The Anthropology curriculum has been designed to ensure the progressive development of knowledge and skills throughout the programme. This is achieved primarily through the use of compulsory and pre-requisite modules.
In Year 1 there are four compulsory modules that provide a sound understanding of the key concepts and core disciplinary and transferable skills.
- Introduction to Social Anthropology provides an introduction to the history and practice of social anthropology as a foundation for advanced modules in Years 2 and 3.
- Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture provides an ethnographic regional course that enables students to learn about the application of Social Anthropological concepts and approaches in a particular social context.
- Deep History introduces anthropological and archaeological concepts and findings as a basis for later archaeological modules and also contributes to the further study of human evolution which is developed in Introduction to Biological Anthropology.
- Introduction to Biological Anthropology examines key issues in understanding humans and other primates within the context of biological evolution. Biosocial aspects of human variation and human ecology are also considered.
In Year 2, students must take three compulsory modules:
- Research Methods in Social Anthropology is a practical module involving reading about methods used in social anthropology, but also considerable independent study in investigating appropriate methods for the student's own dissertation or other project.
- Social Anthropology Theory examines the emergence of social and cultural anthropology as a separate discipline with reference to key works of leading contributors to the development of anthropological theory.
- Reading Contemporary Ethnography introduces students to a variety of approaches to reading and writing ethnography, the primary method used by social anthropologists for documenting and analysing culture and society.
In addition, in year 2 and 3 students must take at least one of the alternative compulsory modules listed below dealing with some key topics in social anthropology. These are complemented by a range of acceptable modules from within anthropology and closely related modules taught outside of anthropology. These are indicated below as 'alternative acceptable', and students may take a maximum of two of these as part of their programme.
In year 3 students will take a total of at least six honours modules, including the compulsory Social Anthropology Dissertation, which is a double module. For the dissertation, they will undertake a research project on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor from the Social Anthropology teaching staff.
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 Social Anthropology
- Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture
- Deep History
- Introduction to Biological Anthropology
- Introduction to Human Geography
Top up modules:
- Social Differences and Divisions
- Foundations of Social Theory
Years 2 and 3
- Research Methods in Social Anthropology
- Social Anthropology Theory
- Reading Contemporary Ethnography
Alternative compulsory modules (students must take at least one of these):
- Anthropology of Art
- Anthropology in Action
- European Societies
- Anthropology of Ritual
- The Anthropology of Relatedness
- Environmental Anthropology
- Personhood, Gender, and the Body in Contemporary Japan
- Fantasy and the Supernatural in Japanese Culture
- Japan at Play
Alternative Acceptable modules (students may take a maximum of two of these as part of their programme):
- Culture and Change
- Cross-cultural Perspectives in Psychology
- Gender and Society
- ‘Race’, Ethnicity and Exclusion
- Global Sociology
- Conservation and Heritage Management
- Development and Social Change
Honours modules: These are taken in the third year. You must take a minimum of six credits, including the dissertation, which is compulsory. The dissertation is a double module (equivalent of two credits).
- Minorities and Marginality in Contemporary Japan
- People and Other Animals
- Social Anthropology Dissertation
- Material Lives: Money, Markets, and Livelihoods in Contemporary Africa
- Anthropology Independent Study
- Advanced Topics in Social Anthropology
- Culture and Care
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.
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are
at Brookes - we have more than 100 partner universities around the world! Most
exchanges take place in the second year.
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
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
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