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

United Kingdom, - London
Dates flexible
Course Type
Postgraduate Course

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.

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.

Learn about the Anthropology modules (courses) for this programme.

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: 1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time.
  • Fees 2019/20 UK/EU fees -

Who should take this course

Interested Students.

Course content

Structure Programme Overview:

The programme consists of 180 credits in total: 120 credits of modules and a dissertation of 10,000 words at 60 credits.

All students are expected to take the core and compulsory modules listed below, except for students with a previous Anthropology degree, who are not required to take the Theoretical Approaches to Social Anthropology module but may wish to select this as part of their 120 credits from the options lists. All students must audit the compulsory module, Ethnographic Research Methods during term 1. This will not count towards the 180 credits. Students will be expected to attend only lectures and do not attend seminars or submit any assessments. Students may choose to take this module (worth 15 credits) as part of their 120 credits from the option lists.

Students with a previous Anthropology degree will be required to take 30 credits from the Anthropology and Sociology options list. All students can select the remaining credits from the Department of Anthropology and Sociology or relevant options from other departments or a language module. Note that students are NOT limited to the modules in other departments listed below; additional options may be available on approval.

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.