Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology - BA (Hons)

UCAS code LV69

This is an archived page and for reference purposes only


It is often said that the world is changing more rapidly than at any other time in history, and the study of cultural transformation is key to achieving the ‘joined-up thinking’ society needs in the 21st century. Cultural Studies at Kent is a lively, innovative subject with distinctive perspectives on all forms of present day culture. We explore significant connections between popular culture, the arts and everyday life by crossing traditional social sciences/humanities boundaries.


Social Anthropology is a distinctive degree programme allowing for the holistic study of people's ideas, beliefs, practices and activities in a wide range of local, global, diasporic and transnational settings. Social anthropologists study how and why we do the things we do, for example, how we work, use technologies, and negotiate conflicts, relationships and change

Independent rankings

Cultural Studies programmes offer the best opportunity to combine modules right across the social science and humanities faculties.

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2012 National Student Survey.

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.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules, you may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Teaching and assessment

Cultural Studies

Modules are usually taught by a combination of lectures and seminars, and you can always consult the lecturers for individual advice outside of formal teaching. Additionally, a wide range of study skills sessions are available to all students throughout each year of study.

Coursework is continuously assessed at Stage 1, and this is combined with the results of exams, in most modules. At Stage 2/3, modules are assessed by a combination of essays (50%) and exams (50%). All single honours students and some joint honours students also have the opportunity to do a final-year dissertation on a chosen subject, which counts as one module (and does not involve an exam).

Social Anthropology

Most modules are  taught by a combination of lectures and seminars and also involve individual study using library resources and, where relevant, laboratories and computer-based learning packages. If you are taking modules involving computing or learning a language, you have additional workshop time.

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 and, where appropriate, the marks for your year abroad count towards your final degree result.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide students with a broad range of knowledge in the major sub-divisions of anthropology, showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines
  • acquaint students with theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding the discipline
  • demonstrate to students the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of a variety of local, national and international issues
  • facilitate the educational experience of students through the provision of appropriate pedagogical opportunities for learning
  • develop students’ transferable skills and prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers
  • ensure that the research of the School staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in ways which are conducive to achieving the national benchmarks of the discipline in a manner which is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
  • specific themes in social anthropology, for example, religion, politics, kinship, nationalism and ethnicity
  • human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world including Central Asia, the Mediterranean, Amazonia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
  • the history of the development of anthropology as a discipline
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within the discipline
  • the process of historical and social change
  • the application of anthropology to understanding issues of social and economic development throughout the world
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life anywhere in the world.

Intellectual skills

You develop the following intellectual skills:

  • general learning and study skills
  • the ability to think critically and analytically
  • the ability to express ideas in writing and orally
  • communication 
  • group work
  • computing
  • the ability to review and summarise information
  • data retrieval ability.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • understanding how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while nonetheless possessing a capacity for individual agency which can allow them to transcend environmental constraints
  • the recognition of the pertinence of an anthropological perspective to understanding major national and international events
  • the ability to interpret texts and performance by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
  • competence in using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • the ability to identify and analyse the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
  • the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • the ability to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself.
  • an openness to trying to make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena which may appear at first sight incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • communication: organising and summarising information; responding critically to written information; making a structured argument in written and oral form
  • Problem-solving: identifying problems; formulating ways of problem-solving; evaluating alternative solutions
  • Improving own learning: management of time available; awareness of strengths and weaknesses; development of personal learning strategies; ability to conduct independent research
  • Information technology: accessing information on the internet; producing documents; using databases; using technology for oral presentations and online portfolio development
  • Group work: participation in joint learning and communication; sharing ideas and skills; understanding group dynamics.


Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies provides a useful background for a wide range of careers. The skills you acquire, such as improved communication skills, the ability to work as part of a team and independently, the ability to analyse complex ideas and the confidence to offer your own innovative solutions, are all considered essential attributes by graduate employers. The programmes are especially good preparation for professional or postgraduate training in the media and cultural industries.

Our graduates take up careers in advertising and design, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, arts administration, publishing, public relations, research, information services, leisure industry management, tourism and heritage, personnel, local government, and the organisation of social and community projects.

Social Anthropology

Studying social anthropology 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 gone into areas such as overseas development and aid work, further research in social anthropology, social sciences research, media research or production (TV and radio), journalism, advertising, social work, education, international consultancy and work with community groups.

For more information on the services Kent provides you to improve your career prospects visit

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 the Admissions Office 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
A level

ABB including Film, English Literature, Politics, Media, Geography, Philosophy grade B where taken

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required 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 via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

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 through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


As a guide only, the 2014/15 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas

Exceptions may apply. If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact


Kent offers generous financial support schemes to support eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our 2014 financial support package includes a £6,500 cash bursary. Find out more about the support package, eligibility and terms and conditions on our fees and funding pages.

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 a new scholarship, The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence, which will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our funding pages.



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