Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Psychology and Social Anthropology - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code CL86

2018

As social science subjects, Psychology and Social Anthropology complement each other well. On this programme, you scientifically examine cognition and behaviour in their social and cultural context and comparatively study different forms of human social life and cultural experience. The final year project encompasses both disciplines, combining knowledge, skills and methodologies.

2018

Overview

The prospects for graduates of the Psychology and Social Anthropology programme are wide-ranging and include possible progression to professional psychology.

Watch the School of Psychology video to find out what it's like to study with us.

Independent rankings

Psychology at Kent was ranked 9th in The Good University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 93% of Psychology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

In the National Student Survey 2016, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 7th for overall satisfaction.

For graduate prospects, Psychology at Kent was ranked 1st in The Times Good University Guide 2017. Anthropology at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

Kent was 4th in the UK for the percentage of Psychology students who found professional jobs after graduation in 2015 (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey). In the same survey, Anthropology and Conservation students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities.

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

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Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

In Stage 1 you take four double modules: Introduction to Biological and General Psychology, Introduction to Social and Developmental Psychology, Psychology Statistics and Practical, and Social Anthropology.

In Stage 2 you take Psychology Statistics and Practical, Study Skills for Stage 2 Psychology, Ethnographies I and II and Advanced Social Anthropology I and II.

In Stage 3 you carry out a research project in Psychology. 

The remaining core Psychology modules (Child Development, Personality, Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, The Social Psychology of Groups, and The Social Psychology of the Individual) and two optional Social Anthropology modules can be taken in either Stage 2 or Stage 3, with a total of 120 credits being taken in each stage. The core Psychology modules, together with the final year project, are a requirement for professional recognition by the British Psychological Society.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

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.

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30

This module consists of statistics and research methods lectures and workshops, as well as laboratory demonstrations. Assessment is by structured coursework, research report writing, statistics exercises, multiple choice and essay examinations. Meetings take place three times per week (consisting of combinations of lectures, workshops or laboratory demonstrations).

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30

Psychology is an increasingly popular discipline, possibly because of its relevance to the problems of everyday life. It is also a scientific discipline and draws on other areas of scientific investigation for its concepts and ideas, including Biology, Linguistics, Computer Science and Philosophy. The general aim of this module is to introduce students to the scientific study of behaviour, covering the basic approaches to the subject, including the Biological approach, the Cognitive approach, Behaviourism and Ethology, the Development perspective and related philosophical ideas. Rather than teach these topics in separate blocks, the module is organised so as to emphasise how the theoretical frameworks underlying these approaches relate and contrast. The module also shows how psychological theories and ideas can be used to account for both everyday and abnormal human behaviour.

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This module, along with other Stage 1 psychology modules, provides a foundation for Stages 2 and 3. It will provide students with an introduction to the methods, techniques and issues involved in the study of social psychology. The emphasis of the module is on theory as the foundation of an empirical discipline and the importance of scientific methodology. It highlights the interplay between theory, research, and application in social psychology. Focus is placed on core theories and research in social psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, and applied psychology. The module is taught through lectures and skills workshops.

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Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

This module introduces you to the major orientations and discoveries in the social psychology of group processes. The material covers both behaviour within groups (e.g. group structure, social influence, leadership, and group performance) and behaviour between groups (e.g. intergroup conflict and cooperation, social categorisation and social identity, prejudice and its reduction). Basic mechanisms in groups that occupy the same position in the social structure in terms of power, status, and group size, as well as mechanisms that characterize asymmetric groups will be analyzed. There is a strong emphasis on social psychological theory being examined by systematic empirical research. Teaching will be by lectures and seminars with additional practical demonstrations from time to time.

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This module introduces you to the major theories and research in the social psychology of interpersonal behaviour. The emphasis throughout is on social cognition, and three main areas will be considered: social cognition and the self, attitudes (including attitude-behaviour relations, attitude change and persuasion), and interpersonal relationships. There will be a strong emphasis on social psychological theory and systematic empirical research in both field and laboratory settings. Teaching will be by lectures and seminars.

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The focus of this module is the intensive investigation of the canonical form in which research in social anthropology has been disseminated, the ethnography. The reading list for the module therefore consists exclusively of professional ethnographic monographs of varying thematic and regional focus.

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.

Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier seminars, on instruction about how to read an ethnography and what goes into writing it. This might include how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions; how to place it within the historical development of the discipline; how to evaluate its empirical investigation of particular theoretical problems; how to evaluate the relationship between description and analysis; how to evaluate its contribution to particular issues and topics within social anthropology; and the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word.

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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.

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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 anthropological 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.

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15

This module builds on Ethnographies I, and its focus is to further investigate the canonical form in which research in social anthropology has been disseminated, the ethnography. The reading list for the module therefore consists exclusively of professional ethnographic monographs of varying thematic and regional focus.

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.

Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier seminars, on instruction about how to read an ethnography and what goes into writing it. This might include how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions; how to place it within the historical development of the discipline; how to evaluate its empirical investigation of particular theoretical problems; how to evaluate the relationship between description and analysis; how to evaluate its contribution to particular issues and topics within social anthropology; and the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word.

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15

The broad aims of the module are: (a) to provide a continued training in methodological skills appropriate to psychological investigation; (b) to provide advanced training in statistical techniques of the analysis of psychological data; (c) to provide training in computing skills for conducting analysis of psychological data; and (d) to provide direct experience of some of the phenomena encountered in other Stage 2/3 psychology modules. The practical component of the module consists of a structured programme of laboratory classes and non-laboratory sessions during which students work in small supervised groups designing and carrying out four research projects related to themes encountered in the department’s other Stage 2/3 modules. A programme of statistics lectures and computing workshops is closely linked to the practical classes. Computer–based statistical analysis is illustrated using SPSS, a general-purpose statistical package.

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Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

‘European Societies’ surveys the social anthropology of contemporary Europe, with a focus on Western European urban and rural societies. The module explores changes in European societies since the end of the Cold War, including conflict related to the reorganisation and ‘fortification’ of Europe’s southern and eastern borders. We read ethnographies exemplifying contemporary approaches to studying industrial and post-industrial societies. We critically review key debates in the study of community and identity politics; nationalism and ethnic conflict; borders, migration and transnationalism; tradition, modernity, and heritage; tourism; industrial and post-industrial work; new religious movements; and biosocialities. A further focus is interrogation of the concept of ‘Europe’ itself, through analyzing the process of ‘Europeanization’ within the EU, and issues raised by the financial crisis; and through presenting ethnographic vantage points from which students can rethink the idea of ‘Europe’ for themselves. The module includes a critical history of anthropological study of Europe and the Northern Mediterranean, with special attention to the role of the University of Kent in the development of the regional literature. It is designed to be accessible to anthropology students, and those interested in European studies more generally.

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The course will introduce students to cutting-edge ethnographic studies of contemporary China. Through these studies, students will be encouraged to think about a series of key issues in the anthropology of China.

For a very long time it was difficult or impossible for outsiders to observe life in China directly in a systematic way, and as a result our accustomed ways of thinking about China are based on macro-level economic and political phenomena, stereotypes and icons --- when we think of China, we think of Confucianism and Communism, kung fu and feng shui, Mao and Chiang Kai Shek, trouble in Tibet and tension with Taiwan. These things are all important, but they leave us with little understanding of what ordinary life is like in China, and so Chinese society can appear mysterious and sometimes contradictory. Fortunately, it has become progressively easier to conduct social scientific research in China and since the mid-1990s and there is now a substantial ethnographic literature that allows us to begin to see contemporary China as a flesh-and-blood society.

This module will use ethnographic literature to explore key topics in the anthropology of China. The following is an indicative list of topics:

• Is Contemporary China Confucian? Narratives of Tradition and Modernity in China and in the Anthropology of China

• 56 Varieties: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Belonging

• Religion, 'Superstition' and Political Administration of Religion

• Cadres: The Face of the State

• Private Life and the State

• Internal Migration, Residence and the City in China

• Promoting ‘Spiritual Civilization’: Class, Ethics and the Politics of Education

• Friendship, Exchange and Guanxi

• The Economic Miracle: Socialism and/or Capitalism?

• Netizens: the Internet, Mobile Phones and New Media in China

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15

The focus of this module is on understanding how children develop, with particular emphasis on the historical background of this part of the discipline, and the key theories, explanations and research conducted within developmental psychology. Certainly, it would hardly be an exaggeration to say that for all of us, the period of our lives we go through described as ‘childhood’ has a significant influence on who we become as adults. Understanding something of the processes we all appear to go through is a central part of any psychology degree, and by the end of this module you should be in a much better position to understand the significance of child development for human psychology. As the course progresses we will move from issues germane to early infancy, then through early childhood and the associated social, cognitive and emotional changes the child experiences during that period, and then a detailed look at adolescence. An additional major component of the course examines how children acquire language and learn how to talk - possibly the most significant development of all.

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The personality module examines different perspectives on the study of personality from Allport to the present day. The aim is to provide the student with a comparative and critical review of the major theories in personality and the research and findings that stem from them. Teaching will be by lectures and seminars.

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All students are required to carry out a piece of psychological research on a specific topic, and to then present it as a report that adheres to the conventions of academic Psychology.

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This module focuses on the study of the biological bases of human behaviour, relating actions and experiences to genetics and physiology. It will cover topic areas including drug addiction, sleep, emotion, language, memory, and schizophrenia. The module will also discuss biological research methods such as brain imaging techniques (for example PET, fMRI, EEG), physiological recording, and the study of brain-damaged patients. The aim of the module is to enable students to reach a sufficient level of understanding of biological psychology to be capable of critically evaluating theory and method in published research.

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The module gives students grounding in methods, techniques and issues of cognitive neuroscience. Focusing on vision, attention, memory, problem solving and language, the module examines how cognitive processes are instantiated in the human brain.

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15

Teaching and assessment

Modules are taught by weekly lectures, workshops, small group seminars and project supervision. The Psychology Statistics and Practical modules include laboratory practical sessions, statistics classes, computing classes and lectures in statistics and methodology.

Most modules are assessed by examination and coursework in equal measure. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.

Programme aims

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:


Careers

For graduate prospects, Psychology at Kent was ranked 1st in The Times Good University Guide 2017. Anthropology at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

Kent was 4th in the UK for the percentage of Psychology students who found professional jobs after graduation in 2015 (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey). In the same survey, Anthropology and Conservation students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities.

Our students develop a broad range of transferable skills, such as excellent communication skills, both written and oral, the ability to work independently, to analyse and summarise complex material and to respond positively to challenges, all skills considered essential for graduate employment.

Our graduates have gone into areas such as local government administration, social welfare, the Home Office, the probation service, teaching, special needs work, the NHS and health charities, or on to postgraduate professional training courses, for example, in educational, occupational or clinical psychology.

Professional recognition

Accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (provided you graduate with at least second class honours and pass your final-year research project). This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

AAB excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking

GCSE

Mathematics grade C

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.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 17 points at HL with Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

International students

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 advice 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.

Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £18400

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.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

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.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.