Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8621
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8625
Anthropology at UCL far exceeded my expectations, the hands-on approach to the learning and the support provided by the lecturers really helped me get involved and enjoy my studies.
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:
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).
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 (2009-2011) of this programme include:
- Research Analyst, Enders Analysis (2011)
- Non-Executive Director, Inside Pensions (2011)
- Capital Analyst, Cantrell (2010)
- Full-time student, PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews (2010)
- Deputy Manager, Richmond Borough Council Library Services (2010)
Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633