Social Anthropology explores how and why people do the things they do, for example, how they work, use technologies, and negotiate conflicts, relationships and change. Social Policy looks at the ways in which we as a society promote the welfare of individuals and families - examining debates such as the best way to provide healthcare, promote equality or tackle crime.
This programme explores people’s social relationships and cultural values in a wide range of local, global, diasporic and transnational settings – their political and economic organisation, their use of rural and urban spaces, their systems of knowledge and forms of religious experience. As a research-led School, we offer a wide range of specialist topics and ethnographic area modules covering regions such as the Amazon, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Pacific. The application of IT to anthropological research and practice is an important element. At Kent, you also have the opportunity to study visual anthropology, with modules on the anthropological use of photography, film and video.
Anthropology is a friendly and cosmopolitan School where you are taught by leading authorities in their fields. Our Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC) was one of the first in the country and our Centre for Biocultural Diversity (CBCD) is equally outstanding.
Social Policy looks at both the nature of social problems and the policies directed towards them by government, as well as examining the role of voluntary and private welfare. You look at debates regarding how best to provide health care, how to provide affordable housing, how to balance work and family life, and how to achieve equality for women, minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities. In studying these and many other vital topics, you develop the knowledge and skills to help you succeed in your future career.
The programme is very flexible and provides a wide range of options. It is based within the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, which has consistently achieved high ratings for the quality of its teaching and research.
In the National Student Survey 2016, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 7th for overall satisfaction. It was ranked 9th for teaching quality in The Times Good University Guide 2017. Social Policy and Administration at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2017 and 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.
For graduate prospects, Social Policy at Kent was ranked 2nd and Anthropology was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2017. Anthropology and Conservation students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (DLHE).
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|SA300 - Social Problems and Social Policy I: Youth,The family and the State||15|
This module is designed both for students intending to specialise in social policy, and for other students who are interested in social problems and responses to them. We explore the ways in which phenomena come to be labelled as social problems, we focus upon the problem of youth and why certain youth behaviours are seen as problematic, who defines them as such and what is expected in terms of the balance between state and family responsibility. Issues explored include: young peoples changing relationship to the family; teenage pregnancy; education, transitions to work, migration drug (mis)use, youth homelessness and anti-social behaviour.
|SA301 - Health, Care and Wellbeing||15|
Health ,care and wellbeing are central concerns in all our lives; and they raise questions of the interconnected roles of the state, the market and the individual in their creation and support. In this module we explore how we understand and conceptualise these areas, and the potential role of policy interventions in support of them. The module examines the social determinants of health, exploring the ways in which often replicate wider inequalities in society. It asks how we might best address changing health needs, particularly in relation to the growing proportion of older people, exploring these in the context of the new politics of the NHS. What are the best structures to deliver health care? How should these best be funded? Life style is increasingly implicated in health outcomes, and the module explores the dilemmas raised by rising levels of obesity and alcohol consumption. These are matters of personal choice, but they challenge the health and wellbeing of the population, and raise questions of how choices are shaped in the context of market production. Governments increasingly declare that they are interested not simply in health or prosperity, but also of wellbeing. The module explores what this means, and why there is a new interest in this area.
|SE301 - Social Anthropology||30|
Social Anthropology is a discipline which arose with other social sciences in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, social and cultural anthropology has made a speciality of studying 'other' peoples worlds and ways of life. With increasing frequency, however, anthropologists have turned towards 'home', using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. By studying people's lives both at 'home' and 'abroad', social and cultural anthropology attempt to both explain what may at first appear bizarre and alien about other peoples' ways of living whilst also questioning what goes without saying about our own society and beliefs. Or, to put it another way, social and cultural anthropology attempt, among other things, to challenge our ideas about what we take to be natural about 'human nature' and more generally force us to take a fresh look at what we take for granted.
|SE302 - Foundations of Biological Anthropology||30|
This module is an introduction to biological anthropology and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about human evolution, culture, and behaviour. This module is required for all BSc and BA Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history and biology of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications. The module is team-taught by the biological and medical anthropology staff
|SO336 - Sociology of Everyday Life||15|
Sociology offers insight into how society works. To do this, we question and look behind the common sense view of everything in the social world. This course looks at a range of important and topical aspects of society and explains how we can make better sense of them by thinking sociologically. The aim is to introduce students to the wide range of topics which comprise contemporary Sociology and indicate how social circumstances shape and influence our lives. Why do powerful differences and inequalities between men and women persist even though both are now formally equal? Why, in a world that is safer and healthier than ever before, do we witness so much concern about risks such as to our health, children and security. These are type of questions we will begin to answer. The course is suitable both for those who have studied sociology at A level, and those who have not. There is a considerable emphasis on interactive discussion, through weekly seminar groups.
|SO337 - Fundamentals of Sociology||15|
This course provides grounding in the basic history and assumptions of sociological thinking and research, and how they apply to key aspects of our society. Topics are less from everyday experience than in the Sociology of Everyday Life course, focusing on more abstract topics such as the state and globalization. Students will also be encouraged to consider competing perspectives on these topics and how they might be assessed. There will be a lecture and seminar each week and students will be encouraged to engage in informed discussion and debate.
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|SE586 - Ethnographies 1||15|
The curriculum for this module will consist of reading four professional ethnographic monographs in their entirety. The selection of the ethnographies will be determined by thematic conjunction with the thematic topics to be taught in the Advanced Social Anthropology I module, i.e. Kinship and Social Organisation, and Economic Systems. Students will be expected to come to seminars with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies and also dealt with historically and analytically in the co-requisite module Advanced Social Anthropology I. Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier class meetings, on instruction about how to read an ethnography e.g. on how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions, on how to place it within the historical development of the discipline, on how to evaluate its empirical exemplification of particular theoretical problems, on how to evaluate the relationship between description and analysis, on how to evaluate it contribution to particular issues and topics within anthropology, and on the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social group through the written word.
|SE587 - Ethnographies 2||15|
The curriculum for this module will consist of professional ethnographic monographs of varying length to be read at the rate of one (or selected substantial parts of one) monograph per week. The selection of the ethnographies will be determined by thematic conjunction with the analytical topics to be taught in the Advanced Social Anthropology 2 module, thereby divided into two congruent blocs. These are labelled Power and Authority and Belief and Practice [see Module specification for SE 589]. Students will be expected to come to class with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies and also dealt with historically and analytically in the co-requisite module Advanced Social Anthropology 1. Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier classes, on instruction about how to read an ethnography e.g. on how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions, on how to place it within the historical development of the discipline, on how to evaluate its empirical exemplification of particular theoretical problems, on how to evaluate the relationship between description and analysis, on how to evaluate it contribution to particular issues and topics within anthropology, and on the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social group through the written word.
|SE588 - Advanced Social Anthropology 1: Power and Economy||15|
The module is a cross-cultural analysis of economic and political institutions, and the ways in which they transform over time. Throughout the term, we draw upon a range of ethnographic research and social theory, to investigate the political and conceptual questions raised by the study of power and economy.
The module engages with the development and key debates of political and economic anthropology, and explores how people experience, and acquire power over social and economic resources. Students are asked to develop perspectives on the course material that are theoretically informed and empirically grounded, and to apply them to the political and economic questions of everyday life.
The module covers the following topics: the relationship between power and authority; key concepts and theoretical debates in economic anthropology; sharing and egalitarianism; gift exchange; sexual inequality; violence; the nation state; money; social class; work; commodification; financialisation.
|SE589 - Advanced Social Anthropology II: Religion & Cosmological Imagination||15|
This module is focused on a diverse range of approaches deployed by anthropologists to the study of religion, and belief and symbolic systems. It introduces a range of an-thropological insights to the ongoing transformations of religious traditions and belief systems vis-à-vis colonial encounters, post-colonial settings, as well as globalisation. The aim of the module is to familiarize students with the complex interactions between lived religious practice, religious traditions, and the ways in which these are intertwined with other domains of social life, politics, economics and ideology. The key topics covered in this module focus on ritual and sacrifice; witchcraft and sorcery; secularisation and fundamentalism; millennialism and conversion; cosmology and ideology; human and non-human relationships; modes of religiosity, rationality and belief; mediation and ethics. This module will develop students awareness of the strengths and limitations of anthropological insights compared to other disciplinary perspectives on religion such as theology, cognitive science or sociology.
|SO601 - Welfare in Modern Britain||30|
This module provides students with basic accounts of the scope and scale of the British welfare system, and the theoretical basis for its existence and growth. The recent history and current organisation of the main areas of social welfare provision such as social security, education, health, social care and housing are explored. These services which comprise the welfare state are situated in the broader context of welfare provided from non-state sources: the family, the market, community and voluntary sector and debates regarding how welfare should be provided and funded. The module examines how policies are formulated and the processes through which they are implemented and revised. It also considers the impact that social policies have on social inequality and difference based on class, ethnicity, gender, disability or age. Welfare in Modern Britain is a core module for those taking Social Policy and related degrees, but is also relevant to those with an interest in contemporary social problems and the policies aimed at addressing them.
|SO602 - Social Research Methods||30|
In this module you will begin to understand the process and debates surrounding how researchers learn more about the social world. What techniques and approaches do social researchers draw upon to organise, structure and interpret research evidence? How do we judge the quality of research? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the range of frameworks and methodologies? The first part of the module introduces you to the conceptual issues and debates around the best way to explore social questions, forms and issues, and an overview of some popular methods for doing so. In the Spring Term, you will spend most of your time applying what you have learned in a group research project and an individual research design project.
|Possible modules may include||Credits|
|SA503 - A Future for the Welfare State? Social Change, Challenge and Crisis||30|
Welfare states face many challenges in the contemporary world. This course takes a comparative approach by systematically analysing key fields to show how a variety of countries have identified and tackled problems of social policy. It starts with a consideration of theoretical frameworks but most of the course is directed at consideration of welfare issues in different countries and to specific topics: globalisation, migration, population ageing, disability, the cuts and so on. In this way, the student is provided with a systematic overview of some of the main areas in which international and national social policy agendas co evolve. It is intended for students of social policy, social work, and social sciences.
|SE556 - Social Sciences in the Classroom||15|
The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students (2x3hours) in the Autumn term. These will include sessions on the sections of the national curriculum that are degree specific, the relationship with the teacher, how to behave with pupils, as well as how to organise an engaging and informative session on an aspect of the specific degree subject drawn from the national curriculum. These sessions will be run by the local module convenors, the academic schools' Outreach Officers (though this may be the same person) and members of the Partnership Development Office.
After training the student will spend one session per week for six weeks in a school in the Spring term (this session includes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher and 'in class time with the teacher and pupils 3 hours in total). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take hotspots: brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.
The student will be required to keep a weekly log of their activities. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special project (final taught lesson) in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the project.
|SO532 - Mental Health||15|
This module introduces students to the sociological approach to understanding mental health. It begins by outlining historical definitions of mental health and how policy and practice have changed over time from incarceration in large institutions to present-day community care. Sociological perspectives of mental illness (for example, the sociology of suicide, labelling and social causations of mental ill-health) are considered alongside psychiatric and psychological approaches to treating people with mental illnesses. The module then looks at social inequalities in relation to opportunities to recover, including gender and race, as well as where sufferers are within the life-course (including young people and older people with dementia).Mental health and the criminal justice system as well as religion/spirituality and faith are also explored. Please note, as this is not a clinical module material covered will not include in-depth investigations of specific diagnoses of mental illnesses.
|SO575 - Poverty, Inequality and Social Security||15|
The coalition government has argued that following the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent double-drip recession adoption, the UK has no option but to pursue austerity policies. This has included a huge squeeze on spending on cash transfers often referred to as 'welfare'.
This module focuses on poverty and inequality and how such social security policies impact upon them. Students will analyse the nature, extent and causes of poverty and inequality, with reference to the UK. The module will make students aware of current issues in welfare reform as it relates to groups vulnerable to poverty including: people who are unemployed; people who are sick or disabled; older people; children; lone parents; people from Black or minority ethnic groups. The module also shows how social security policies encompass different principles of need, rights and entitlement for users of welfare services.
It is designed to be of interest to Sociology and Health and Social Care students as well as Social Policy students.
|SO645 - The Third Sector: Charities and Social Enterprises in Modern Societies||15|
The module provides an overview of the contribution of the third sector to social, economic and political life. It includes analysis of definitions and categorisations, exploration of the theories which underpin the study of the third sector, an examination of theories and the current state of volunteering and charitable giving, examination of the historical and current public policy agenda in relation to the third sector in the UK, the EU and more generally and, an overview of current issues in the third sector and how social scientists go about studying them.
|SO670 - Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering, Platinum Award||15|
This is a 15 credit course which will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.
The following 2 units are compulsory:
Active community volunteering
Plus 1 unit selected from the following:
Active university volunteering
All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.
|SO679 - Research Dissertation||30|
This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students progress.
|SO736 - Sociology of Religion||15|
This module covers key issues and debates in the sociology of religion in order to interrogate the significance of religious practice and belief in the modern world. After an introductory lecture, the module is organised into two connected parts. Firstly, it explores classical statements on the sources, meaning and fate of religion in modernity by examining the writings of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Georg Simmel, and using their analyses to interrogate current events (e.g. prosperity Pentecostalism, the rise of the supernatural in culture through such media as the Harry Potter novels, and violent responses to transgressions of what religions consider to be sacred). The emphasis here is on developing in students the knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate and engage critically with the significance of religion for the development of sociology, and with key statements about the modern fate of religion in and beyond the West. Second, the module explores core issues concerned with and associated with the secularisation debate. Here, we look not only at conventional arguments concerning secularisation and de-secularisation, but also at the significance of the return of the sacred in society, civil religion, the material experience of religion, and the manner in which religious identities and habits are developed in the contemporary world. This enables us to develop new perspectives on the viability of religion in current times.
|SE609 - Forensic Anthropology||15|
This module examines the contribution of biological anthropology to the study of forensic science and provides students with a detailed understanding of the methods and theory of forensic anthropology. We cover topics such as biological profiling, field excavation and recovery, forensic taphonomy, identity, trauma and expert witness testimony. By the end of this module students will know how biological anthropology is applied in a forensic arena, and understand how human remains are recovered and analysed.
Students are introduced to concepts applied in forensic anthropology. Students learn how to correctly excavate a burial and recover human remains. Students are introduced to environmental factors influencing crime scene recovery and skeletal material and will learn about the importance of other forensic specialities such as forensic entomology, palynology, sedimentology and odontology. They are introduced to forensic anthropological recovery on a local scale and in mass disaster situations. Students also acquire an understanding of the role of a forensic anthropologist in the courtroom.
|SE534 - Special Project in Social Anthropology||30|
This module offers Stage 3 students the opportunity to design, execute, and write up a dissertation project of their own devising. Students may pursue a module of library-based research under supervision on a particular topic and/or undertake limited ethnographic research on that topic. The topic, and the way it is researched, will be of the student's own choosing. All projects must be supervised by a member of staff in Social Anthropology, with whom the student has arranged to work before registering for the module. Students who wish to do a project on this module should collect the information sheet from the School Undergraduate Office during Stage 2 (this includes students on a Year Abroad programme) not later than then end of the online module registration period in the Spring Term.
|SE554 - Visual Anthropology Theory||15|
This module is a general introduction to visual anthropology. It includes treatment of cross-cultural cognition and symbolic analysis, the social history of still photography and film relating to ethnographic subjects, the study of national and regional cinematic traditions (outside Europe and America), the comparative ethnography of television and broader consideration of issues of social representation and political ideology in visual imagery, combining empirical ethnographic analysis of these issues with the alternative (complementary) contributions of scholars of visual imagery from a literary and humanistic tradition of interpretation. It includes a short practical introduction to different visual media, but extended practical experience is available only through the project modules.
|SE555 - Project in Visual Anthropology||15|
Within the Anthropology degree programme this module represents an optional component of Part II studies, namely the practical study of visual representations. It assumes that students will be taking SE554 Visual Anthropology Theory as a prerequisite. Its distinctiveness relative to the other module is that it focuses principally on the exploration of theoretical issues, through the development of an ethnographic project, focussed on either photography or video and delivered as multimedia. The module requires the making a visual project (a photographic essay, a short ethnographic film) with practical instruction in developing, editing and mounting procedures.
Students will be introduced to basic techniques of visual production and presentation. The practical component of the course cannot attempt to provide qualified instruction in professional photographic or video production expertise, and we are narrowly constrained by the limited equipment and technical support available. The visual project is intended to give practical experience of general techniques of visual communication that should critically inform understanding of more theoretical topics dealt with in the module. Techniques of camera use, instruction (theoretical and practical) on research methods, practice and demonstration of visual presentation will all be taught sequentially, and linked to students practical experience in formulating and producing their projects.
Teaching and assessment
Anthropology at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups and laboratory sessions. For project work, you will be assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly.
Assessment ranges from 80:20 exam/coursework to 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, most core modules are split 50% end-of-year examination and 50% coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.
Usually you have four lectures and four seminars a week; additional tutorial input is spread over the year. Many modules also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams. Some modules involve workshops to develop key personal and study skills, or computing and project work, which you can do individually or in teams.
Most modules in the School are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% end-of-year examination. A small number are assessed entirely by coursework. Marks from both Stages 2 and 3 count towards your final degree result. Stage 1 results do not count towards the final mark, but entry to Stage 2 depends on passing Stage 1 assessments.
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:
Studying Social Anthropology and Social Policy gives you an exciting range of career opportunities. We work with you to help direct your module choices to the career paths you are considering. Through your studies you learn how to work independently, to analyse complex data and to present your work with clarity and flair.
Our recent graduates have found employment in areas directly related to their studies, such as social work, health care and policy analysis in the public and voluntary sectors, overseas development and aid work, and work with community groups.
Others have moved into further social sciences research, media research and production, journalism, advertising, education, human resource management and advice services, management in the civil service, local authorities and other public agencies, and the voluntary sector.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.
34 points overall or 16 points at HL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2018/19 entry tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:
UK/EU fee paying students
The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.
In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.