Social- och kulturantropologi

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The fundamental goal of anthropological research is to examine micro-level social life as well as global-level phenomena from a comparative point of view, thereby continuously expanding the boundaries of the researcher’s previous competence.

 In the teaching of anthropology at the University of Helsinki a strong emphasis is placed on the tradition of fieldwork research through which modern anthropology is connected to the central questions and issues of sciences concerned with culture, society and human behaviour. The early stages of anthropological studies focus on research traditions and the philosophical and theoretical questions which have been asked throughout the history of the discipline. The purpose of this part of the programme is to ensure that every student becomes acquainted with the research fields of modern anthropology, its research methods and ethnographic studies across the globe.

The study of anthropology at the University of Helsinki comprises three academic degrees. The Bachelor of Social Science typically takes three years with a total of at least 180 ECTS; this includes introductory and intermediate courses in social and cultural anthropology and an additional 50-60 ECTS in minor subjects. The Master of Social Science degree comprises 120 ECTS of advanced studies, ethnographic fieldwork and a written thesis based on empirical findings; it is expected to take approximately two years. The most important element of the Doctoral degree is approximately one year of fieldwork resulting in a supervised dissertation, with an additional 50 ECTS of coursework or supervised literature reports connected with the candidate’s ethnographic sphere of inquiry. This should take approximately four years.

A major part of the expertise accruing from anthropological studies is the competence to work in a wide range of different fields and professional environments, along with the ability to come up with solutions to unpredictable problems in any situation. In addition to finding positions in diverse research initiatives, anthropologists are employed in international organizations and government administration, as cultural experts in the corporate world and have found niches in fields such as journalism and other communication media. Anthropologists are required as teachers both in universities and other educational institutions, and are in particular demand in non-government organizations, museums and welfare bodies.

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