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M.A. Social and Cultural Anthropology

In Winter Semester 2022/23  the Master's Programme (formerly known in German under the name "Ethnologie") started in English as "Social and Cultural Anthropology" with NEW admission requirements.

NEW Admission Requirements from Winter 2024/25 onwards:

  • overall grade of 2.5 (or the foreign equivalent of the German grading system) in your Bachelor's degree
  • English language skills at the B2 level

NO LONGER required:

  • proof of German language skills (DSH-2 level) is no longer required.

Admission to the Master's programme in Social and Cultural Anthropology is open to students who have obtained a Bachelor's degree (or a comparable degree) in the subjects of Ethnology, Social or Cultural Anthropology, provided these subjects are anchored in ethnological / anthropological (methodological: ethnographic) subject traditions.

Bachelor graduates (as well as graduates with a comparable degree) from affine subjects can also be admitted after a case-by-case assessment. In these cases, at least 40 CP must be available in relevant subject studies.

More information see "How to Apply"

At a Glance

We offer regional specialisations in:

  • Africa (especially East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa),
  • Asia (especially East and Southeast Asia),
  • the Mediterranean
  • the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
  • Ethnography at home

You can specialise in the following cultural and thematic fields:

  • Anthropology of the Contemporary
  • Comparative Cultural Research: Socialities, Religions and Ethics
  • Anthropology of Socio-Economic Organisation and Environmental Anthropology,
  • Media Anthropology, and
  • Anthropology of Globalisation and Translocal Mobilities

You receive in-depth training in ethographic field methods and anthropological writing.

The Master's programme provides the following key qualifications, among others:

  • Excellent intercultural competence,
  • Professional expertise on socio-political public debates,
  • Profound analytical judgement and critical, networked thinking, and
  • Reflexive handling of cultural and social theories, ethnographic methods and materials


Research-focussed Training

The Master's programme offers students a research-focussed training that is oriented towards the current regional and theoretical research foci of the professors and research assistants to take up contemporary issues of political and social relevance.

Broad Range of Courses

'Climate change', 'Debt', 'Food and Food Security' can be seminar themes as well as 'Transnational Migration and its Impact on Social Relations' or 'Diaspora and Islam'. The wide range of courses is regularly enriched by e-learning modules (e.g. 'Comparative Cultural Studies' or 'Anthropology of Social Organisation').

In addition, our staff teach contemporary anthropological theories, research methodologies and history of science at an advanced level.

Broad Methodological Training

A solid and diverse training in methods occupies a central place at the Cologne Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology. It enables students to conduct their own field research, engage in vocational practice or study abroad.


Own Research Projects

In advanced module (2) , you will develop your own research questions under the supervision of a professor and draft a research design for your own projects.

Finally, in addition to advanced techniques of scientific work, students in the Master's programme acquire further key competences through internships, research stays or professionally relevant courses. 

International Research Networks and Innovative Teaching Opportunities

The Department's involvement in international and national research networks and a large number of ongoing externally funded projects offer Master's students the opportunity to participate in current research projects.

Within the framework of partnerships with universities in Germany and abroad, field research internships take place regularly, which serve to practice a differentiated methodology and impart an extensive range of key qualifications.

Contact: Master's degree application

Downloads for MA S&C Anthropology