What can I do with my degree in ... Anthropology?




This section has been written for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Anthropology and related subjects at the University of Kent. It attempts to give a brief answer to the question: "What can I do with my degree?”
Although your main interest may be in how to make the best use of your degree subject, there are many issues which are common to all undergraduates and postgraduates planning their careers. Some of these are covered in our Choosing a Career pages which will also help you to assess your strengths, weaknesses, interests, abilities and skills in order to relate career options to what you want from your career.


A degree in Anthropology provides graduates with a wide range of transferable skills, which are important in many career fields. 


To the many employers who recruit graduates in any discipline, these skills will be more important than the actual subject of your degree.

"People who are from, or have lived in, global markets expose the company to different mindsets and ways of approaching tasks. Different educational backgrounds also help foster critical thinking skills. Candidates who have studied anthropology and psychology, for example, bring keen observational skills to your team, which is especially good for early stage market and customer prototyping."

Beth Comstock


A high proportion of anthropology graduates work in the public and not-for-profit sectors, all branches of the Civil Service, local government, charities, central government bodies, universities, international organisations, museums and voluntary organisations. Anthropology graduates also pursue roles in advertising, sales and marketing, positions in museums, conservation, and heritage management and careers related to health and social work.The AGCAS "Options with Anthropology" leaflet www.prospects.ac.uk/options_anthropology.htm should be read in conjunction with the Information contained here.

International aid/Development Worker
International aid/development workers focus on meeting the needs of people and communities in the developing world. Career areas include administration, research, fundraising, training, consultancy, advocacy, relief work and economist roles, as well as professional roles within health work, medicine, engineering and planning. A postgraduate qualification will be required for many of these roles

University Lecturer
This does not require a teaching qualification, but you will need a higher degree, ideally a PhD plus teaching experience (which you may be able to gain while a postgraduate student). Competition is strong for junior academic posts

Social Researcher
Social researchers plan, design and manage social research projects. They use a variety of computer software packages to collect, analyse and organise information and data, which they then present to others, either in a written report or oral presentation. www.prospects.ac.uk/social_researcher_entry_requirements.htm

Local Government Officer
Local government offers a diverse and wide-ranging professional environment with good prospects for progression and promotion. It covers a breadth of officer roles, with many specialist areas including housing, finance, human resources, education, planning, transport, tourism, libraries, leisure and recreation, regeneration, social work, health and IT. www.prospects.ac.uk/local_government_officer_job_description.htm

Charity Officer  
A charity officer works for, or is a trustee of, a charitable organisation. The job title can refer to personnel in several roles within a charity. In larger organisations, the role may focus on a specific area, such as project management, business development, finance, marketing, public relations, fundraising or volunteer management. www.prospects.ac.uk/charity_officer_job_description.htm

Museum Work
Jobs in the museum sector include curator, exhibition organiser, education officer and conservator. A postgraduate qualification and work experience (frequently gained as a volunteer) will be necessary; education officers normally have experience in teaching www.prospects.ac.uk/links/InfoMusManage

Community Development Worker
Community development worker often acts as a link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers. They are frequently involved in addressing inequality, and projects often target communities perceived to be culturally, economically or geographically disadvantaged www.prospects.ac.uk/community_development_worker_job_description.htm

Volunteer Co-ordinator
Volunteer coordinators manage volunteers and their relationship with those they come into contact with, including employees and service users of an organisation. They also monitor, evaluate and accredit volunteers. Volunteer coordinators work across all sectors including public and private, but predominantly in the voluntary sector. www.prospects.ac.uk/volunteer_coordinator_job_description.htm


Postgraduate study may enable you to explore aspects of anthropology in greater depth or to study a new subject. As noted above, a postgraduate qualification, either academic or vocational, is required to enter many fields of work related to anthropology such as, lecturer or social researcher. You should consider why you want to do postgraduate work, whether it will affect your career prospects and whether you are likely to get funding. There is no equivalent of UCAS for postgraduate study, so investigate courses early, starting with the Postgraduate Study section of this website and the Prospects website. If you are already a student on a taught Masters degree, you may wish to continue your studies by research, in the UK (at Kent or elsewhere) or overseas. Again, early planning is important. You should seek advice from your supervisor as to the possible options.


The latest destinations for all subjects including undergraduates and postgraduates at Kent can be found at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/fdrbases/destinations.htm

Examples of destinations of recent Kent graduates in single and joint honours Anthropology

Arts, Design, Culture, and Media Sector

One Tribe TV


MMG Publishing

Editorial Programme Assistant

Darlow Smithson productions

Client Support Executive

Development Intern

Internews Europe

Business and Finance Sector


Administrative Assistant


Assistant Junior Banker

Lloyds Banking Group

HR Project Analyst

Education Sector

Dane Court Grammar School

Support Worker

Ashcroft School

Teaching Assistant

Kingsbury High School

Library Officer

Chafford School

Assistant Lab Technician

International House

English Teacher

Heath and Social Work


Orchird Cellmark

Forensic Casework Administrator 


Response Desk Co-ordinator

Medicals Direct

Case Co-coordinator

Heritage Sector


Arts and Heritage Attendant

National Trust

Assistant Visitor Services Manager

Information Technology Sector

Not Just Balloons  

Social Media and IT Assistant  


Customer Services Advisor

Marketing, Sales and Advertising Sector

4PS Marketing  

Account Executive

Talbot Import Company

Advertising Assistant

Charitable Sector  


NTT Fundraising

Support Worker


Public Sector

Kent County Council

Personnel admin Assistant

Swale Borough council

Housing Administration

Connexions Kent

Trainee Personal Adviser

Retail Sector

Crabtree and Evelyn

Brand Ambassador


Team Leader

John Lewis Partnership

Merchandising Assistant (Graduate Scheme_

Postgraduate study

Goldsmiths University

MA Anthropology and Cultural Politics

University of Kent

MA Social Anthropology

University College London

MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology

University College London

MSc in Digital Anthropology

University College London

MSc Palaeolithic Archaeology

Canterbury Christ Church

PGCE Science 11-18

Lancaster University

MA Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

King’s College London

MA Social Policy

Hull York Medical School

PhD Functional Morphology/ Biomechanics

Durham University

MA in International Studies

University of Sydney

MA in Anthropology


Examples of destinations of postgraduates in Anthropology



Job Title

Anthropology PhD

Global Diversity Foundation

Regional Programmes Director

Anthropology PhD


Pronunciation Linguist

Anthropology of Ethnicity MA-T

Hays Recruitment

Account Manager

MA Social Anthropology


Information Analyst

MA Visual Anthropology

Network Research

Telephone Interviewer



An Anthropology degree offers many possibilities and graduates are not necessarily going to remain with their first employer or job role for the whole of their working lives. These are some of the positions occupied by past Kent graduates

  • Registrar (Academic) - College of Health
  • Staff Nurse - NHS Hospital Trust
  • Chief Technical Adviser - Overseas Development Administration
  • Editor - Civil Service
  • Care Officer/Centre Worker - Social Services
  • Human Resources Manager - Esso Singapore
  • Constituency & PR Manager - Labour MEP
  • Senior Lecturer – UK University
  • Speech & Language Therapist – NHS
  • Primary School Teacher – Surrey School
  • Youth Worker – Connexions
  • Senior Campaigner – Greenpeace
  • Immigration Judge – Department for Constitutional Affairs
  • International Officer – UK University
  • Africa Program Support Officer – Oxfam
  • Business Manager – Photography Company




Last fully updated 2015