Explore key debates and issues in contemporary anthropology.
Social anthropology explores the diversity and complexity of human societies in both Western and non-Western contexts. This combined honours degree will provide critical insights into how people live and how society is structured in different cultures.
What is the relationship between conservation and conflict? How is heritage and national identity politicised and mobilised in society? How do humans understand and conceptualize relatedness? Why do big pharmaceutical companies promote the medicalisation of contemporary societies? These are some of the questions you might consider in this course.
More generally, the course focuses on classic anthropological themes such as kinship, witchcraft and indigenous cosmologies, along with contemporary disciplinary concerns such as migration, tourism, gender and sexuality, health and medicine, and knowledge and science. Theoretical and methodological issues in social anthropology, and the discipline’s policy applications, are also explored in detail.
Study with us and you’ll join a highly dynamic course, taught by staff engaged in world-class research. We run some of the UK’s most innovative modules such as: ‘Being Human’, which explores the human condition from social and biological perspectives; ‘Fieldwork: Theory, Practice and Product’, where experienced anthropologists explain how a project reaches fruition; and ‘Cultural Politics on Tour’, where you will study tourists, their motivations and influences through a series of field trips, films, lectures, and discussion.
In your first year, you'll be introduced to the theoretical traditions of the discipline as well as its core subject areas, including the family, political systems, cosmological and belief systems. A focus on classical ethnographic field studies will help you to see how key areas of anthropology have developed.
In the second year, your knowledge of the discipline will be expanded through a range of engaging core modules. Examples include ‘Cultural Politics on Tour’; ‘Kinship: Comparative and Contemporary Studies;’ ‘Theory: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’, and ‘Research Methods in Anthropology’.
In your final year, you will embark on your own unique supervised ethnographic project, a dissertation that brings together your skillset and training to critically engage with a question or issue of your choice. Specialist modules at this stage might include human-animal relations; anthropological aspects of psychological practices; understanding hunter gatherers; and cultural themes and beliefs concerning life and death.
Here are examples of the modules we currently offer:
Anthropology Independent Study
Anthropology of Life and Death
Culture, "Madness" and Medicalisation
Hunter Gatherers and Human Evolution
Food and Society
Sociology of Health and Medicine
Sociology of Travel and Tourism
Sociology of Death
Doing Social Research
Conservation, People and Wildlife: South African Field Course
Gender and the Body in Classical Art
Islam and Women
Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.
Our graduates go on to work in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental and nature conservation, politics, marketing, journalism and tourism.
The University is currently undertaking a review of the curriculum of this programme to ensure it continues to reflect the latest updates and new developments in the subject area. This will mean that the content and structure of the programme will be different from that described above. Please contact us for more information.
GCSE requirement: Maths, Grade C
3 years (full-time)
This course offers the opportunity to undertake a semester abroad as part of your degree.