Please contact our programme coordinator
The consecutive Master‘s Programme in Anthropology provides the opportunity to specialise in a variety of thematic and regional areas. This programme is characterised by a combination of theoretical research with practice-oriented approaches. The MA is open to international students. Language of instruction is English but a few non-compulsory courses are also offered in German.
The focus of the Master‘s Programme in Anthropology is cultural difference and practice in local and global contexts. Our aim is to provide students with an anthropologically informed description and understanding of commonalities and differences of human ways of life and thinking. This includes in particular the ability to critically question seemingly universal models of thought, value orientations, and practices. Throughout the course, students are provided with a comprehensive grounding in classical as well as contemporary debates in social and cultural anthropology and are introduced to the distinctive research methods of the discipline. Thus, our Master‘s Programme deepens regional, theoretical, and methodological knowledge, and enables students to pursue anthropological academic work and problem-solving on their own.
Please have a look at the information system of Heidelberg University if you want to know which courses are offered in the Master's Programme at the present term.
Our brochure provides general information about the Master's Programme.
Course of Studies and Contents
The general MA Programme in Anthropology offers:
- Intensification and reinforcement of basic theories and methods of Cultural and Social Anthropology (Module 1). We seek to understand the classics of anthropology and relate them to present discussions, theories and methods.
- Specialisation in one or more theoretical areas, and/or a geographical region (Modules 2-3).
- Promotion and supervision of individual research projects, thus providing a sound methodological education (Module 4).
- Acquiring interdisciplinary competence and excellent opportunities for learning languages, including European languages (Module 5).
Anthropology at Heidelberg University
Anthropology at Heidelberg University is located at three institutes and thus offers a wide range of possibilities: The Institute of Anthropology, the Department of Anthropology at the South Asia Institute, and the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies. While the Institute of Anthropology focuses on Southeast Asia and Oceania, the South Asia Institute with its eight departments offers a comprehensive curriculum on the cultures, histories, literature, politics and economy of the South Asian region. In addition the Karl Jaspers Centre, with its focus on transcultural studies, offers students avenues for comparison with East Asia and access to current, innovative, and internationally linked research. Students of the MA in Anthropoloogy can also take courses offered by the programmes 'Master of Health and Society in South Asia' located at the South Asia Institute and the 'Master of Transcultural Studies' offered by the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies.
Regional and Theoretical Foci
Anthropology in Heidelberg offers a wide spectrum of theoretical fields with the core areas Ritual and Performance, Medical Anthropology, Media Anthropology, Political Ecology (environment) and Nature-Culture relations. Furhter foci are Intercultural Ethics, Migration and Urban Anthropology, Transcultural Studies, Social Structures, Gender, and the Anthropology of Aging. Regional specializations include South Asia, South East Asia and Oceania. There exist numerous possibilities to learn other European and Non-European languages. The Institute of Anthropology offers introductory courses in Thai, Bahasa Indonesia and Tok Pisin while the South Asia Institute offers numerous South Asian languages.
Chances and perspectives
The MA Programme in Anthropology is a prerequisite for the PhD, and also prepares students for a number of professional areas of work such as:
- research and teaching at universities and other scholarly institutions
- international development
- peace and conflict research
- youth and adult education
- culture management
- cultural mediation, e.g. working with migrants and refugees and in the health care system
- inter-cultural education
- international organizations
- media and publishing
- museums and exhibition activities
- public relations, advertising, tourism
- organization and market research
Heidelberg University, a Centre of Excellence
The Ruprecht Karls University of Heidelberg is not only the oldest German,but also a leading international university. It has been officially recognized as one of eleven universities of 'excellence' in Germany by the German Research Council and the German Council of Science and Humanities, and is ranked among the top ten universities in Europe by the Third European Report on Science & Technology Indicators. The university offers a broad range of disciplines and has numerous international partners. It is also part of the Metropolitan area of „Rhine-Neckar“, with other universities nearby (for example the University of Mannheim), and is situated in one of the most culturally interesting regions of Germany.
Admission to the Master's Course requires the following:
- A BA degree (or another equivalent university degree) with at least 70 credit points in Anthropology (approximately 50% of the degree), or a degree in a course of studies comparable in topics and theoretical orientation
- Applicants need to prove very good proficiency in English, i.e. at least level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL), by means of either one of the following tests:
a minimum score of 80 in the internet-based or 570 in the paper-based TOEFL
a minimum score of 6.5 in the IELTS
a certificate of the language centre of Heidelberg University with "good" (2.0) or better
Knowledge in one more foreign language.
can enroll directly (without prior application) till one week before classes at the Central University Administration. However, they need to contact the course director who needs to certify that the admission requirements are met.
For further details and information contact the course coordinator.
can only apply at the International Relations Office. The closing date for the application is June 15 for the winter semester, November 15 for the summer semester. Please use this Application form. Further details and information on the application can only be given by the International Relations Office.
Further information here.
Forms / Downloads
- Plagiarism declaration (please submit the signed declaration together with you term papers)
- Style sheet for the first page of term papers
- Brochure MA Anthropology
- Application form for the MA Anthropology
- Examination regulations MA Anthropology (only in German; in the version of December 03, 2015)
- Examination regulations MA Anthropology (only in German, in the version of October 02, 2014)
- Old module handbook MA Anthropology