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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 socio-cultural anthropology, biological anthropology 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 your first year as an anthropology student you will receive a solid grounding in the methods and theories of socio-cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and material culture studies.
- Introduction to Biological Anthropology
- Introduction to Material and Visual Culture
- Introductory Social Anthropology
- Methods and Techniques in Biological Anthropology
- Researching the Social World
In the second year, you will progress to a more advanced understanding of anthropology in each of the three fields, and also begin to form your own perspective on these subjects by choosing options. The core elements in this year comprise a course in more advanced Anthropological Theory from a social and material culture perspective, as well as some further tuition in biological anthropology (either palaeontology or population studies). Alongsie these core elements, which all students have to take, you can choose from literally dozens of options covering all parts of the world and an enormous variety of topics. These might include the study of living primates, learning in depth about the cultures of a part of the world you are especially interested in, or deepening your understanding in a particular topic or theoretical field. A full range of the options available in Years 2 and 3 can be found on our departmental websites. You will also receive general training in research and presentation skills, which will be of use in any walk of life.
You will select 3.5 credits of optional
courses which must include choices in Biological Anthropology, Social
Anthropology and Material Culture. These may include:
- Anthropology of Art and Design
- Gender, Language and Culture
- Man and Animals
- Medical Anthropology
- Population Studies
- Primate Behaviour and Ecology
- Social Construction of Landscapes
In the third year, you will take further optional courses, and apply the skills you have learned to an independent piece of investigative research: the 11,000 word dissertation. This may relate to any area of socio-cultural anthropology, biological anthropology or material culture studies, or combine these approaches in different ways. You choose the topic with guidance from a supervisor who will also help you see it through to completion. The dissertation offers a chance to explore those aspects of the study of human beings, with expert guidance. It is also excellent grounding for graduate research, should you choose to continue your studies beyond the BSc.
You will select a minimum of 2.0 and a maximum of 2.5 credits from all
third year Anthropology options. You may take up to a maximum of 0.5
credits from all undergraduate optional courses. These may include: