Anthropology at Kent is renowned for its dynamic postgraduate community and its contribution to emerging and established anthropological fields. Our regional expertise and breadth of thematic interests enables us to offer supervision across a wide range of topics within the fields social, biological, and visual anthropology.
The PhD is a three-year full-time and five-year part-time programme. You research and write a thesis of a maximum of 100,000 words under the supervision of an academic team. Students participate in the vibrant seminar-culture of the School and have opportunities to meet and interact with researchers who lead major anthropological fields.
The first year includes training in research methodology and, in the case of social anthropology, in the art of writing ethnography. The remaining years involve field or library research and writing up. In general, you work closely with two supervisors throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress.
We also offer a PhD in Ethnobiology
Although sometimes we have specific PhD research projects such as ESRC-funded CASE awards in which the PhD project has already been specified, most of our research students choose their own research topics. Once you have decided on the nature of your project, you should then contact the member of staff in the School whose expertise and interests most closely match your area of research and ask them if they will act as your supervisor.
You then work with your proposed supervisor on refining your research proposal which provides the starting point for your subsequent research. Usually each student has one supervisor but occasionally particular projects require two supervisors. Sometimes co-supervision is provided by a lecturer in another discipline, such as Film, Sociology, or International Relations, but usually the co-supervisor is another member of the School of Anthropology and Conservation.
Postgraduate research can take place in any subject area that qualified members of the School are able to supervise. For further information, please refer to staff details on our web pages.
Students meet (or, while in the field, make contact) with their supervisor(s) several times over the course of each term. These meetings involve intensive discussion of the way your project is developing, the readings that have been done and that need to be done, and the way field research and writing-up is progressing. There is, in addition to your supervisor(s), a supervisory committee that, while not intensively involved in the routine development of the research, provides backup, ensures appropriate progress, and handles some of the administration.
The University’s Graduate School co-ordinates the Research Development Programme for research students, providing access to a wide range of lectures and workshops on training, personal development planning and career development skills.
This programme is one-year full time or two-year part-time. You research and write a thesis under the supervision of one or two academic staff. We have a vibrant research group whose interests stretch across the range of social anthropology.
We also offer an MSc by Research in Biological Anthropology.
In anthropology we pride ourselves on having a close-knit group of research students who know and can approach any member of staff for help and assistance. We have a varied programme of seminars and symposia for students and staff, given by members of the School and visitors.
There is a special seminar run for research students in which advanced training is provided and students practise presentations and also present chapters of their draft thesis. Research students are encouraged to audit courses from the taught Master’s (eg, in field methods) and sometimes from the undergraduate programmes.
There are also special training courses for research students run by the Graduate School, Information Services and the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT). The School has an IT officer who can provide assistance and advice on IT matters and a statistics helpdesk is available.