Gain a deeper knowledge of the development of human societies.


Students must take three of the available courses and complete a research report of approximately 20-30 000 words. Students must take the two core courses ‘The Craft of Anthropology' and 'South African Ethnography' if they have not already done so as Honours students. Attendance at the weekly Wits Anthropology Seminar Series is compulsory.


ANTH4009/7018 - Select Topics 'Anthropology of Art and Method'

The module takes as its starting point a provocation from the panel discussion 1984 and Beyond (Playboy Magazine 1963 June and July issue), which suggests that if we're to discover aliens, it would not fall to engineers and hard scientist, but to anthropologist to define these aliens. It goes further and points out that it would not be long before they recognize the anthropologist's limitations and bring in the science fiction writers to do the job. The module brings together a series of disparate texts.

ANTH7020 - Anthropology and Ethnographies of South Africa

The course explores the anthropology and ethnographies of sub-Saharan Africa. It does so by exploring different genres/forms of what might legitimately be considered an "ethnographic" text in an African context.  

ANTH7026 - Craft of Anthropology

This course is designed to teach Anthropology Honours and Masters students the craft of ethnography.  The course will give students the opportunity to engage ethnography through:

  • Reading some excerpts of its classic iterations
  • Practical exercises

The course will also serve as a workshop for students to prepare research proposals for their degrees. 

ANTH7024 - Medical Anthropology in the Global World

Medical Anthropology helps make sense of suffering and recovery as a social experience. It carries us into refugee camps, birthing centres, factories, boardrooms, rehabilitation centres and schools.  

ANTH7029 - Sociocultural Theory

Social theory, cultural theory, and critical theory, often just plain ‘theory’: these terms denote a literature that lies between philosophies on the one hand and empirical work conducted in the humanities and social sciences on the other. The thread that runs throughout is a critical attention to the notion of the human: anthropology’s defining object but one that is deeply problematised by ongoing political and intellectual developments.

ANTH7007 - Identity & Culture

This course covers key questions around identity and culture. As the notion of identity proliferates, it troubles anthropology as a discipline which emerged out of the Enlightenment period where classifications of persons became a raison d’etre of the discipline. Seeking to understand, unravel and possibly reverse primordial, essentialist and ethnocentric descriptors in processes of identification, whilst attempting to think through the mobilisation of hard notions of identity in everyday social practice, is a daunting task for contemporary anthropologists. Identity and culture are two of the most ubiquitous terms in anthropology.

ANTH7027 - Ethnographic Analysis and Writing

ANTH7013 - Research Topic

Entry Requirements

Students will be considered for admission to Masters in Anthropology if they have marks of at least 65% or higher for Honours in Anthropology. Students with lower marks may be considered with appropriate motivation.

University Application Process

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment. Click here to see an overview of the Wits applications process.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

International students, please check this section.

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University Fees and Funding

Click here to see the current average tuition fees. The Fees site also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal.

For information about postgraduate funding opportunities, including the postgraduate merit award, click here. Please also check your School website for bursary opportunities. NRF bursaries: The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a wide range of opportunities in terms of bursaries and fellowships to students pursuing postgraduate studies. External bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.