MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism with Intensive Language (not running 2019/20) (2019 Entry)

United Kingdom
Dates flexible
Course Type
Language Course
Course Fee

Course Overview


Our MA in Anthropology of Travel and Tourism allows you to study global voluntary mobility while at the same time gaining advanced training in social and cultural anthropology. This programme is designed for students with or without a prior degree in Social Anthropology.

This two-year intensive language pathway is directed at students who want to engage with a country in a professional as well as academic way, as the intensive language courses will enable them to reach a near proficient knowledge of the language.

Tourism is not only a culturally and historically shaped form of travel, but a complex social field that spans the globe, comprised of diverse actors, institutions, activities, and modes of interaction that overlap with other forms of global interconnection. As a whole, it comprises the world's largest industry and the single greatest peacetime factor moving people around the globe.

You will develop expertise in anthropological theory and practice; learn to undertake ethnographic research; and gain comprehensive grounding in the anthropological study of travel and tourism, including issues of development, political economy, cultural change, heritage, cross-cultural encounter, representation and meaning, space and place, commodification, and interconnections between diverse histories and cultures of travel worldwide.

Both a manifestation and a medium of globalisation, tourism has profound significance in multiple realms of human life-economic, environmental, material, social, and cultural. This makes it an ideal lens through which to explore core themes in contemporary social anthropology, such as identity and alterity, political economy, development, heritage, locality, representation, imagination, commodification, and the global circulation of people, objects, ideas, images, and capital. The MA Anthropology of Travel and Tourism programme draws upon:

  • The emerging body of theoretically sophisticated, ethnographically rich work involving tourism and travel
  • A thorough grounding in the history and contemporary theoretical trends of social-cultural anthropology close engagement with noted and rising scholars in the field, via the programme's Colloquium Series in the Anthropology of Tourism and Travel , as well as opportunities for informal dialogue with visiting anthropologists and sociologists of travel/tourism/mobilities
  • Other areas of expertise in the Department of Anthropology, including anthropology of development, migration and diaspora, museums and material culture, anthropology of food, global religious movements, anthropology of media, human rights, and anthropology of globalisation
  • The unparalleled concentration of area expertise among SOAS' academic staff, covering Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, together with their diasporas
  • The opportunity to engage with numerous other modules at SOAS, such as the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, the Food Studies Centre, the Centre for Ethnographic Theory, and the Centre for Media Studies, among many others
  • The vibrant intellectual and cultural life of the School, the University of London, and the city of London itself-a global tourist destination inviting study on a daily basis

The degree is suitable for students with an interest in anthropological approaches to diverse aspects of tourism as a cultural force in the contemporary world, from sustainable development to cultural heritage.

Our students come from all over the world, following BA study, an MA degree in another field, or work and travel experience. This combination of diverse backgrounds and skills creates a uniquely stimulating intellectual environment.

  • View a sampling of past MA dissertation titles
  • View profiles of alumni and current students

  • Overview duration: 2 years full-time or 4 years part-time.

  • Fees 2019/20 UK/EU fees -

Who should take this course

Interested Students.

Course content


Students must take 315 credits in total, comprised of 255 taught credits (45 of which are taught abroad as part of a Summer School) and a 60-credit dissertation as outlined below.

In their first year, students on this two-year Intensive Language programme take 60 credits of intensive language instruction and 60 credits in the discipline. During the summer, they participate in a Summer School abroad. In the second year, they take another 30 language credits as well as 30 credits in the discipline; they also complete their dissertation in the discipline.

Students are also required to audit 15PANH002 Ethnographic Research Methods , i.e. to attend lectures for this module (without attending seminars or submitting any assessments). The module does not count towards the total of 315 credits.

There are two different pathways for the Anthropology of Travel and Tourism component of this programme: one for students without a background in Anthropology, and one for students with previous knowledge of the subject.

About Course Provider

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to develop ideas for a fairer and more sustainable world. We welcome the brightest minds from over 130 different countries, creating a community that is diverse, vibrant and multinational. From day one at our central London campus, our students are encouraged to challenge conventional views and think globally – and that’s one of the reasons why they develop careers that make a real difference. A SOAS student is typically passionate about their subject, opts to learn a second language, loves to learn, to travel, to be surprised; and is interested and engaged with the world around them.