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
- 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.
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.
- Introduction to Biological Anthropology*
- Deep History
- Introduction to Social Anthropology*
- Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture.
* Combined honours compulsory modules
Years 2 and 3
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
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
- 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
- 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 »
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.
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.
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