Anthropology BA

Anthropology

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
L600
Start date:
September 2018

Anthropology gives you an in-depth understanding of cultures and societies across the world. It helps you grasp your place in the world, so you can make a difference.

You’ll benefit from high-quality, research-led teaching in a supportive and challenging learning environment. You’ll learn to question your own and others’ assumptions, and to confront and find answers to real-world problems.

“The course is fascinating, engaging and so enjoyable that I have loved my degree since the very first lecture.” Harriet HeavenAnthropology BA

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Extended Project Qualification

We take the EPQ into account when considering your application and it can be useful in the summer when your results are released if you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. We do not routinely include the EPQ in the conditions of your offer but we sometimes offer alternative conditions that include the EPQ. If you wish to discuss this further please contact Admissions at ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall average result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H2,H2,H3,H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 7th in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018).
  • Learn from experts who influence debate on topics such as gender, migration, economic and political processes, religion, health and reproduction.
  • Benefit from the buzzing, vibrant and interdisciplinary intellectual environment in the School of Global Studies.

Course information

How will I study?

You are introduced to the unique ways through which anthropologists understand humans. How can we make sense of diverse social and cultural practices across different contexts and times?

You gain knowledge about the theory, methodology and applications of anthropology, as well as key issues emerging from the study of exchange and kinship.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

Explore subjects different to your course – electives and pathways allow you to complement your main subject. Find out what opportunities your course offers

How will I study?

You receive training in the research methods, techniques and skills that are used by anthropologists in the field. You learn about key areas in anthropology, such as the anthropology of politics, religion and ritual, and culture and representation.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

Explore subjects different to your course – electives and pathways allow you to complement your main subject. Find out what opportunities your course offers

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

“America is a great place for road tripping! I’m experiencing what it’s like to go to college here and I’ve learnt how other people view life.” James AckroydAnthropology BA, studied abroad at Arizona State University, US

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

You build on the knowledge you acquired in Years 1 and 2 to understand more advanced topics. You’ll learn from leading international scholars, and can study topics including:

  • the anthropology of South Asia, Africa or Latin America
  • the anthropology of performance, environment, medicine and the body
  • human rights, development and advanced theory.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

“I’ve written for the Guardian on how boys and men are being left out of the conversation on gender equality.” Professor Andrea CornwallProfessor of Anthropology and Development

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£15,500 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

100% of Anthropology BA students were in work or further study six months after graduating (HESA EPI). Recent Anthropology graduates have taken up jobs such as:

  • recycling adviser, Resource Futures
  • young refugees caseworker, British Red Cross
  • events co-ordinator, decins Sans Frontières.

(Department of Anthropology careers database)

Your future career

You gain transferable skills in analysis, written communication and cultural understanding. These skills are sought after in areas including:

  • media
  • international development
  • the charity and business sectors.

You can also attend specialist careers events and workshops with industry representatives and employers.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Key Concepts in Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module provides an overview of the big questions that anthropologists have contributed to and the different theoretical paradigms and concepts that they have developed or adopted. The aim is to provide you with a rapid overview of the discipline. It begins with two weeks examining the concepts of Society and Culture and their varied conceptualisations, followed by weeks that take in turn the key characteristics and assumptions of

  • British structural functionalism
  • methodological individualism and agency
  • French structuralism
  • British structuralism
  • marxism, ideology and hegemony
  • discourse and power/knowledge
  • poststructuralism
  • 'practice' and phenomenology.

Practising Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module offers an introduction to anthropological practice by answering the question: "What do anthropologists do?"

It starts with a consideration of fieldwork and the core anthropological method of participant observation. It then considers forms of anthropological writing and ethnography.

The module also considers the impact engaged anthropology can have on the modern world.

The Anthropological Imagination

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

We aim to convey a sense of anthropology as an exciting, 'living' subject, alive to the concerns of different communities and populations living across the globe. You'll also experience it as cutting edge in terms of the research conducted by anthropologists at Sussex, as we actively engage with issues of social, cultural and global transformation.

The module structure revolves around five core themes considered central to the subject. These capture anthropological thinking about culture, identity and representation:

  • kinship, self and body
  • economy as culture
  • religion
  • politics
  • work on the global-local interface.

The Anthropology of Exchange, Money and Markets

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module introduces you to how anthropologists conceptualise, research, and generate new understandings of the human activities that comprise economic life.

Studying economic life from an anthropological view requires us to rethink concepts such as work and leisure, poverty and wealth, gifts and commodities, money and markets, and the term 'economy' itself. Therefore, economic anthropology enables us to critique some of the universalisms of mainstream economics through which capitalism has become naturalised.

Traditionally, economic anthropology has been concerned with systems of exchange, non-industrial economies, and livelihood systems. In addition to covering these topics, we will examine issues of contemporary concern such as:

  • class, money, debt and shopping
  • factories, fair trade, globalisation and bioeconomies
  • new strategies and practices of resistance.

The Anthropology of Kinship and Relatedness

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The study of human relatedness and kinship has been central to the history of British social anthropology. This module introduces you to classic and new debates in kinship studies. It draws upon material from a wide range of ethnographic contexts to examine the ways that societies organise and conceptualise human relationships. It is concerned with the transformation of social structures and processes as well as the connections between kin organisations and power in developing and post-industrial societies.

You will consider both accepted and more novel ways in thinking about human kinship – how we become related through 'substance', emotion, place and technology, for example. We cover both historical ground and contemporary debates in the study of human relatedness.

Worlds and Selves

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

You’re introduced to interdisciplinary anthropological perspectives concerning subjectivity and “being-in-the-world”.

This involves anthropological engagements with gender and queer theories, epistemologies of race and ethnicity, and existential and psycho-social perspectives.

Through this you explore literature that considers people’s senses of self and their senses of the world around them. In doing so the module aims to open up questions pertaining to the nature of “being” in the world, to examine relations between people, places and other entities, such as animals, organic matter and “things”.

We consider this when it comes to thinking about social worlds and life experience.

You’ll aim to develop practical tools for reflexive understanding as a method for ethnographic insight.

Ethnographic Research Methods

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you are introduced to practical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding ethnographic research in anthropology, and the social sciences more generally.

You explore methodological concerns around research design and implementation - through a series of workshops on epistemology, methodology, and ethics.

You are introduced to a range of qualitative research methods, including the research interview, participant-observation, and various participatory research methods. You also get an introduction to the analysis of qualitative data, and key issues of writing and representation.

For this module, you are assessed on a group research project. In this project, you design and conduct an independent piece of ethnographic research around a key anthropological theme, while reflecting on and applying the theoretical and practical insights gained through the module.

Key Debates in Contemporary Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Religion and Ritual

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module is concerned with the explanation of religious and ritual phenomena.

It explores the key theoretical issues by examining ethnographic material that deals with - among other things - initiation, myth, witchcraft, symbolism and religious experience.

There is also some treatment of more 'secular' rituals such as carnival and Christmas.

The focus is as much on how people believe as on what they believe; on why they perform rituals as much as what these rituals look like.

It explores both classic texts and more recent accounts, to give students a sense of where particular arguments have come from and where they are going.

Politics and Power

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You explore forms of power by drawing on political anthropology and social theory.

In Western societies the term 'politics' tends to imply a narrow range of activities and institutions, typically those focused around parties, government and the state.We use the term 'political' in a much wider sense, and link it to the operations of power.

Power is not a thing, but an aspect of a vast range of relationships from the most local to the global.

There can be no neat boundaries around this field of study. Instead our intention is to explore the way the analysis of power has widened and deepened over the last fifty years, and to suggest continuity with economic and cultural processes that you are studying in other modules.

Cities and Urban Lives

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you are introduced to literature and debates in the fields of urban anthropology and anthropology of the city.

You explore historical processes of urbanization, focusing on the spatial, cultural, political and social characteristics of the modern cities, as well
as looking at the experiences of everyday urban life in cities across the world.

You undertake a comparative analysis of the diversity of urban forms and experiences based on specific case studies, to engage with theories ascribing universal characteristics to modern urban society and culture.

Topics covered in this module include:

  • Urban Anthropology and Anthropology of the City: methodological and epistemological challenges
  • From Nomadism to Modern City: the long march of urbanization
  • Pre-modern cities: spiritual economies and cosmopolitan spaces
  • The Colonial and the Colonised City: the spatialization of hierarchies
  • Capitalism, (de)industrialization and the modern city: urban economies
  • Modern Urban Cultures: from street corner society to urban gangs
  • Modern Urban Politics: revolutions, revolts and protests
  • Globalisation, neo-liberalism and the city: the (re)making of class privilege and exclusion
  • Post-modern cityscapes: skyscrapers, shopping malls and slums
  • Materialities of urban life-worlds: crowds, traffic, leisure, etc.

Culture and Representation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you focus on the anthropological master trope of 'culture' and on the political dimensions of representing culture or 'cultures'.

You consider how anthropological understandings of 'culture', as well as anthropologists' modes of analysing and representing it in anthropological work, developed over the 20th century, partially in conversation with other disciplines.

You also examine how 'culture' operates as a key idea in the public domain, used by politicians, community and human rights activists, artists, scientists, museum curators and others, in relation to a wide range of issues and debates when distinctions between 'ourselves' and 'others' are at stake.

Finally, you look at some activities within the cultural domain (such as music, dance, theatre, verbal artistry), which have a performative dimension. You consider how anthropologists have approached these activities to address questions about structure and agency, embodiment, experience, art and aesthetics, creativity, power and protest.

Ethnographic Field Research

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Visual Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you become familiar with theories and applications of visual anthropology.

You have the opportunity to study complex legacies of visual representation in anthropology as well as contemporary, activist visual work. You explore cross-overs between anthropological and other relevant visual epistemologies in the social sciences.

You also undertake visual research projects.

Anthropology of Fertility, Reproduction and Health

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module uses social and cultural perspectives to examine academic and policy work in the area of reproduction, sexuality and health. It draws on the insights of medical anthropology, especially in relation to the body, gender and power, to critically reflect on reproduction, sexuality and health issues across the global North and South. A particular concern is with the existence and experience of sexual and reproductive inequalities in diverse social and cultural settings. Contrary to popular belief, reproduction is a process which is as much about men as it is about women, and is studied in the context of, for example, male fertility/infertility, masculinity, fatherhood and male sexual health. The module builds upon the theoretical perspectives introduced in the second year on kinship, procreation, social reproduction, sexuality, personhood, reproductive technologies, human rights and applied anthropology.

Anthropology of Migration

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you engage closely with the anthropology of migration.

You cover topics such as:

  • migration, development and modernity
  • transnationalism and diaspora
  • belonging and home
  • multiculturalism and cultural identity
  • refugees and asylum seekers
  • borderlands and the state.

And through these topics, you explore the ways in which anthropologists have critically engaged with debates surrounding migration - from early work on the South African Copperbelt, to contemporary work which interrogates the nature and politics of mobility and immobility.

Anthropology of the Body

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the body from an anthropological perspective and considers how different societies and cultures conceptualise and experience the human body. In recent years, anthropologists and other academics have become increasingly interested in the body, including authors such as Foucault and Bourdieu. Some draw upon Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological approach with its emphasis on the senses, while others attempted to resolve the tensions between experience and agency. The module asks how the body represents a challenge for anthropological research, and explores recent ethnographic contributions to this field. We consider the body as a site on which social and cultural processes are inscribed, where power relations converge and are articulated and as a site where agency is performed. Materials are drawn from both non-Western and Western societies.

This module will be assessed by a 5,000-word essay.

Current Themes in the Anthropology of Latin America

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you develop a framework for understanding current social, cultural and political issues in Latin American.

Throughout the module, you engage with anthropological understandings of a number of key ideas including:

  • indigeneity
  • race
  • gender
  • colonialism
  • nation states
  • the environment.

Each week is centred on ethnographic pieces that offer interesting reflections on contemporary issues as well as anthropological theory.

You begin with a basic history of the continent that sets up some of the key issues that underpin the current cultural and social diversity of the region.

This includes both the dichotomy between the European 'conquerors' and indigenous groups, as well as the introduction of African slaves and notable distinctions based around urban and rural living, and nation states and their peripheries.

In doing this, the emphasis is on including both European-based understandings of events and ideas - but also local, alternative understandings of the world, particularly in the form of Amazonian cosmology and ideas of perspectivism.

This cultural and historical knowledge then gives you the foundations from which to look at key contemporary issues including:

  • race and identity
  • rural to urban migration
  • cities, slums and current attempts to 'pacify' and control them
  • music and festivals
  • the Latin American diaspora and the creation of transnational cultures and communities.

Throughout the course, the heterogeneity of Latin America is emphasised, while you explore some basic ideas and theoretical approaches to the continent and its people. This allows you to find a topic or idea that interests you and that can form the core of your own 5,000 word essay.

Environmental Anthropology

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you consider the cross-cultural study of relations between people and their environment.

Like the focus of many environmental movements, much recent work in ecological anthropology has been crisis-driven.

Whilst covering this literature, the focus of this module will be broader, taking a wider perspective, including the context in which the research itself is being done. Current work on the human dimensions of deforestation, or global climate change, for example, can be informed and strengthened by an understanding of the century-old intellectual lineage of the underlying issues.

Therefore, in this module you cover the evolution of environmental anthropology, using ethnographic exemplars that relate to contemporary environmental issues, whilst at the same time probing debates such as:

  • the Nature-Culture trap, and beyond
  • Ecology and Social Organisation
  • the Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment (including environmental anthropological contributions to mining, resource conflict etc.)
  • knowing (and the limits to knowing) and researching the environment.

The Anthropology of Africa

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you are introduced to contemporary anthropological approaches in culture and society in Africa.

The guiding thread of the module is an exploration of the relationship between macro and micro levels of analysis in understanding of African society, through a selection of thematic lenses such as:

  • economy
  • politics
  • religion
  • health
  • gender
  • conflict
  • power.

The assessment for this module is a 5,000-word essay.

Anthropology Thesis

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

During your final year you are required to undertake an individual project based on original research, which culimates in a ten thousand word dissertation. Whilst some of you may wish to conduct fieldwork for your dissertation (which we anticipate would be done during the spring / summer of Y2), others may choose to work on secondary sources. In order to prepare for this work, you will have been given methodological training in the module 'Ethnographic Methods' (TB1, Y2). By the end of TB1, Y2, you will be allocated a supervisor, who will help them prepare for their research, and supervise their project as they write it up over a course of regular meetings during Y3.

Anthropology of Islam and Muslim Societies

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module introduces you to anthropological debates concerning Islam and Muslim societies. Focusing on the complex and diverse experiences of being Muslim in different ethnographic contexts, it explores intersections between religious practice - Islamic knowledge, authority, prayer, ritual and piety and political, economic, social and cultural processes. On the basis of ethnographic studies, the module questions whether 'Islam' can be considered as a unified experiential and analytical category, and how anthropologists have participated in the production of Islam as a specific field of study. The module considers actual instances or expressions of religiosity and how these are the ground of everyday contestations and, at times, conflict between different sects and groups.

Development, Business and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the role of business in development and the rise of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement.

In recent years, the private sector – transnational corporations (TNCs) in particular – have become increasingly important players in the development process. The business and development movement has emerged as part of the dramatic rise of CSR over the past decade – providing a new vision for the role of business in society as 'corporate citizen'. Development institutions (such as DFID and the UN, as well as global NGOs) have become increasingly interested in mobilising businesses, not only as donors, but as partners in development. At the same time, ethical trading initiatives, the fairtrade movement and pro-poor enterprise models offer different opportunities for harnessing the power of the market in the service of development.

We will explore a number of key questions concerning the role of business in development and the rise of the CSR movement, from the perspective of both its proponents and opponents.

Human Rights

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses less on human rights rules and laws, and more on the assumptions of human rights, and the historical context and issues around their operation and implementation.

It draws from a new and growing literature on the sociology and anthropology of human rights that seeks to move beyond the assumptions of legal positivism (rights as being 'read off' from lists of human rights covenants) in order to develop the 'legal realist' argument. This argument focuses upon the living law of the operation of courts, the police, and the everyday understandings that citizens give to notions such as truth, justice, and morality.

Race, Ethnicity and Identity

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses on theories of race, ethnicity and identity. You will apply diverse approaches to race, ethnicitiy and identity to historical and contemporary ethnographic contexts.

As well as examining the ways in which racial and ethnic identities have been constructed across time and space, we interrogate these constructions with specific reference to:

  • the development of anthropology
  • slavery and colonialism
  • scientific racism
  • postcolonial political regimes
  • postcolonial feminism
  • conflict and genocide
  • identity-based mass violence
  • diaspora, transnationalism and the Black Atlantic
  • contemporary understandings of race and racism in its myriad forms
  • multicultural lives and hybridity.

You are assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

The Anthropology of Europe

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Anthropology is generally thought to be the study of non-European societies, but actually has a long and significant history of research on societies within Europe. This module examines this European tradition, focusing particularly on how anthropologists have tried to understand the sociocultural transformations of Europe since World War II. The guiding theme is an exploration of the relationship between macro and micro levels of analysis in our understanding of European society: what are the relationships between Europe and its constituent regions, nation states, communities? How do broader trends within European society and politics impact upon the everyday life of Europeans today?

The Anthropology of Food

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Understanding Contemporary India

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module introduces you to some key contemporary debates in the study of South Asian societies, with a focus on India.

Starting with an interrogation of anthropological representations of South Asia, the module will explore debates about caste and hierarchy, leading to a discussion of everyday experiences of caste and its changing meaning and importance in contemporary India. It will question why bonded labour, patronage, inequality and poverty are so persistent in one of the world’s fastest growing regions. It will explore how neoliberal policies and ideologies are reshaping South Asian subjectivity and society.

The module will then turn to the politics of identity as shaped by class, caste and religious affiliations. It will explore the rise of the middle classes and its links with consumption, urban restructuring and the new enterprise culture, as well as its implications for growing inequalities of class and wealth. It will look into religious and communal identity formation and conflict, and will explore the nature of popular religion in South Asia. Finally, the module will look at the role of the state and politics in the making of contemporary South Asia. The state will be considered as a key actor in the shaping of neoliberal policies and ideologies, as a terrain of patronage and politics, and as the deliverer of new social welfare policies.

This module will be assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

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