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Key facts

Start dates

January 2024 / September 2024 / January 2025 / September 2025



Course length

Full time: 9 months

Part time: 18 months


On our Graduate Diploma in Anthropology, you will explore the holistic and comparative breadth of anthropology. And study humans from a variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives.

Our course allows you to gain a qualification in anthropology at advanced undergraduate level as:

  • a graduate from another discipline
  • or if you have equivalent qualifications or work experience.

We are one of the few universities in the UK to teach social and biological anthropology side by side.

You will be part of a dynamic community of research scholars undertaking internationally recognised and world-leading research. And benefit from excellent learning resources, both at Oxford Brookes and at Oxford’s museums and libraries including:

  • the Bodleian Library
  • the Radcliffe Science Library
  • the Pitt Rivers Museum
  • the Museum of Natural History.

You also have the option to go on a field trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands.

Male Anthropology GradDip student in a lecture on campus at Oxford Brookes University

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification is required. However, all applications are considered on their merits and we will consider applicants who do not meet the required level, if they can demonstrate through qualifications or experience, they have the knowledge, capabilities and commitment necessary.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Applications for the Graduate Diploma in Anthropology should be made direct to the University.

Application checklist:

  • application form, fully completed and signed
  • a personal statement (section 10 of application form)
  • one recent academic reference
  • second reference (academic, employer or character reference)
  • copy of degree certificate(s) and/or course transcripts
  • English Language Certificate.


Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Learning and assessment

Throughout the course, you will receive intensive training in selected aspects of anthropology at advanced undergraduate level.

If you wish to continue with anthropology at masters or a higher level, such as PhD, this course can constitute a conversion course.

You can choose to follow a pathway focusing on social or biological anthropology, or take advantage of our broad expertise by studying both.

There are two compulsory modules that you will be able to choose from our three core components in theory and methods. You will also put together a programme of six additional modules according to your aims and interests, including an option for independent study with an individual academic supervisor.

Group of students studying together

Start this course in January

You have the option to start this course in January. You will study a range of modules between January and May. During the summer months of June, July and August you will study further modules. Between September and December you will complete your final modules.

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Choose 2 Compulsory Modules from the 3 listed below

  • The Study of Human Evolution - semester 1

    Considers the relationship between the various biological stages in human evolution, changes in society and behaviour, as interpreted from the material record. Special emphasis will be given to developing an understanding of the role played by the palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographical context of human evolution and behavioural change.

  • The Study of Social Anthropology Theory - Semester 1

    In this module, you’ll gain a strong knowledge of social anthropology theory. You’ll engage with abstract theories, and learn how to apply them to different contexts. You’ll use ethnography (the study of people and their cultures), and real life examples to understand how ideas in social anthropology apply to everyday life. You’ll look at the time and place in which key theories are produced. You’ll gain core analytical skills as you grasp how social anthropology theory is shaped by everyday experiences, and their historical and geographical contexts.

  • The Study of Anthropology in Practice - Semester 2

    You will have two key aims on this module. You will gain the basic practical skills you need to conduct your own independent research. From a conceptual point to planning your project approach. Where you'll gather data, analyse and present your findings. Helping you develop key employment skills. And will provide you with preparation for forming a research proposal to further your postgraduate study.

    Also it will help you to develop your theoretical skills in Anthropology. Giving you the conceptual tools to read and critique other anthropologists’ work. 


Optional modules

Ritual and Society

What are rituals, and why do we perform them? In this module, you’ll explore the key role of rituals in society. You’ll look at various human communities as you consider the origins of ritual, and its different definitions. You’ll gain valuable critical skills as you explore key anthropological concepts, including:

  • rites of passage
  • liminality
  • anti-structure
  • communities

The Study of European Societies

The relevance of an anthropological approach to the study of European societies with reference to both urban and rural sectors.

Africa: Social and Economic Transformations

In this module, you’ll explore key themes in African cultures - from the colonial era to today. You’ll explore how anthropology can shed light on experiences of social and economic transformation across the continent. You’ll dig into detailed accounts of people’s everyday lives, reflecting on: 

  • the shifting nature of kinship
  • gender issues 
  • intergenerational tensions 
  • economic morality 

Through these intimate stories, you’ll explore broader issues of vulnerability and marginalisation. We’ll discuss what anthropology can tell us about global impoverishment. And we’ll discuss how men and women navigate fragile livelihoods in shaky economies. 


The Study of Personhood, Gender and the Body in Contemporary Japan

From tattooed gangsters and drag queens to salarymen and hostesses, how does gender and the body affect Japanese society? In this module, you’ll question your assumptions about femininity and masculinity, and gain core critical skills as you explore topics such as: 

  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • the ethics of organ donation
  • abortion
  • end of life care
  • martial arts
  • religious practice.

You’ll explore the topics that fascinate you in greater depth, through:

  • student-led seminars
  • group work
  • a research essay

Culture and Care

Why is care so fundamental to human survival and adaptation? In this module, you’ll focus on care as an alternative to anthropological accounts of conflict, competition, and violence.

You will begin by debating 

  • the evolutionary basis for care
  • the evidence of care in prehistoric times
  • notions of empathy, sympathy, and altruism. 

You’ll also examine how different cultures care for children, the disabled and the elderly. You’ll look critically at whether current social institutions deliver care, as well as cure. You will look at how we care for non-human life and the planet. And you’ll gain core research skills for your future career, as you investigate care in the world around you through fieldwork assignments and contribute to the class blog to share your work with the world.


The study of Primate Adaptation and Evolution

Are humans any different from other primates? In this module, you’ll dig into the relationship between humans and other primates. You’ll investigate:

  • structure
  • physiology
  • evolutionary history

The Study of Human Ecology

How do humans interact with their environments, past and present? In this module, you’ll explore two key themes - nutrition and disease - and what these can tell us about humans and their biological and social surroundings. You’ll gain a strong grounding in the principles of human ecology. And you’ll gain key critical skills as you explore humans and their evolution.

Anthropology in Action

In this module, you’ll kick-start your career, as you explore the wide range of career options open to Anthropology graduates. You’ll put anthropology into practice, using the skills you’ve gained in your degree to explore how anthropology contributes to: 

  • business
  • conservation and development
  • human health and wellbeing
  • forensic investigations.

Development and Humanitarianism

In this module, you’ll explore the changing relationship between anthropology, and international development (the idea that different countries have different levels of development). You’ll gain a strong grounding in international development. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you dive into debates on the relationship between anthropology and development. You’ll explore key issues for anthropologists working in international development, including:

  • gender relations
  • environmental issues
  • health
  • youth
  • Religion.

You’ll compare ideas and practices in international development. You’ll look at approaches to social policy, inequality and well-being in the UK. And you disrupt the lines we draw between North and South, developed and underdeveloped, or advanced and emerging economies and societies.

Minorities and Marginality in Contemporary Japan

We often assume that only the Japanese live in Japan. In this module, you’ll meet Japan’s ethnic minorities and marginalised groups. You’ll understand their experiences - both historically and today. You’ll gain key analytical skills as you relate minorities in Japan to broader concerns with:

  • ethnic and cultural identity and conflict
  • class structure 
  • nationality 
  • hybridity in cultures
  • diaspora (people living outside their original homeland)


In this module, you’ll analyse human bones from archaeological sites. You’ll get to know the ancient diseases that we can understand through human and animal bones. You’ll gain key practical skills through lab-based sessions and through researching primary material. You’ll also learn how palaeopathology can help us understand different populations.

Dawn of Civilisation

How did humans change from nomadic hunter-gatherers to the pioneers of enormous changes in technology, subsistence and organisation? In this module, you’ll look at human history from 10,000 until 1,000 BC that led to an avalanche of development. You’ll gain key critical skills as you review:

  • archeological data
  • geography
  • the environmental record
  • mythology from the world’s first civilisations.

Subjectivities and Social Transformation

In this module you will explore the relationship between material change, forms of social transformation and shifts in individual/communal subjectivities of people themselves. In exploring these intersections you will have the opportunity to think about, for example, the role of industrial capitalism, urbanization, neoliberalism, migration and shifting understanding of time and temporality.

People and Other Animals

As humans, we’ve lived closely with other animals since the dawn of time. We have a long history of interacting with each other. In this module, you’ll examine the complex and contradictory elements in people-animal relations, including:

  • animals as food
  • companion animals
  • animals as nature.

Cognitive Evolution

In this module, you’ll dive into human intelligence and its evolution. You’ll gain fantastic research skills as you evaluate the evidence for the development of cognitive traits such as:

  • language
  • Culture
  • tool use
  • symbolism.

You’ll uncover fossil and archeological records for evidence of human intelligence and its development. You also draw on:

  • evolutionary psychology
  • cognitive science
  • philosophy
  • linguistics
  • primatology (the study of intelligent mammals)

Anthropology Independent Study

This module gives you the chance to do research on a question or issue that fascinates you. You can home in on any topic in social or biological anthropology, with the support of expert tutors. You’ll enhance the key skills needed for a research project, gaining vital experience for the world of work:

  • planning
  • explaining a problem in depth
  • carrying out primary research
  • collecting and analysing data
  • structuring and presenting a major piece of work.

Reading Contemporary Ethnography

In this module, you’ll get to grips with reading and writing ethnographic monographs. These are written accounts of a society or culture. You’ll explore ethnography: the method that social anthropologists use to analyse cultures, and the style and concepts behind it. You’ll:

  • explore how authors connect arguments and evidence 
  • debate the ethical issues of writing about other cultures
  • the effectiveness of different aesthetic styles. 

You’ll also explore the range of styles in ethnography today that addresses current topics of concern.


Primate Conservation

From forest loss to climate change, living primates (including humans) are facing huge threats to their environment and conservation. In this module, you’ll get to know the impact of humans on non-human primates, including hunting for trade to the issues of co-existence.You’ll discover why our non-human primate relatives are at greater risk of extinction now than ever before. You’ll understand the major challenges facing primates, how international legislation protects them, and how we can help the world’s most threatened species.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You will be provided with a broad range of learning experiences, including:

  • independent study
  • small group work
  • seminars
  • lectures.

You also have the option of a field trip with MSc students to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands.

Field trips

You have the opportunity to join MSc students on their annual trip to Apenhuel Primate Park in the Netherlands. This carries an additional cost. Please see the Additional costs section of this page for details.


Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed through:

  • essays
  • book reviews
  • class presentations
  • fieldwork reports
  • exams.


Research can be undertaken in the following areas:

  • anthropology of art
  • anthropology of food
  • anthropology of work, and play
  • anthropology of gender
  • social anthropology of Japan, South Asia and Europe
  • social anthropology of family, class and gender in Urban South Asia
  • basque studies
  • culture and landscapes
  • environmental archaeology and palaeo-anthropology
  • environmental anthropology
  • environmental reconstruction
  • human origins
  • human resource ecology
  • human–wildlife interaction and conservation
  • physical environmental processes and management
  • primate conservation
  • primatology
  • quaternary environmental change
  • urban and environmental studies.

Research centres:

  • Europe Japan research centre
  • Anthropology centre for conservation, environment and development.


  • Oxford Brookes archaeology and heritage (OBAH).
Student studying in a cafe

After you graduate

Career prospects

Many students choose the graduate diploma as a route to further study, continuing their education at master's and PhD level. However, anthropology graduates go on to a variety of careers including:

  • overseas development aid
  • environmental maintenance
  • education
  • eco-tourism
  • urban planning
  • civil service

Our Staff

Professor Anna Nekaris, OBE

Anna is a world-renowned primatologist who teaches on the BSc Anthropology course. She is a specialist in Asian lorises and is internationally recognised for her work identifying threats to these critically endangered species. Anna has published more than 250 papers, and has appeared in documentaries on Animal Planet, the BBC, the History Channel and more. You’ll see Anna on modules like Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Primate Conservation.

Read more about Anna

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.