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Anthropology

BSc (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code

L600

Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022

Location

Headington

Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS Tariff Points

104

Overview

Human societies today face tremendous change and insecurity - from global migration to disappearing wildlife. And our world needs people with innovative skills and perspectives to respond to these challenges.

When you study Anthropology, you’ll explore what makes us human, what drives our diversity and how we’re connected to our environment. And from day 1, your studies will take you across subjects, cultures, regions and species. You’ll debate critical  issues like:

  • social justice and inequality
  • the origins of modern humans
  • migration and multiculturalism
  • gender identities and differences
  • international development
  • primate conservation

You’ll gain new perspectives on your culture, while you explore others. And you’ll examine the foundations of human societies - learning about our evolutionary history. You might be surprised where your interests can take you.

You’ll graduate with a strong awareness of social and environmental justice. And you’ll have sought-after employment skills and knowledge.

Joint honours options

You can also study this course as part of a joint honours degree. This course can be joined with:

How to apply

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

For more information about how we are supporting applicants impacted by Covid-19, please see our information for applicants page.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29

BTEC: DMM

Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27

BTEC: MMM

Further offer details

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

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

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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

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

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.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International / EU full time
£14,300

Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to OfS confirmation, Sept 2021)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to OfS confirmation, Sept 2021)

International / EU full time
£14,600

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International / EU full time
£14,300

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (subject to OfS confirmation, Sept 2021)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module (subject to OfS confirmation, Sept 2021)

International / EU full time
£14,600

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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, if any, are detailed below.

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading this is at their own discretion.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

On this course, you’ll experience Anthropology’s diverse approach. You won’t be limited to studying one subject area - you can satisfy your curiosity to explore cultures, regions and species. 

Your course draws on concepts from History, Psychology, Biology, Geography and Philosophy. And you can choose to focus on Biological or Social Anthropology - or pursue a mix of both.

In your first year, you’ll explore what it means to be human. You’ll learn about gender in different societies. You’ll explore ancient human communities. And you’ll learn about our endangered primate cousins.

In your second year, you’ll explore your interests. You can specialise in:

  • human origins and archaeology
  • international development
  • environment and conservation
  • contemporary societies
  • primate behaviour and evolution

In your final year you’ll have the freedom to focus on what you care about most. You might examine the illegal wildlife trade, or investigate habitat loss. You could do fieldwork in a refugee camp. Or you might analyse ancient stone tools. Or you could even examine anime cosplayer culture.

 

Students sitting around table listening to the tutor

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Anthropology of Relatedness

How do people in different societies conceptualize, organize and negotiate social relationships? In this module, you’ll examine human relatedness and kinship. You’ll draw on studies from a range of historical and contemporary contexts to explore households and kinship networks. Your studies will reveal the often complex, ambiguous, and unequal relationships between men, women and children. As this module progresses, you’ll examine the impact that wider economic and political transformations have on shaping personal lives and the relationship between these intimate social relations across the contemporary world. 

Becoming an Anthropologist

This module aims to give students a sound grounding in the process of theory-based enquiry, desk-based research and scientific writing for the anthropological disciplines. The aims of the module are to provide students with the opportunity to develop key academic skills through a consideration of the concerns and practice of social and biological anthropology. Through ludic, practical and analytical activities, students are invited to explore the process of academic enquiry to investigate the nature and scope of anthropology, what critical issues its disciplines explore, and what the academic, educational and social value of these disciplines are.

Introduction to Biological Anthropology

What can biological evolution teach us about humans and other primates? In this module, you’ll build an awareness of key evolutionary principles. You’ll explore the similarities and differences between humans and other primates, and what this suggests about how humans adapt. You’ll explore how biological and social factors affect human variation, and the way we relate to our environment. These include:

  • physical variation, growth and development
  • physical adaptation
  • dietary diversity and subsistence
  • disease ecology.

Deep History

In this module, you’ll dive into the prehistoric past. You’ll explore key developments in our species, world and human evolution. You’ll also gain key anthropological skills as you review the archaeological, fossil and palaeoenvironmental evidence for human communities. You’ll use a range of specialist research methods, and explore the links between:

  • archaeological
  • geographical
  • anthropological
  • research.

Introduction to Social Anthropology

In this module, you’ll gain the key skills you need to succeed in your degree, You’ll dive into the history and practice of social anthropology, and gain the core knowledge to study it at a more advanced level. You’ll explore the key approaches of anthropologists over the last 30 years.

Primate Societies

What’s the difference between humans, and the 600 other species of primates? In this module, you’ll explore humans through the diverse social behaviour of other primates. You’ll observe how primate societies interact and compromise to survive, looking at primate populations through time.You’ll gain the key analytical skills to succeed in your Anthropology degree, as you identify patterns of social interaction in primates in terms of:

  • ecology
  • energetic
  • demography
  • tradition 
  • phylogeny (the evolution of genetically related groups).

Optional modules

Contemporary Societies: Structure and Change

What’s the relationship between the economy, the state, and society? How have labour markets and welfare states changed over time? In this module, you’ll examine the issues that are shaping social and political developments in contemporary society. You’ll explore questions relating to power and politics, and will look at other topics such as international immigration patterns, the formation of ethnic minorities, the role of religion in modern society and the challenges posed by global environmental change.

Introduction to Physical Geography

In this module, you’ll be introduced to selective themes and topics in physical geography. Using climate change science as a disciplinary grounding, you’ll explore recent and future developments, as well as other areas that are inherently linked with climate change in physical geography (including environmental processes, systems and management).

Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture

In this module, you'll use anthropological perspectives to make an in-depth investigation of contemporary life in Japan. You'll cover factors and topics that affect Japanese everyday life such as:

  • child rearing 
  • education and early socialization
  • households, marriage and kinship
  • work and employment
  • gender and sexuality
  • religion and ritual
  • immigration and diversity 
  • Japanese popular culture 
  • and the globalization of Japanese culture. 

This will give you a good base of knowledge for taking more advanced modules on the anthropology of Japan in years 2 and 3.

 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Human Evolutionary Biology and Geography

In this module, you’ll dive into human evolution. You’ll explore how the biological stages of human evolution link to changes in society and behaviour. You’ll gain specialist knowledge of the palaeoenvironmental (environment of a past age) and palaeogeographical ( geographical features of a past age) context of human evolution.

Methods and Analysis in Biological Anthropology

In this module, you’ll get to grips with the key methods and analysis in biological anthropology. You’ll core key scientific skills for your degree and dissertation. You’ll apply the scientific method (using testing to gain knowledge about the natural world) and hypothesis testing to biological anthropology. And you’ll observe the scientific methods of studying biological forms, including:

  • human diversity
  • forensics
  • skeletal analyses.

You’ll also explore:

  • Behavioural observation techniques
  • Population genetics
  • Evolutionary systematics.

Social Anthropology Theory

In this module, you’ll explore the rise of social anthropology as a science. You’ll dig into the main developments in social anthropology. You’ll look at nineteenth century social evolutionism - the belief that all societies start off as simple and primitive, and evolve to more complex states. You’ll also look at post-structuralism (the idea that if we’re to understand an object, we need to understand the environment that produced it), and feminism.

Research Methods in Social Anthropology

In this module, you’ll gain fantastic research skills for your dissertation and other independent projects. You’ll develop a strong knowledge of the research methods that social anthropologists use. You’ll work in a small team on an independent research project, and discover the best research methods for your own dissertation.

Optional modules

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
  • development
  • human health and wellbeing
  • forensic investigations.

Anthropology of India

In this module, you’ll get to grips with India, and its cultural customs and habits. You’ll dive into key economic and political issues in India. You’ll look at how Indian and non-Indian anthropologists seek to understand the diversity of the country. And you’ll follow India’s social, political and economic change - from colonialism to postcolonialism, and then to free-market capitalism. And you’ll gain key insight into how India has been represented and imagined over time.

We often stereotype rituals as exotic, and about religion. However, you’ll enrich your perspective as you explore ritual in non-religious contexts. You’ll look at ritual within:

  • politics and power relations
  • social identities
  • social traditions.

Anthropology of Ritual

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.

Becoming Independent Researchers

What does real-world research involve? How does academic publication work? What makes a good dissertation proposal? These are some of the questions you’ll discuss and find answers to in this module. You’ll discover more about the research activities of the biological anthropology staff and postgraduates. You’ll develop the motivation, skills and discipline you need to become a successful independent researcher, preparing you to tackle your Dissertation and Independent Study in Year 3.

European Societies

In this module, you’ll investigate European societies. You’ll apply classic concepts in studying societies as you look at European villages and urban neighbourhoods. You’ll then explore broader contemporary issues, including:

  • identity
  • nationalism
  • racism
  • how we use history
  • ceremonial issues
  • tourism
  • the EU.

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.

Personhood, Gender and the Body in Contemporary Japan

How do people define themselves as human beings in contemporary Japan? How do they view gender and the body? In this module, you’ll apply anthropological thinking to Japanese culture. You’ll also explore how the role of health and medicine in Japan, including:

  • medical systems in Japan
  • beliefs around reproductive technologies, end of life, and organ donation.

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
  • molecular biology
  • evolutionary history.

You’ll discover what marks us as human against other species. You’ll gain a detailed knowledge of other species, as you trace our inheritance and explore the reasons for our unique characteristics.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Anthropology Dissertation (compulsory for single honours, optional for combined honours)

This module gives you the chance to do research on a topic that fascinates you. You’ll have the support of expert tutors. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your passions, expertise and advanced learning in Social Anthropology.

Optional modules

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.
     

Anthropology of Development

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.

Becoming Independent Researchers

In this module, you’ll develop fantastic, transferable skills for work, and gain the research skills to succeed in your degree. You’ll develop the knowledge and expertise to become an independent researcher. You’ll enjoy access to the research in our internationally acclaimed department, the current work of staff.

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).

Culture and Care

How do our brains make us care - for children, the elderly and the vulnerable? How do different cultures encourage people to nurture others? In this module, you’ll look at the evolutionary and ecological reasons for care, nurturance and social support. You’ll dive into the care practices of other cultures, as you look at how they approach:

  • religion
  • healing
  • child care
  • elder care.

You’ll also look at how we care for non-human living things and the planet as a whole. You’ll gain key analytical knowledge as you apply what you learn to yourself, your community and pressing social issues.

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.

Material Lives: Money and Livelihoods in Contemporary Africa

In this module, you’ll explore key themes in African cultures - from the colonial era to today. You’ll reflect on core economic arguments, asking how far theories of modernisation can shed light on African social and economic transformation. You’ll dig into detailed, ethnographic (the study of people and their cultures) 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. 

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).

Palaeopathology

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a mix of group discussion, independent research and hands-on practical work. 

You’ll participate in:

  • lectures
  • small seminars
  • tutorials
  • practicals
  • lab work

All your learning will be led by expert practitioners, who carry out fieldwork alongside teaching. This means your learning will always be underpinned by the latest thinking and research.

 

 

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

Your assessments will be diverse, and will support different learning styles - you’ll have a real opportunity to showcase your strengths. 

You might write a blog, create a video diary or give a presentation. You’ll be able to carry out lab work, write essays and participate in seminar discussions. You’ll have some exams and in-class tests as well.

 

Study Abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Oxford Brookes. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

After you graduate

Career prospects

This is a diverse course. You’ll explore many different areas. And as you learn, you’ll have opportunities to apply your learning directly to career contexts.This will help you identify the most rewarding career path.

You’ll graduate with strong intercultural awareness - a sought-after skill in today’s employment market. This will set you up for people-orientated careers like:

  • marketing
  • PR
  • human resources and recruitment
  • urban planning
  • tourism
  • international development

You’ll also develop specialist biological skills and knowledge - equipping you to progress into areas like:

  • museum curation
  • contract archeology
  • biological or primatological research
  • animal welfare or zoo management

You’ll also have built up a set of transferable skills that you can take straight into any workplace - like written communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

 

Further study

Many of our graduates are currently engaged in further study in Anthropology and also in a range of other subjects, such as Education, Archaeology, Geography, International Relations, Security and Society, History, and Primate Conservation, with many choosing to continue these studies at Oxford Brookes.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Professor Anna Nekaris

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

Dr Sam Smith

Sam is an experienced field archeologist. He’s an expert on ancient technologies - like chipped stone tools. And he’s charted human progress from nomadic hunter gatherer societies to today’s urban cityscapes. He can tell you about climate change throughout our evolution - and also humans’ impact on their landscapes. You’ll see Sam in Year 1 in our Deep History module and in Year 3 modules Cognitive Evolution and The Dawn of Civilisation.

Read more about Sam

Dr Thomas Chambers

Thomas is an expert on Indian Muslims. He has extensively studied Indian Muslim workers - both in India and in Middle Eastern labour camps. He also examines how gender, class, ethnicity and religion shape everyday experiences. And he looks at issues from economic change to intimacy, sexuality and care. You’ll see Thomas on modules such as Anthropology of India and Social Anthropology Theory.

Read more about Thomas

Free language courses

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

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.