultural anthropological research project.

Social and cultural anthropology links into the self-definition and professional debates of British social anthropology, American cultural anthropology, and “Ethnologie” in German-speaking academia. Like these, it focuses on the human being (anthropos) in his social and cultural environment and is thus dedicated to both contemporary and historical themes in order to understand socio-cultural phenomena as processes and expressions of diverse dynamics. The diversity of human action and its institutions is considered both at the local level, especially outside Europe, and in a comparative and global context. Social and cultural anthropology pursues a qualitative research approach, a central method of empirical investigation being participant observation/field research.

The Master's programme in Social and Cultural Anthropology is research-oriented and aims at a research and scientific specialisation and, among other things, the deepening of intercultural, foreign-language and region-specific competencies. The framework for the studies is provided by the research idea for a social and cultural anthropological research project, developed independently by the respective students and which should be carried out abroad if possible. To prepare for this, students examine the (self-)reflective application of concepts necessary for the critical interpretation of human action strategies and institutions. They deepen and expand both specific and project-related specialist and interdisciplinary subject matter; they deal intensively with debates on cultural and social theory and their genesis, deal in detail with current socio-cultural phenomena and with qualitative methods that serve their scientific analysis. Students work on research questions and develop a research concept. The development, implementation and evaluation of the project will be accompanied individually over four semesters by an academic member from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Student projects relating to any of the core academic areas of the Department are acceptable. Projects oriented towards the framework topics which are set up every year by the Department are particularly welcome.

Within the framework of the independently planned research project, students themselves (individually or in groups) will spend several months researching, if possible abroad, thereby acquiring in-depth intercultural and, if necessary, specific foreign-language skills. Research students will thereby develop a high degree of critical self-reflection. They will be examining complex social contexts not only independently but will also be reflecting on their apparatus of methods in a self-critical and scientifically critical way. On the basis of their research results, they will generate scientifically sound findings that take social and ethical implications into account. The results will link into existing academic discussions and current research topics and will be integrated into socially relevant scientific debates.

The MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology is a consecutive course of study that ties in with the basic knowledge and skills from the BA in “Ethnologie” and deepens and specialises these. However, the programme is not only aimed at students with a first degree with a major or minor anthropology, but also at graduates of related subjects, who may be admitted subject to the condition that they take some specific basic core courses of the BA in “Ethnologie”. Graduates of the Bachelor's programme "Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie" of the Goethe University may be admitted without the requirement of additional credits and module examinations from the Bachelor's programme "Ethnologie" (see below: admission requirements).

Alternatively, applicants for the MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology may also apply for the Franco-German MA programme option. This is offered jointly by the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)/Paris and the Goethe University/Frankfurt; participating students then study for two semesters at each university. For further information on the Franco-German programme, please click here.

Detailed information

Information about the department
Study regulations

Degree

Master of Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Duration

The standard length of study for the Master of Arts is 4 semesters.

Languages of instruction

German

Start of the programme

The study programme starts at the beginning of the wintersemester.

Student advisory service

Institut für Ethnologie
Nobert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt/Main
Tel.: 069/798-33064
Fax: 069/798-33065
Email: ethnologie@em.uni-frankfurt.de

Master in Social and Cultural Anthropology:
Dr. Gabriel Klaeger (g.klaeger@em.uni-frankfurt.de)
Dr. Markus Lindner (m.lindner@em.uni-frankfurt.de)
Ronja Metzger-Ajah, M.A. (metzger@em.uni-frankfurt.de)


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Conditions of admission

Admission requirements

  • General entry requirements for the Master's programme are:
    a) BA with main subject Ethnologie/Social and Cultural Anthropology (min. 120 CP) or minor subject Ethnologie/Social and Cultural Anthropology (min. 60 CP) or
    b) BA with main or minor subject Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie from the Goethe University or
    c) (for the following, if applicable subject to further conditions) an equally recognised academic degree in the same or related subject area with a standard period of study of at least 6 semesters (e.g. history, cultural studies, regional studies, political science, religious studies, social sciences, law).

The Examination Board decides on the recognition and comparability of qualifications. Applicants must not have finally failed a Master's examination in the same or related subject area at another university or otherwise lost the Right to Examination.

  • Proof of language proficiency in English at level B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), to be demonstrated by:
    a) school reports proving English studies for at least four years. For the English language, proof of three years English at school is sufficient if it was a part of the Curriculum for the final three years of schooling prior to the school leaving certificate entitling the holder to admission to higher education being attained. The final grade or the average grade of the last two years of the language course must be at least the German grade 4 (sufficient) or 5 points;
    b) certificates proving successful completion of language courses from German and/or foreign universities at a language level of B1.
    c) expert assessment or lector examinations on language skills acquired during stays abroad, university language courses or self-study;
    d) evidence of English proficiency: TOEFL test (English: 72+), an IELTS test (English: 5.5-6.5), Cambridge Certificate (English: FCE (A-C)) or UNIcert test (English: UNIcert II);
    e) other evidence recognised by the Examination Board.

  • Proof of language skills in another, preferably modern, foreign language at level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), to be proven by:
    a) school reports proving studies of the other foreign language for at least three years. The final grade or the average grade for the last two years of the language course must be at least the German grade 4 (sufficient) or 5 points;
    b) certificates of language courses successfully completed at German and/or foreign universities which prove that the A2 language level has been achieved. If Latin is entered as a second foreign language, the proof of language skills can be provided by submission of the Latin language examination certificate;
    c) written expert opinions or lector examinations on language skills acquired during stays abroad, university language courses or self-study;
    d) other proof recognised by the Examination Board.

  • Evidence of a degree of special suitability, namely: Bachelor’s degree (60%), letter of motivation (20%) and application colloquium (20%). The application must be accompanied by a letter of motivation of at least 500 and at most 700 words, which should provide information about the motivation to study, relevant practical experience, the desired professional perspective as well as the envisaged research project for the Master's programme.

  • Applicants with a foreign higher education entrance qualification must also prove that they have sufficient knowledge of German in accordance with the DSH regulations.

Provisional admission

Applicants who do not have a first degree in Ethnologie/Social and Cultural Anthropology as a major or minor from any university or a first degree in Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie from the Goethe University must provide evidence of a total of at least 60 CP in academic achievements and module examinations in subjects related to ethnology. If evidence cannot be provided, they may be provisionally admitted subject to the condition that, at the latest by the end of the first academic year, they provide the missing CPs through academic achievements and module examinations from the Bachelor's programme in Ethnology (scope of requirement: max. 60 CP). The student receives ongoing supervision during the period of fulfilment of the requirements. Depending on the extent to which the requirements are to be fulfilled, the standard period of study may be exceeded.

Applicants who, at the time of application, have not yet completed their studies on the Bachelor's programme, have registered their Bachelor's dissertation, but have not yet received a Bachelor's certificate, may also be admitted to the Master's programme, subject to the proviso that the Bachelor's degree is verified by the Examination Board within the first semester of the Master's programme. For provisional admission, applicants must submit proof of enrolment in the Bachelor's programme, a recommendation from the supervisor of the Bachelor's dissertation and a special certificate from the examination office. This must be based on examination achievements amounting to at least 80 percent of the CPs required for the Bachelor's degree and must include a provisional average grade calculated on the basis of these examination achievements in accordance with the respective regulations.

In unclear cases, the Examination Board decides on admissions, exceptions and any other uncertainties. 

Mode of admission

Admission is restricted.


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Applications


Documents to be submitted

  • If you are not already enrolled at Universität Frankfurt:
    university entrance qualification (e.g. A-Levels)
  • Bachelor's certificate with an overview of achievement (for foreign certificates: please also provide a certified copy in English or German)
  • Proof of sufficient language skills in English (B1) and another, preferably modern foreign language (A2)
  • Letter of motivation (at least 500 to a maximum of 700 words), which should provide information about the motivation to study the subject, relevant practical experience and the desired professional perspective.
  • Declaration of Right to Examination (Download)
  • Only for applicants who do not have a BA in Ethnologie/Social and Cultural Anthropology as either the major or minor subject of any university or a BA in Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie from Goethe University:Transcript of Records or a comparable document with a list of the completed study contents of the degree in a related subject area
  • Only for students whose BA certificate is not yet available: Transcript of Records or a comparable document with a list of the course contents completed and a proven average grade- Letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the bachelor dissertation (download) - Proof of enrolment
  • Only for applicants who did not obtain their first undergraduate degree at a German university: Proof of knowledge of German (DSH-2). You can find more information about the required knowledge of German here.
  •  For applicants from Vietnam, People's Republic of China and Mongolia: APS certificate (original document only)

Deadline for applications

01.05. - 15.06.

Address for applications

Online application portal for Master's study programmes


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