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Jolanta Skorecka
Undergraduate Coordinator
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8621

Lucio Vinicius
Admissions Tutor
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8649

Anthropology at UCL is wonderfully varied; one day you might be learning about the significance of a Coca-Cola can, the next about the origins of mankind.

Tim Love

BSc Anthropology

About the programme

UCL has the largest and most diverse broad-based anthropology department in the UK, comprising approximately 35 leading international scholars in biological anthropology, social anthropology and material culture studies. The department is located in the heart of London, within walking distance of the city’s major cultural attractions.

At UCL, we explore in the round the big questions about humans beings and how they live across the globe. What does it mean to be human? How did our species evolve? How do we understand the diversity of people’s life-ways? We relate those questions to the everyday problems and decisions that shape people’s lives in different parts of the world. You can expect training in the full range of methods, theories and techniques from leading researchers in anthropology, whose work spans the globe.

Ours is broad-based degree for broad-minded people. What distinguishes our degree from other anthropology degrees in the UK is its intellectual breadth, bringing together Social Anthropology, Material Culture, Biological Anthropology and Medical Anthropology under a single programme of study.

Exploring these four fields in relation to each other, our degree is particularly demanding as it requires ability and interest in both science and humanities: some modules require statistical skills or laboratory work while others are based on comparative and theoretical explorations of themes such as religion, politics, technology or fashion.

Our teaching is structured around a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory classes. Weekly tutorials in small groups are an important part of many courses. Ongoing feedback is given to help students improve their written work. Courses may be assessed by written coursework, by examination or a mixture of both. The course is structured around a combination of core courses, which are fixed by us, and optional courses chosen by you from a wide range of possibilities. The core courses ensure that you will maintain a balanced training in social, biological, medical and material culture studies anthropology, while the options allow you to develop specialist skills in a particular theme, region or area of analysis.

The course structure takes the form of a pyramid, with all areas of its broad-base covered through core courses in the first year, and then increasing your freedom to choose options in the second and third year. Some students choose to specialise more and more in one of the three fields of the degree as their studies progress, while others prefer to maintain a more even balance between them throughout – you are very much free to tailor the degree to your own interests. The culmination of your training comes in the final year, in which you will prepare an individual dissertation exploring a topic of your own choice under the one-to-one year-long supervision by a member of staff. So, in more detail, the degree structure is this:

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Introduction to Biological Anthropology
Introduction to Material and Visual Culture
Introductory Social Anthropology
Methods and Techniques in Biological Anthropology
Researching the Social World

Optional courses

All first-year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Theoretical Perspectives in Social Anthropology and Material Culture
Being Human

Optional courses

You will select a minimum of 2.5 and a maximum of 3.0 credits from Anthropology optional courses which must include choices in Biological, Social, Material Culture and Medical Anthropology.

Anthropology of Art and Design
Anthropologies of Science, Society and Biomedicine
Anthropology of the Built Environment
Communication and Culture
Cosmos, Society and the Political Imagination
Human Behavioural Ecology
Man and Animals
Mass Consumption and Design

You may take up to a maximum of 0.5 credits from other undergraduate optional courses outside the department.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Individual Studies in Anthropology

Optional courses

You will select a minimum of 2.0 and a maximum of 2.5 credits from all final year Anthropology options. These may include:

Advanced Topics in Digital Culture
Anthropology and Photography
Anthropology and Psychiatry
Evolution and Human Behaviour
Language, Gender and Culture
Reproduction, Fertility and Sex
Ritual Healing and Therapeutic Emplotment
The Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race
Transforming and Creating the World: Anthropological Perspectives on Techniques and Technology

You may take up to a maximum of 0.5 credits from other undergraduate optional courses outside the department.

Further details on department website: Anthropology BSc


The broad range of methodological skills and analytical perspectives offered by the UCL anthropology programme gives our graduates an unusually wide range of career possibilities, many of them directly related to the discipline's cross-cultural focus and to our blending of the social and biological sciences.

Former graduates work in diverse fields, such as journalism, film-making, TV, museums, social work, international development, NGOs and the voluntary sector, police, probation, refugee work, wine tasting, market research, advertising, design, PR, marketing, music industry, accountancy, local government, HR, ESL teaching, and as cultural advisors for multi-nationals.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of this programme include:

  • Full-time student, MA in Public Policy at King's College London (2012)
  • Business Development Executive, Diageo (2012)
  • Research Analyst, Enders Analysis (2011)
  • Non-executive Director, Inside Pensions (2010)
  • Digital Marketing Executive, Nitro Digital (2010)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633