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Anthropology Careers

At UCL, anthropology students learn how to think differently and critically about their own society and positionality in the world.

What career does anthropology lead to?

Graduates in social science subjects offer a wide range of skills that are enormously valuable to employers across the public, private and third sectors. This includes their discipline-specific knowledge, critical analysis, problem solving, writing skills, interpersonal communication, and qualitative and quantitative research skills. As reflective thinkers, anthropology graduates in particular bring their ability to question assumptions, understand complex issues holistically, on individual and cultural and societal levels, as well as understand people, institutions and their relationships to the employment arena. These skills are transferrable to a broad range of careers including teaching, social work, the civil service, the ‘not for profit’ sector and development, as well as advertising, the arts, museum curation, media, market research and business.

What does anthropology teach you to do?

  • See the world differently – a whole new way of thinking
  • Understand things from other people’s points of view
  • Translate between different communities and groups
  • Create original insights about human behaviour and motivation
  • Manage and make sense of social complexity
  • Transform the world in socially and ethically responsible ways

What kind of jobs does this equip you for?

  • Jobs which demand a capacity to think independently
  • Jobs that deal with complex and difficult data
  • Jobs which demand that you understand other points of view empathetically
  • Jobs which require you to analyse data and information critically

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Alex is an Anthropology BSc Alumnus and in this video he talks about his career in a charity and how he's using the skills gained during his anthropology degree.

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Isaiah is an Anthropology with a Year Abroad alumnus and in this video he shares what an Antropreneur is, his year at Harvard University and his job at Airbnb.

 

UCL Anthropology Careers Support

Central UCL Careers Support

  • Dedicated Careers Liaison for Anthropology
  • UCL Careers Liaison workshops – CV writing, internships, finding a job
  • 1:1 sessions with Careers Service during degree and after graduation
  • Interactive Sessions – Mock aptitude tests, personality profiling, using LinkedIn
  • Talent Bank
  • Global Internship Programmes
  • Global Citizenship Employability
  • Careers Essential Talks, Workshops and E-Learning (succeeding at interviews, writing successful applications)

Sally Brown, careers consultant at UCL Careers, has worked with the Anthropology department for several years and walks you through the careers services we offer.

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Undergraduate careers services

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Postgraduate (Taught) careers services
other RESOURCES
UCL Careers Service

UCL Careers Service offers comprehensive careers information and advice/guidance services plus varied recruitment events and employer led skills development programmes. 

This includes:

  • Short Guidance is a confidential twenty minute 1-1 discussion with a Careers Consultant. It can be used to discuss a range of issues such as decisions about life after UCL, exploring options with your degree, marketing your degree & skills and much more.
  • Applications Advice sessions offer help and feedback on CVs, cover letters and application forms for employers, further study courses, funding and PhD positions.
  • Practice Interviews - If you've been invited to any type of interview, you can see a Careers Consultant for up to an hour for a Practice Interview.
  • Employer Presentations - Talks by companies throughout Autumn and Spring about their opportunities in order to see who is currently recruiting and ask questions about different types of roles.
  • Employer Fairs - A chance to network with employers and ask informally about current opportunities
  • Sector Themed Weeks - A chance to network with representatives from a specific sector to find out more about graduate opportunities and work experience.

For more information and to book appointments, please go to the UCL Careers Service website

Job & Internship Opportunities

Looking for a job or internship?  Then take a look at the following resources:

myUCLCareers - myUCLCareers is UCL's online careers portal enabling students, graduates, research staff and employers to engage with UCL Careers services including vacancy board, events calendar and appointment bookings.

UCL Talent Bank - Connects UCL students and graduates with job, internship and work experience opportunities within small- and medium sized organisations and via UCL alumni.

Graduate Talent Pool - a partnership between government and employers designed to help UK graduates looking for work placements.

The Royal Anthropological Institute - has jobs vacancies, internships and volunteering opportunities

Jobs.ac.uk - has Anthropology Research and PhD positions

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK & Commonwealth - has jobs listings

The Society for Applied Anthropology - has news, events and job listings

The Society for Anthropological Sciences - has info and some jobs

For people interested in getting an internship or job in International Development, check out the document below:

Overseas Work, Further Study & Internships

Going Global

Going Global career and employment resources include more than 10,000 pages of constantly-updated content on topics such as: job search sources, work permit / visa regulations, application writing guidelines and examples, employment trends, salary ranges, networking groups, cultural / interviewing advice… and much more!

UCL students and staff can access this online resource using your normal UCL User ID and password. More details

International JobOnline

Find hundreds of employers looking to target UCL graduates on International JobOnline. Whether you are an international student looking for work back 'home' when you graduate, or a UK student looking to find work outside of the UK, International JobOnline is a great place to find all the information you need. More details

The UCL Alumni Mentoring Network

The Alumni Mentoring Network is a web-based facility provided by the UCL Alumni Network through which graduates can contact UCL alumni to gain an insight into the realities of working in specific professions. Hundreds of UCL alumni spanning a wide range of professions have volunteered to become informal 'mentors' to UCL students and graduates considering their career options.

Alumni mentors can help you find out more about the reality of certain jobs, sectors and professions based on their experiences. They can give you the inside track on what they enjoy about their job, the challenges and advice on how to get into the sector.

Postgraduate Study & Funding

Finding a postgraduate course

 Funding for postgraduate study in the UK

  • TARGETCourses NEW Funding Database - lists and advice on studentships, awards and bursaries
  • Research Professionals - provides information about funding as well as information about your field
  • Funding my further study - general information on funding postgraduate study on the Prospects website. Includes good overviews of the main options and of important factors for consideration.
  • Student Money - includes a funding database, budget planner, loan repayment calculator and a wage predictor, to help you assess the benefits of further study.
  • Postgraduate Studentships - dedicated website in the UK to bring together all the different types of funding opportunities open to potential postgraduates, at both taught and research level, all in one place.
  • Turn 2 Us - This is a charitable service which helps people access the money available to them - through welfare benefits, grants and other help.
  • Find a Masters Funding Guide - A guide to funding for postgraduate study at the masters level.
  • Find a PhD Funding Guide - A guide to funding for postgraduate study at the PhD level.

Postgraduate Study Abroad

Here is a list of online resources which will assist you in your search for international postgraduate studies.

Funding for International Students

For information on funding opportunities specifically for international students to study in the UK, please see the following:

  • UKCISA  - general finance for international students, as well as links to further resources.
  • British Council - searchable database of scholarships and links to further funding opportunities.
  • Education UK - British Council site, which includes a scholarship search function, a budget planner and information on costs of studying in the UK.

Family Action's Educational Grants

There are a range of educational grants available through Family Action's grants programme. Applicants must be studying at a college or university that is affiliated to EGS (Educational Grants Service).

PhD & Early Career Researchers

Did you know that we have dedicated workshops, advice and resources for Research Students?

Advice

For 1:1 advice go to www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/specialistsupport/researchers

Career workshops

We run the following workshops

  • Academic Career Planning
  • Effective Academic Applications
  • Effective Academic Interviews
  • Working in International Teams
  • Career Planning Beyond Academia
  • Interviews & Other Selection Methods
  • How to write CVs & Fill in Application Forms

More information and how to book

Employers

Are you interested in brushing up on key employability skills and meeting/networking with prospective future employers who are interested in PhD and other postgraduate research students?  Click here

Additional Support

For loads more resources and information go to our specialist support for UCL Researchers webpage.

Looking for roles in Academia relating to Anthropology?  Go to www.jobs.ac.uk/categories/anthropology

Volunteering

Whether it is for your CV, a way to work out what you want to do, a chance to meet new friends or to 'give something back', volunteering is a great way to get experience and build up new skills.

The UCL Volunteering Services Unit (VSU)

is a joint project of UCL and UCL Union. It is one of the largest volunteering departments in UK Higher Education and, as such, students wishing to get involved in community activities have a great deal of support and advice on offer.

There are three main strands to the VSU's work:

In addition to these three areas, the VSU organise a wide range of training and events for UCL student volunteers. 

For information and to get involved, click here

Other Volunteering Opportunities

Public Diplomacy & Global Communication MA

This MA programme ran for two cohorts in 2018/19 and 2019/20. It is currently paused with a view to resumption following discussions on how best to position it among the various UCL departments to which it is relevant, and after the current acute phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

Graduate destinations have included the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Turnout Nation; Cratus Communications; MHP Communications; OSB Consulting; returning to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs from which they came; and further study.

‘UCL’s Public Diplomacy and Global Communication course was a great mix of international relations, the study of soft power and persuasion, and communication techniques, all while leaving space for students to dive deep into a wide variety of topics for their dissertations. If you’re interested in learning from diplomats and landing a career in politics or communication, I would highly recommend this course’ (Chloe, 2018/19)

The MA programme was designed and convened by a senior British diplomat and Anthropology PhD and the teaching drew on experts in public diplomacy, journalism and advocacy including former and serving diplomats. It combined an innovative mix of theory and practice, inter-disciplinarity, diplomacy and communication, including modules from Anthropology and Political Science and engagement with both academics and practitioners.

The core course, Public Diplomacy & Global Communication: History, Theory and Practice, provided opportunities to learn about soft power, digital diplomacy, the role of non-state actors in diplomacy, ‘nudge’, propaganda online and off, and other themes from this rapidly evolving area of the social sciences. It also offered training in global public engagement, for example public speaking; working with the press and media; practical film making for social media usage, and internet research skills.

Weekly seminars included speakers such as the General Manager of the Premier League Charitable Fund; Director of the European Council for Foreign Relations; Home Affairs Editor of The Telegraph; Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; Director of Communications at DEXEU; UCL’s Vice Provost/former High Commissioner to South Africa; Director of Partnerships at tech start-up Improbable; and from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office the Head of the Policy Unit; Director of the Diplomatic Academy; Head of Soft Power & Strategic Engagement; a former Director National Security, former Chief Historian and others.

Students also studied three optional modules from the Anthropology or Political Science departments, including the Anthropology of Social Media; Risk, Power & Uncertainty; the EU in the World; Theories of International Relations; Journalism Writing Skills for International Affairs; Radio & Podcasting.  Over the third term and summer students planned, researched and completed dissertations on topics of their choice, in most cases working with a practitioner mentor from diplomatic or related communication circles.

Contact: Dr Cornelia Sorabji, c.sorabji@ucl.ac.uk