Department of Anthropology
Applied Anthropology at Macquarie University
How does Culture Matter?
The Master of Applied Anthropology is a coursework postgraduate degree with a substantial research element. The degree is intended to help current and future professionals understand the cultural impacts of and cultural influences in government and corporate policy. It covers both the 'traditional' domain of applied anthropology -- development and aid, public health, human rights, refugees and migration -- and the applications of cultural understanding and ethnography in international relations, urban planning, design and marketing. Students thus learn to apply anthropological theory and ethnographic methodology in a wide range of professional settings.
The degree is most appropriate for students with a social science (or related subject) background and an interest in culture, society and contemporary development issues. Applicants usually have a bachelor degree with a substantial social science component, although work and other relevant experience will be taken into account.
The research focus of the degree means that students gain valuable hands-on experience in ethnographic methodologies, an increasingly sought after cluster of skills in fields as diverse as international development, policy formulation, public health, community work, market research and product development. The MAA therefore trains students in a range of skills that they will find useful in their later careers, whether they choose to work in government, NGO or private sectors.
Graduates of the MAA receive a named Master degree (a Master of Applied Anthropology) rather than a generic Master of Arts degree, indicating a specialist and 'professional' knowledge in a specific discipline. Masters graduates from the Department of Anthropology have gone on to successful careers within international aid, local and federal government, community organisations, the media and further research in Australia and overseas.