Research within this area centres on ethnobiological knowledge systems and other systems of environmental knowledge and is supported by members of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity.
We research local responses to deforestation, climate change, natural resource management, medical ethnobotany, the impacts of mobility and displacement and the interface between conservation and development. The Centre has an Ethnobiology Lab and Ethnobotanical Garden, and extensive collaborative links, including with the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), and Eden Project.
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. Progress is carefully monitored through the duration of the programme.
The first year includes coursework, especially methods modules for students who need this additional training. The remaining years involve field or library research and writing up. In general, you work closely with one supervisor throughout your research, although you have a committee of three (including your primary supervisor) overseeing your progress.
As a School recognised for its excellence in research we are one of the partners in the South East Doctoral Training Centre, which is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This relationship ensures that successful completion of our courses is sufficient preparation for research in the various fields of social anthropology. Many of our students go on to do PhD research.
The School has a very good record for postgraduate employment and academic continuation. Studying anthropology, you develop an understanding of the complexity of all actions, beliefs and discourse by acquiring strong methodological and analytical skills. Anthropologists are increasingly being hired by companies and organisations that recognise the value of employing people who understand the complexities of societies and organisations.
Many of our alumni teach in academic positions in universities across the world, whilst others work for a wide range of organisations.