Welcome Message from the Head of the Department, Dr Mark Maguire
Here I wish to answer some basic questions that you may have, such as: What is Anthropology? What is our Department like? How can I study Anthropology? What anthropological research is taking place in NUI Maynooth?
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is the study of humankind in all its aspects. At Maynooth, our emphasis is on the comparative study of human societies and cultures. As a social science, anthropology seeks to discover and explain the patterns of behaviour that have produced the astounding variety of human cultures. Anthropology endeavours to understand and interpret other cultures, thus it is uniquely able to foster better understanding of differences such as those of ethnicity, gender, generation, or across the lines of wealth or politics. Social and Cultural Anthropology is subdivided into specialities which examine particular realms of human experience—such as medical anthropology, language and culture, the study of religion, psychological anthropology, and so on. Even within these fields, however, there is always attention to connections that span the discipline, such as a methodological focus on ethnography (descriptive/analytic accounts based on living with a subject group for an extended period of time) and comparison among the many cultures within and among societies. These approaches distinguish Anthropology from other social science disciplines, and are central to our department at Maynooth. Find out more?
What is our Department like?
NUI Maynooth is home to the only Department of Anthropology in the Republic of Ireland. Our Department was established in 1983 and since then has gained an international reputation for the quality of its research and the teaching and learning experience it provides. Located in the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Department has ten academic staff members, three post-doctoral fellows, six Teaching Assistants/Tutors and two half-time executive assistants. Find out more?
How can I study Anthropology?
Each year more than 700 undergraduate students study Anthropology as a subject within their Joint Honours degree where Anthropology is taken with two other Arts subjects in year one and one other subject thereafter. In 2007 we introduced a Single Honours programme in Anthropology, which allows students to take the maximum number of modules on offer.
The Department has approximately 50 postgraduate students studying within a range of programmes: the PhD programme in Anthropology; the MA in Anthropology; the MA in Anthropology and Development; an MA CREOLE (delivered with EU partner universities); and the Postgraduate Certificate in Anthropology and Development.
To find out more about our programmes, select the links on the left.
What anthropological research is taking place in NUI Maynooth?
Like all Anthropology departments, there is a great diversity of themes and regional interests represented in ongoing research by people here in NUI Maynooth. Currently, Anthropologists in NUI Maynooth are contributing to greater understandings of issues ranging from famine to drug use, from international migration to HIV, and from linguistics to consumer cultures. Anthropologists in NUI Maynooth have carried out fieldwork in such places as the Sudan, disadvantaged areas of Dublin’s inner city, Papua New Guinea, Scandinavia, and we work with mobile populations, such as refugees and immigrants, who have moved through regions and across borders, from the US/Mexico border to the Polish/Ukrainian border. This diversity of research interests is well represented in the large numbers of books, scholarly articles and other publications by academic and research staff members.
To find out more, click on the Research link at the top of the page.
Welcome once again to the Department of Anthropology at National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Dr Mark Maguire
Head of Department