Subject Guide

Anthropology Degree

Uni Compare  · Oct 5th 2020

There are two main types of anthropology taught in the UK: social anthropology and biological anthropology.

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After your anthropology degree UK and international options for career and study can be very exciting, even if you study an online anthropology degree (sometimes known as an online masters degree anthropology) or anthropology degree distance learning.

anthropology degree

What to do with an anthropology degree

You might consider pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology, possibly leading to a PhD (DPhil). Look up the information of lecturers at the universities you’re interested in, and find out whether any of them specialise in your particular interest; you could be a good candidate for supervision on a research programme.

This would be the best path if you want to learn more than your social anthropology degree or forensic anthropology degree UK covered, so that you can go into academia, professorship or authorship, even with any online anthropology degree programs.

Alternatively, the world of work is sure to benefit from the skills you’ve developed on your anthropology degree: research, observation, analysis, and human and cultural awareness are major strengths in today’s marketplace. Look at person specifications on job vacancies to see how your anthropology degree has prepared you for different roles, as you will be able to look at a lot of jobs with anthropology degree.

Typical anthropology degree jobs graduates are focussed around human lives, whether you’re working out how people once celebrated festivals based on the remains discovered in a Roman excavation site (archaeologist), or ensuring that people of all faiths, genders, races and ages are well represented in employment sectors (diversity consultant), so this is a little different from a sociology and anthropology degree.

You could work on business communications, presenting brands or individuals in a positive way as a public relations (PR) officer or advisor, or you may choose to go into charity work - an enormous sector with a wide range of travel or locally based opportunities.

A role in local government may appeal to some anthropology degree UK graduates, while others may be interested in market research for products, social initiatives or entertainment industries, which links into a social anthropology degree.

In short, there are a lot of options, including doing a psychology and anthropology degree or a history and anthropology degree. That’s great news, but it also means you need to narrow things down a bit.

Studying Anthropology offers students an insight into different cultures, and give them a better understanding of them through a political, economic and historical aspect.

What can you do with an anthropology degree?

Well, there are plenty of careers with anthropology degree available to you. But what jobs with an anthropology degree can you do?

We’ve looked at the huge range of opportunities available to those with a degree in anthropology or a masters degree in anthropology (the stage up from an undergraduate degree in anthropology), but everyone has different requirements, interests and abilities when it comes to mapping their future.

To plan your specific pathway, think about which of those anthropology degree jobs sound most appealing to you. Does the role and day-to-day interest you? Are there employers in your part of the country, or are you willing to travel? Have you tested the water during your anthropology degree, with an internship, voluntary position or some work-shadowing? Do practical details, like working hours and pay scale, align with your needs?

So there will be plenty of jobs that a degree in anthropology careers will benefit, eben if you do a graduate degree anthropology.

It’s also essential to consider which jobs suit your talents or knowledge base, especially if you're wondering what can you do with a masters degree in anthropology. Your degree programme might make you a specialist in a particular field, meaning that graduates with a social anthropology degree might be best placed to become a social researcher, an equalities officer, or a social worker, whilst graduates with a forensic anthropology degree may choose to go into the police force or the legal system, identifying human remains and analysing skeletal markers to testify in court.

Anthropology focuses on the variety of ways in which humans live in the world, which is why it is often combined in other degrees like an archaeology and anthropology degree - you may even consider studying a masters degree in cultural anthropology or an anthropology masters degree.

Social Anthropology

This strand of a bachelor's degree in anthropology centres on how people in the contemporary world live, which is slightly different from a degree in cultural anthropology. Social anthropologists spend a long time in a particular setting, which is referred as their ‘field site’ – which could be anything from a remote village in Thailand or the offices of an insurance company – observing what the people in that setting do, how they relate to each other and how they think. This study allows social anthropologists to understand a culture on its terms, as well as appreciating the political, economic, ecological and historical aspects that have shaped it.

An extensive selection of social and political theory and government and international development policy can make assumptions about ‘human nature’ and how human beings around the globe live. One big assumption made is that everyone in the world behaves the way people do in the West – which is not necessarily the case.

Social anthropologists are positioned to challenge those assumptions,through experiences life in other ways first-hand, and develop more accurate and meticulous models for understanding and refining the world.

anthropology degree uk

Biological Anthropology

This side to anthropology investigates how humans evolved into the diverse range of cultures that it currently has, and is therefore different to a physical anthropology degree, which is something that distinguishes us significantly from any other species.

Biological anthropology (and by extension, a biological anthropology degree) investigates this by comparing the social behaviour of humans, with that of other primates. Therefore, by analysing the fossil and archaeological record, experts can see how and when human life emerged as we know it in the past and today.

Another focal point concentrates on the study of the physiological and genetic differences amongst contemporary human societies and populations, as well as examining how these populations have adapted to the circumstances in which they currently live.

Although there may be variations in the two main strands of anthropology, both branches explore how human biology constrains or influences cultural and social behaviour. Some departments within universities offer cognitive anthropology, or biology and culture, which allows students to explore this area in greater depth.

In short, there are a lot of options, including doing a psychology and anthropology degree or a history and anthropology degree.

What A Levels do I need?

Students should check with the degree courses and universities that they are hoping to attend to understand what entry requirements are being asked. Although many institutions ask students to have a UCAS Tariff point score of at least 300, which is equivalent to ABB, or AAA in A-Levels.

What are my study options?

Students can study a Bachelor’s of Arts, or a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Anthropology, or more precisely, Social Anthropology, or Biological Anthropology.

There are also many joint honour degree courses available for prospective candidates, combining Anthropology with Archaeology, other social subjects, such as Law, or social sciences. Human Sciences degrees often contain a strong emphasis on anthropology within its content.

In short, there are a lot of options, including doing a psychology and anthropology degree or a history and anthropology degree.

How will I be assessed?

Students of Anthropology are assessed through written examination and essays, although biological anthropology can include practical assessments, although these will differ from each institution, so choosing the right university for individuals will take some research. Students may conduct their research project which is usually during their final year.

What skills will I learn from Anthropology?

Studying Anthropology offers students an insight into different cultures, and give them a better understanding of them through a political, economic and historical aspect. This degree also provides a broad range of skills; incoherent writing, critical readings and effective reasoning which are all valued by potential employers.

Students at university gain many valuable skills which will aid them after they finish their studies, such as organisation and time management. University also provides students with opportunities to gain presentation skills, practice working towards a deadline, and to refine their social skills through group projects.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Anthropology?

Those who study social anthropology will learn to understand how people will engage with policies and products, and this ability will aid them in looking for work in local and national government, charity worth, teaching, development work, marketing and public relations. Many other graduates choose to work within media or the arts.

Biological anthropology graduates may find themselves in public health, conservation, science communication or working in development.

What can I study after Anthropology?

Students who did well during their undergraduate studies can often begin a PhD, although this is dependent on the degree classification, university and funding.

There are also many Master’s Programmes available for students ranging from International Development, Public Policy, Public Health and Area Studies, which are popular choices for students.

Famous Anthropology alumni

Film director, Darren Aronofsky, known for The Wrestler, Noah, and The Black Swan majored in Social Anthropology at Harvard University.

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