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Takanari

Anthropology of Development. --> Soas? Sussex? Cambridge?

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Hello people,

Could you help me a bit if you have any experience of studying anthropology at SOAS, Sussex and/or Cambridge?

I applied for taught master's degrees of anthropology of development at Sussex, Soas and Cambridge (Mphil in Social Anthropology for Cambridge). I got offers from Sussex and Soas, and hopefully will get one from Cambridge as well.

However, I'm totally at a loss which of those 3 schools to choose. Each has its own strength: Sussex strongest in the specific field (anthropology of development), Soas strongest in knowledge of area studies (my specialty will be Southeast/East Asia), whereas Cambridge strongest in theoretical tradition.

Which school to choose has to coordinate with my career plan, of course; I'm much interested in practical development work, which gives a good reason to choose Sussex, but at the same time I'm also strongly motivated for theoretical pursuit, which pushes me to go for Cambridge. As a middle way, I'm being tempted to choose Soas, but I'm not confident enough to make such an easy decision.

After all, I want to give the first priority to how relevant a school's academic standing and faculty competence are to my academic interest. My academic interests are interrelated fields of development, post-colonialism, urbanisation/urbanism, social transformation, and globalisation.

As I live in Tokyo, I can't get to have much info about each of those 3 schools, especially in terms of academic atmosphere that each school's faculty holds. Could someone who has had actual experiences please share with me your insight?

Many thanks in advance.

Takanari

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I'm not so sure about the development anthro program in particular, but it does seem like Sussex has a really strong development focus. I know a woman, also of Japanese nationality, who earned her MA in Development from Sussex. She completed a six-month internship with the UN as a student and has been working with JICA ever since. Many of those in her cohort similarly worked/work for the UN.

If you have a similar goal then I'm betting that there will be many resources (e.g. IDS) and solid institutional knowledge at Sussex.

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Dear charier

Thank you for sharing your views.

Someone who studies anthro (PhD) at SOAS also said that Sussex is all about development and it has virtually no reputation for anthropology per se. That was a bit shocking (if more or less exaggerated) opinion, but probably I should think of Sussex more as a centre of development studies than of anthropology, even though MA Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation is an anthropology course. I think you regard Sussex in a similar way as well.

How did you decide, if any, between different schools? This is just a personal question though.

Takanari

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