Social Anthropology

Area of Studies: Social Sciences
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Mode of Studies: Full-time studies
Length of Programme: 2 academic years (120 ECTS)
Name of Qualification: Master of Arts in Anthropology

Access Requirements

The prospective students are expected to hold a BA or its equivalent in the fields of social sciences or humanities.

Programme Objectives and Competences Acquired

Master in Social Anthropology, the first anthropology program lunched in the Baltic States – gives the opportunity to become an expert in cross-cultural analysis and a mediator of socio-cultural encounters.

The Programme offers an intensive introduction to contemporary anthropology. It is open for graduates with little or no previous training in anthropology. It is also designed to provide the students with a thorough theoretical and methodological grounding in anthropology essential for attaining non-judgmental understanding and appreciation of the diversity of other cultures, significance of cross-cultural perspectives and intercultural understanding.

The Programme combines classroom and experiential field-based learning activities that are adopted to each student’s career plans. The Programme teaches students how to conduct independent scientific research and ethnographic fieldwork as well as apply other methods of inquiry.

The MA Degree in Social Anthropology will enable the student to:

  • carry out empirical research based on qualitative methodology, applying participant observation and other anthropological fieldwork methods;
  • design and conduct research on socio-cultural encounters between different global, transnational, national, regional and local development perspectives, majority and minority interests in conditions of social change, social mobility, and multiculturalism;
  • address, both politically and practically, problems arising from socio-cultural differences as well as monitor stigmatized and/or marginalized and other segregated groups representing the interests of these groups in intercultural mediation;
  • mediate in the fields of national and international cooperation by developing strategies and programmes for the implementation of sustainable development in education, public health, culture, ethnic relations, environment and cultural heritage management;
  • study in PhD programmes and teach social and cultural anthropology in college and university level programmes.

Certificate in Intercultural Understanding (Southern Illinois University, USA)

An international cooperation between VMU and Southern Illinois University (SIU) offers an opportunity for  the Programme students to attain the SIU Certificate in Intercultural Understanding. Students may complete the 24 ECTS credits of the Module of Study in Intercultural Understanding offered by the Department of Anthropology, SIU, by taking a total of four courses given at VMU campus as part of their degree studies. The Certificate from SIU is issued alongside their MA Degree from VMU.

Career Opportunities

This Programme is primarily geared towards the student who plans to continue her/his graduate studies towards a Ph.D. in Anthropology or in Sociology (available at VMU at the Doctoral School in Sociology) or seeks career advancement in either private or public sectors in human resource development, international business, cultural resource management or work within various organizations as well as international, state and local governmental agencies, etc.

Career opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Project planner and manager;
  • Public policy researcher;
  • Cultural resources manager;
  • Cultural sustainability analyst;
  • Anthropological consultant to cross-cultural agencies;
  • Urban and rural development advisor;
  • Public health advisor;
  • Cultural heritage and sustainable development consultant;
  • Migration, refugee and ethnic minority problems’ analyst;
  • International (cultural, educational, public health, defense) organizations and nongovernmental agencies consultant.




ECTS Credits

Compulsory courses (6)



Contemporary Anthropological Theories

SAT 5001


Research Methods in Social Anthropology

SAT 5002


Political Anthropology of Modern Society

SAT 5003


Regional Anthropology

SAT 5004


Anthropology of Postsocialism

SAT 5005


Ethnicity, Migration and Politics of Identity

SAT 5007


Optional courses



Visual Anthropology

SAT 5006


Applied Anthropology

SAT 6001


Anthropology of Globalization and Anti-Globalism

SAT 5008


Social and Cultural Identity

SAT 5009


Medical Sociology and Anthropology

SAT 5017


Sociology and Anthropology of Religion

SAT 5010


Economic Anthropology

SAT 5011


Special Course

SAT 5013


Sociology and Anthropology of Gender

SOC 5004


Sociology of Civil Society

SOC 6001


Anthropology of Environment

SAT 5019


Ritual Theory

ETN 6014


Research Projects (2)



Research Project Design

SAT 5012


Pilot Fieldwork

SAT 6002


Master’s Thesis



Master’s Thesis

SAT 6003