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PhD Programme in Social Anthropology

The field of research for social anthropology is, in the broadest sense, the comparative study of cultural expressions. Anthropology’s primary objective is to comprehend peoples’ ways of understanding and organizing their world from their own point of view. Understanding the perspectives of others in turn enables the researcher to formulate critical reflections upon the taken-for-granted assumptions of their own society.

The first year of the programme consists of courses that may be designed by both the student and the teacher and these take place alongside individual tutoring. Usually, the student then conducts independent ethnographic fieldwork during the second year. The remaining two years are dedicated to the writing up of a doctoral thesis.

The goal of the PhD programme is for the student to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills necessary to be able to conduct independent research in Social Anthropology and to make an original contribution to the discipline in the form of a doctoral thesis. The programme is also designed to enable the doctoral student to apply such knowledge and skills in either post-doctoral research or other professional fields.

For more detailed information see:

General syllabus for the PhD programme in Social Anthropology

PhD studies in Social Anthropology usually include an extended period of fieldwork abroad.

Announcement of vacancies

Announcement of vacancies on postgraduate level takes place once a year, in December. Please note that the School of Global Studies will not have vacancies each year. Vacancies are advertised on both the School of Global Studies website, and on the University website for job opportunities.

Eligibility, application and admission

The general entry requirements are the same for all of the Department's postgraduate programmes. Please find more information about the general entry requirements, funding, admission, the selection procedure and how to submit an application at Application and admissions.

In addition to the general entry requirements there are specific entry requirements:

  • A minimum of 90 credits degree awarded at advanced level (second cycle courses and programmes) in Social Anthropology or the equivalent, from Sweden or another country.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English. Depending on the applicant’s regional specialization, proficiency in other languages may also be required.

Ranking and Selection

The selection of applicants is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s ability to develop intellectually through the research education, and the applicant’s ability to complete the chosen research task within the period of time given. Evaluation will be based upon the scientific quality of the applicant’s BA and/or MA theses, or their equivalents, and of any supplementary documentation submitted by the applicant. Assessment is also made of the applicant’s project outline, academic performance at undergraduate level, previous experience (field work, competence in foreign languages), and research specialization.

Research projects worldwide

Read about our research projects in Social Anthropology.

FAQ - PhD studies at SGS


Research Administration:
Gustav Rudd
Tel: 46 (0)31-786 4868

Gunilla Blomqvist Sköldberg
Tel: 46 (0)31-786 4319

Director of PhD Studies:
Camilla Orjuela
Tel: 46 (0)31-786 5873

Coordinators for PhD Programmes:
Environmental Social Sciences
Annica Kronsell

Peace and Development Research
Johan Karlsson Schaffer
Tel: 46 (0)31-786 5931

Social Anthropology
Lisa Åkesson
Tel: 46 (0)31-786 5336

Page Manager: Camilla Orjuela|Last update: 12/10/2019

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