UCL Anthropology



This programme looks at the biological, cultural, social and material culture aspects of human beings as well as their evolution. It will help you gain a broad set of skills including: critical reasoning; the ability to search, analyse and synthesise various materials; collaborative group work; and oral and written communication.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5, plus any Science (Single Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics) required at grade B or 6 (Combined Science at grades 6, 6).

Contextual offer

BBC more about contextual offers
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics both at grade C or 5, plus any Science (Single Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics) required at grade C or 5 (Combined Science at grades 5, 5).

IB Diploma

A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

Contextual offer

30 more about contextual offers
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAB

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • UCL Anthropology is one of the few departments in the country that combines social anthropology, biological anthropology, material culture and medical anthropology to give you a truly broad-based anthropology degree.

  • You will also be studying at one of the world’s top universities for the subject (ranked 4th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020).

  • During your studies you can learn practically by engaging with objects, photographs and films in the UCL Ethnography Collections, hominin and primate specimens in the Biological Anthropology Collection as well as writing for our in-house print magazine and student-run blog, the Anthropolitan.

  • Your teaching will draw on our staff's cutting edge research, examining topics such as the cultural consequences of new digital media, social and environmental sustainability, how people and things interact on NASA space missions, and many more.

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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In the first year, you take compulsory modules covering the three branches of the programme; biological anthropology, social anthropology and material culture. Biological anthropology focuses on contemporary human-environment interactions and human evolution. Social anthropology explores social and cultural differences and their determinants, from indigenous groups to modern western economies. Material culture studies human, social and environmental relationships through the evidence of people's construction of their material world. Your first year also includes qualitative and quantitative methods training, and a three-day field trip to discover ethnographic research and participant observation in ritual, landscape, and techniques.

Your second year includes compulsory modules Anthropological Research Methods and Being Human, and you can select five optional modules. 

In the third year, you select five optional modules and complete an independent research project for your dissertation.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Anthropology.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

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

Optional modules

All first-year modules are compulsory.

Compulsory module(s)

Anthropological Research Methods

Being Human

Optional modules

You will select a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 75 credits from Anthropology optional modules. You can choose from a selection of year 2 only modules which develop fundamental knowledge across anthropology’s sub-disciplines. Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to take prerequisite modules in year 2 which lay the academic groundwork for increasing specialisation in your final year of study. The following list is indicative of the module topics you can choose in year 2 (subject to change):

Anthropology of Gender, Kinship and Migration 

Anthropology of the Body 

Medical Anthropology


Biosocial Approaches to Childrearing

Primate Behaviour and Ecology

Anthropology of Religion 

Decolonising Anthropology

History and Aesthetics of Documentary

Humans, Ecosystems and Conservation

You may take up to a maximum of 15 credits from other undergraduate elective modules outside the department.

Compulsory module(s)

Individual Studies in Anthropology. This is the dissertation project which can involve field/library based research.

Optional modules

You will select a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 75 credits from all final-year Anthropology options. Many final year only optional modules will require the completion of year 2 prerequisites. The following list is indicative of module choices, but it may be subject to change:

Ethnographic and Documentary Film Making

Evolution and Human Behaviour

The Anthropology of the Mediterranean

Evolutionary Medicine

Anthropology of Capitalisms

Anthropology of War

Applied Aspects of Medical Anthropology

Digital Infrastructure: Materiality, Information and Politics

Art and the Public Sphere

Nutrition, Health and Culture

You may take up to a maximum of 15 credits from other undergraduate elective modules outside the department.

Your learning

Our teaching comprises lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory classes. Small-group tutorials, group work and student-led activities are an important element of many modules. Ongoing feedback is given to help you improve your written work.

Your first year also includes a three-day field trip, paid for by the department, to discover ethnographic research and participant observation in ritual, landscape, and techniques.


Your modules may be assessed by written coursework, by examination, presentations, journals, lab books, multimedia tasks, quizzes and dissertation research projects. Examinations are normally unseen and their formats vary according to the module.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


The broad range of research methods 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, law, museums, social work, international development, NGOs and the voluntary sector, police, probation, refugee work, user experience research, advertising, design, PR, marketing, music industry, accountancy, local government, HR, teaching, and as cultural advisors for multinationals.

To find out more about what you can do with an Anthropology degree, how we support you and hear directly from our graduates, check our Careers page on our website.

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Student view
I wanted to study Anthropology because early on I realised that I am very interested in human interaction and the ways we socialise in combination with biological facts. Anthropology is about humans and London is such a diverse and international place. Siba Kalantari - Anthropology BSc Second Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK students
£9,250 (2022/23)
Overseas students
£29,400 (2022/23)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.

Additional costs

The optional module ‘ANTH0032 Atapuerca and Human Evolution in Europe’ includes fieldwork in Burgos, Spain; where students need an additional Visa to travel to Spain, its cost will be covered by the student.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

Given our broad-based degree candidates whose academic studies have encompassed arts/humanities and science (preferably biology or human biology) will be well equipped to manage all aspects of the degree.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 26 January 2022


The department has a long-standing policy of encouraging applications from those with non-standard qualifications. If you are such a candidate you may be asked to provide supplementary evidence of your suitability for the programme, for example by submitting an essay. All applications are considered on their own merits and offers may be tailored to your specific circumstances if we believe you have potential.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 15 September 2022