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BSc (Hons) - single BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - combined

Department of Social Sciences

Brookes is distinctive among UK universities in teaching biological and social anthropology in tandem. Biological anthropology explores our evolutionary history, our response to environmental challenges and our relationship to the other primates, while social anthropology is the comparative study at first hand of societies and cultures all around the world.

Excellent teaching drawn from world-leading research, both in the fields of biological and social anthropology, is key to the success of this course. 85% of our students reported being satisfied with this course in the 2017 National Student Survey (source: Unistats).

Brookes is home to the Anthropology Centre for Conservation, Environment and Development, and the Europe-Japan Research Centre, while other resources include the world-renowned Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology and World Archaeology just a mile away.

You can choose to study Anthropology by itself, or combine it with another subject. We also offer BSc Biological Anthropology and BA Social Anthropology.

Find out more about Anthropology at Brookes »

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Anthropology at Oxford Brookes focuses on the holistic and comparative breadth of the subject, studying humans from a wide variety of social, cultural, biological and evolutionary perspectives.
  • We value research highly and actively encourage you to become researchers in your own right. At the heart of our teaching is the dissemination of knowledge acquired from the latest research.
  • 92% of research activity by Anthropologists at Oxford Brookes was judged to be of international significance, originality and rigour, with 7% of this world leading, in the government's Research Excellence Framework (2014)
  • This course gives you access to a rich and rewarding environment that fosters anthropological learning and the confidence, skills and academic foundation to tackle a wide range of challenges.

Anthropology is available as a single honours degree or to study in combination with one of a number of other subjects (combined honours) - see the 'Combining this course with another subject' section for the list of available combinations.

Whichever route you take, you will be able to choose from a selection of modules designed to offer social and biological perspectives on a range of topics. Both the single honours degree and the combined honours degree give you the chance to specialise in social or biological and archaeological anthropology after the first year.

The exposure you will gain to both biological and social science approaches is a particular strength of the course. Year 1 modules provide a broad introduction to both sociocultural and biological perspectives, whereas advanced modules taken in Years 2 and 3 provide an opportunity to concentrate on specific areas or issues within these subfields, and to integrate them creatively.

Social anthropology includes:

  • theories and concepts in social and cultural anthropology
  • the cross-cultural study of social organisation, kinship and gender
  • political and economic structures and institutions
  • ethnographic research methods
  • religion and ritual
  • art and aesthetics
  • globalisation and social change.

Ethnographic area specialisms include South Asia, West Africa, Japan and Europe.

Biological anthropology provides complementary perspectives on human life within a broad evolutionary framework, including:

  • human populations and variation in biological characteristics
  • gene frequencies
  • diseases
  • the interaction between people and their environment
  • the social behaviours and comparative anatomy of non-human primates and early hominins.

One of the most challenging and rewarding elements of the honours degree is the dissertation or project module, which involves supervised research and allows you to engage in fieldwork.

Study modules

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.

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology*
  • Deep History
  • Introduction to Social Anthropology*
  • Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture.

* Combined honours compulsory modules

Years 2 and 3

Year 2

Compulsory modules for single and combined honours - choose one module from:

  • Methods and Analysis in Biological Anthropology
  • Social Anthropology Theory

and one from:

  • Research Methods in Social Anthropology
  • Human Evolutionary Biology and Geography.

Alternative Compulsory for single honours, two modules from:

  • Anthropology of Art
  • Anthropology of Ritual
  • European Societies (double credit)
  • Personhood, Gender and the Body in Contemporary Japan
  • Japan at Play
  • Primate Adaptation and Evolution
  • Human Osteology
  • Primate Societies
  • Human Ecology
  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Reading Contemporary Ethnography
  • Fantasy and the Supernatural in Japanese Culture
  • Anthropology of India
  • Anthropology of Relatedness
  • Anthropology in Action

Year 3

All honours students must pass at least six honours modules. 

Compulsory for single honours (optional for combined honours):

  • Anthropology Dissertation

and four modules from:

  • People and Other Animals
  • Palaeopathology
  • Cognitive Evolution
  • Minorities and Marginality: Class and Conflict in Japan
  • Dawn of Civilisation in the Fertile Crescent
  • Independent Study
  • Material Lives: Money and Livelihoods in Contemporary Africa
  • Primate Conservation
  • Molecular Anthropology
  • Culture and Care

Other acceptable modules in Years 2 and 3:

  • Conservation and Heritage Management
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Development and Social Change
  • Cross-cultural Perspectives in Psychology
  • Gender and Society
  • 'Race', Ethnicity and Exclusion
  • Global Sociology
  • Becoming Independent Researchers
  • Current Trends in Biological Anthropology
  • Political Geography: Place and Power


Modules in detail » Module diagrams »


Study abroad

Anthropology students can benefit greatly from time spent living in a culture that is different from their own, and studying abroad is a popular option.

Great opportunities to study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. We have more than 100 partner universities around the world.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

Tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your Student Loan or directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference.

You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and visas. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

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.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

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.

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.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is underpinned by and draws on current research by our teaching staff.

Teaching methods for all modules include lectures, illustrated lectures or films, seminars, and tutorials. Some modules also include practical classes, group work and excursions.

All our teaching staff are published, active researchers and acknowledged experts in their field, and the modules we teach draw upon the teaching staff’s current research. Examples include: research on notions of care and vulnerability in Japan; on the archaeology of the earliest human settlements in the Middle East; and research on Primates in Africa and Indonesia. All these areas of research feed directly into the teaching of relevant modules.

Uniquely, the expertise of the teaching staff includes socio-cultural and biological anthropology as well as archaeology and primatology. These subfields, usually taught in isolation, are brought together in order to improve understanding across disciplinary boundaries.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 20%80%0%
2 21%79%0%
3 17%83%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 21%79%0%
2 24%76%0%
3 16%84%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 15%85%0%
3 21%79%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 17%83%0%
3 17%83%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 19%81%0%
2 19%81%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 19%81%0%
2 19%82%0%
3 15%85%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 19%81%0%
3 12%88%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 19%81%0%
2 17%83%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 19%81%0%
2 15%85%0%
3 14%86%0%

Approach to assessment

Various assessment procedures are used. In year 1 assessment is by both coursework and examination. In years 2 and 3 some modules are assessed by coursework, some by examination, but most by a combination of both.

Assessment methods for some modules include exams, coursework essays, in-class tests, group and individual presentations, and participation in seminars.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 15%0%85%
3 15%0%85%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 13%0%88%
2 8%0%93%
3 8%0%93%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 38%0%63%
2 33%0%68%
3 26%0%74%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 19%0%81%
2 13%0%88%
3 15%0%85%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 19%0%81%
2 13%0%88%
3 15%0%85%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 34%0%66%
2 26%0%74%
3 8%3%89%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 38%0%63%
2 28%0%73%
3 8%0%93%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 28%0%73%
2 15%0%85%
3 20%0%80%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 25%0%75%
2 40%0%60%
3 6%0%94%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU 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 and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC

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

IB Diploma: 30 points


If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

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


Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard 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.

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.

How to apply

International applicants

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

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is one of the UK's top cities for culture and has a worldwide reputation for academic excellence, providing the perfect backdrop for student life. The world famous Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museums are on your doorstep - as is the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Libraries, all invaluable resources for anthropologists. London’s many museums are also a short journey away using one of Oxford's many public transport links.

Support for students studying Anthropology

There is extensive support available. Our student support co-ordinators are there for you from the day you arrive to the day you leave, helping with anything from module planning to supporting you with any personal issues you may experience. They organise induction programmes and events throughout the year, and offer a friendly face when you need one.

Specialist facilities

The department offices are located in the Gibbs Building on the Headington Campus. Teaching for seminars and lectures takes place in the new John Henry Brookes Building and in the Gibbs Building, situated just a mile from Oxford’s beautiful and historic city centre.

The main university library is also on the Headington Campus and holds an impressive selection of books and journals. You can also take advantage of the Library Electronic Information Network (LEIN), giving you access to a range of bibliographical searching tools, databases and electronic journals in anthropology.

Other facilities include:

  • a student collaborative working space that houses a range of course materials
  • the Europe-Japan Research Centre which runs a regular seminar series open to all students
  • the Anthropology Centre for Conservation, the Environment and Development (ACCEND) which holds conferences and seminars open to all students, including the regular Primate Conservation seminar series
  • the Geography and Anthropology laboratory which is used for research and teaching
  • the Japan Room, used to introduce students to aspects of social life in Japan.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Anthropology gives you a broad intellectual foundation and discipline for many careers that involve numeracy, literacy, communication, problem-solving and a comparative perspective. The interdisciplinary approach gives you flexibility and a wider view of the world which often proves attractive to employers.

Our graduates have succeeded in a wide variety of careers, for example in the fields of branding and marketing, recruitment consultancy, medicine, environmental maintenance, urban planning, personnel management, tourism, education and development aid. A number of our students choose to continue their studies at master's level and beyond.

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.