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BSc (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2020



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: up to 6 years


Department of Social Sciences

UCAS Tariff Points



Oxford Brookes is one of the few UK universities to teach biological and social anthropology in tandem. Through the study of biological anthropology, you’ll explore our:

  • evolutionary history;
  • response to environmental challenges;
  • relationship to the other primates.

While social anthropology will take you through the comparative study of societies and cultures all around the world.

Our teaching team are world-leading researchers, and their research directly informs our teaching. You will gain the confidence, skills and academic foundation to tackle a wide range of challenges. And we support you with your learning and encourage you to become a researcher in your own right.

Oxford Brookes is home to the Centre for Environment and Society and the Europe-Japan Research Centre. And the world-renowned Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology and World Archaeology is a mile away from our Headington Campus.

How to apply

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


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.

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:

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


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 with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate 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.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU 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/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£750 per single module

International full time

Home/EU full time
£9,250 (subject to agreement by Office for Students)

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

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

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 below.

Financial support and scholarships

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

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.

Learning and assessment

Year 1 introduces you to sociocultural and biological perspectives of Anthropology. You can then specialise in social or biological and archaeological anthropology, or a mix of both.

Advanced modules in Years 2 and 3 allow you to focus on specific areas or issues.

Social anthropology includes:

  • theories and concepts in social and cultural anthropology
  • 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 includes:

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

The dissertation or project module involves supervised research and allows you to engage in fieldwork.

Students sitting around table listening to the tutor

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Deep History

This module provides an introduction to the study of the prehistoric past, exploring the key developments which have shaped both our species and our world. We will examine core themes in human evolution and review the archaeological, fossil and palaeoenvironmental evidence for the prehistoric development of human communities. Throughout this module we will explore the interdisciplinary nature of archaeology, investigating the close links between archaeological, geographical and anthropological research.

Introduction to Biological Anthropology

A basic module that examines key issues in understanding humans and other primates within the context of biological evolution. It builds an awareness of evolutionary principles and considers the similarities and contrasts between humans and other primates and their significance for human adaptive success.

Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture

An introduction to the study of modern Japanese society and culture, primarily from an anthropological perspective, but also incorporating overviews of Japan’s history and religions. Topics covered include the cultural basis of Japanese patterns of behaviour; marriage, family and kinship; work and employment; and popular culture.

Introduction to Social Anthropology

An introduction to the history and practice of social anthropology as a basis for more advanced study in the field, providing an overview of the key theoretical approaches and concepts created by anthropologists over the last 30 years.

Optional modules

Introduction to Environmental Geography

This module introduces students to selected themes and environments in environmental and physical geography, using climate change as a context. The module incorporates a disciplinary grounding in climate change science, and then examines other areas that are inherently linked with climate change in environmental and physical geography (including environmental processes and environmental management). For example topics may include some of the following: computer modelling, Earth surface processes, geomorphology, oceanography. The module concludes with an examination of recent and future developments of the discipline.

In addition you may choose any available Year 1 modules.

Introduction to International Relations 1: Perspectives

This module provides an introduction to International Relations, with a focus on history, theories and perspectives. As an academic discipline, International Relations has emerged from a particular set of perspectives and this module will introduce you to the defining debates of the discipline in this context. But, as a discipline that seeks to inform and is informed by global politics 'in practice' - and all the debates around this - it is regularly subject to challenges from within the world of academia and without. One such challenge is the charge that International Relations is a 'Western' discipline that leaves out the experience and history of people outside of the Western world. Focusing on this and other challenges, this module will introduce International Relations or global politics as a field of competing perspectives and stories about our world and what is possible within it.

Introduction to International Relations 2: Themes and Issues

The module examines some of the key themes and issues in contemporary world politics. The module is divided into two parts. Part One introduces the actors, structures and processes of world politics, outlining some of the core themes such as the international system of states and international society, transnational and global society, the global political economy, international organisations, institutions and transnational actors. It further analyses concepts such as anarchy, order, sovereignty, conflict and co-operation among states and non-state actors and contextualises this conceptual material theoretically. Part Two then goes on to examine a number of immediate and chronic issues in world politics to demonstrate a) how they are managed and b) what they tell us about the nature of governance in the international system. These issues include: gender; migration; human rights and humanitarian intervention; energy resources and the environment; and development, inequality and poverty.

Sustainability and Development

This module introduces sustainability in its broader concept and in relation to urban development. Discussions about how to deliver sustainable development usually consider three overlapping areas of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. We will examine how arrangements for infrastructure and resource-use affect the sustainability of England's built and natural environment. The emphasis is on the land-use planning system in England as the main mechanism that can help deliver a more 'sustainable environment' but a wider perspective is also offered as a conceptual framework. As land-use planning is concerned with mediating the use of space and creating communities where people can `live, work and relax?, this module has a broad focus and extends beyond the bio-physical components (land, buildings etc.) to include interaction with social issues (such as quality of life) and economic issues (such as how to understand the value the environment brings to a sustainable economy).

Introduction to Human Geography

This module aims to critically examine the following core issues: What is Human Geography or, rather, what are Human Geographies? Can geography help us to understand the complex diversity of human identities and patterns of human activity? How are themes such as space and place, nature and culture involved? Does change in society and culture contribute to shaping the landscape or to creating spatial differences and inequalities? How can Human Geographers' approaches to contemporary problems and issues on the global and local scale offer insight into possible political positioning? The module outlines geographical perspectives on the complex relationships between people and the environments, spaces and places in which they live and work. The module explores key concepts and contemporary approaches in human geography to these relationships expressed in a number of sub-disciplinary topics and themes, alongside developing key skills for human geographers.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Compulsory modules for single and combined honours

Choose one module from Methods and Analysis in Biological Anthropology or Social Anthropology Theory, and one from Research Methods in Social Anthropology or Human Evolutionary Biology and Geography.

For single honours, choose 2 alternative compulsory modules from this list

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.

Optional modules

Other acceptable modules for single honours

Gender and Society, Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Psychology, Conservation and Heritage Management, Development and Social Change, Global Sociology, Race, Ethnicity and Inequality, Becoming Independent Researchers, Current Trends in Biological Anthropology, Quartenary Environmental Change, Political Geography: Place and Power.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

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

Choose 4 compulsory modules from this list

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

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

The modules we teach draw upon the teaching staff’s current research. They include:

  • the archaeology of the earliest human settlements in the Middle East
  • research on Primates in Africa and Asia.

All modules include:

  • lectures
  • illustrated lectures
  • films
  • seminars
  • tutorials.

Some modules also include:

  • practical classes
  • group work
  • excursions.

Laboratory-based classes are common for the modules about:

  • human and non-human primate evolution
  • anatomy
  • molecular anthropology
  • prehistoric archaeology.

We also provide training sessions on analysis to help you develop learning, research and IT skills.

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Placement
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.)

Year 1

  • Lectures and seminars - 20%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 80%

Year 2

  • Lectures and seminars - 21%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 79%

Year 3

  • Lectures and seminars - 17%
  • Placement - 0%
  • Other learning activities (including group work, research, conferences etc.) - 83%

Learning and teaching percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.


Assessment methods used on this course

In Year 1 assessment is by both coursework and examination.

In Years 2 and 3 many modules are assessed by coursework and examination.

Assessment methods include:

  • exams
  • coursework essays
  • in-class tests
  • group and individual presentations
  • laboratory practical workbooks
  • participation in seminars.
  • Written exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical exams

Year 1

  • Written exams - 25%
  • Coursework - 75%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 2

  • Written exams - 15%
  • Coursework - 85%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Year 3

  • Written exams - 15%
  • Coursework - 85%
  • Practical exams - 0%

Assessment method percentages are indicative. There may be slight year-on-year variations.

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. 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

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.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Professor Anna Nekaris

Professor Anna Nekaris is a Professor in Anthropology and Primate Conservation studying the unique group of evolutionary distinct primates known as the Asian lorises. Her studies cover all eleven species, including six she named or elevated from subspecies. Anna is the Course Tutor for the highly acclaimed MSc Primate Conservation, Director of the Little Fireface Project and Convenor of the Nocturnal Primate Research Group.

Read more about Anna

Dr Sam Smith

Sam is an expert in the study of chipped stone tools and his work includes typological, technological and use wear analysis of stone tool assemblages from many regions and periods.

Read more about Sam

Dr Thomas Chambers

Thomas Chambers is a Lecturer in Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom. His research focuses on labour, migration, craftwork and Muslims in India. Thomas has publications in press with Modern Asian Studies on imagination and migration in India and the Gulf and a Special Issue contribution, again with Modern Asian Studies, on urban space, marginalisation and conviviality in India.

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

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.