Image representing Social Anthropology with a Year Abroad

Social Anthropology with a Year Abroad - BA (Hons)

UCAS code L607

CLEARING 2019

We may still have full-time vacancies available for this course.
2019

Social anthropology entails a profound understanding of how and why people do the things they do. As a Social Anthropology student at Kent, you explore how people work, use technologies and negotiate conflicts, relationships and change in different societies around the world.

Overview

The School of Anthropology and Conservation offers a friendly and cosmopolitan learning community with students from over 70 different nationalities and 45% of staff from outside the UK. Our flexible degree provides diverse and relevant module choices where you are taught by enthusiastic academics, who produce inspired field research.

Our Social Anthropology degree gives you the exciting opportunity to spend a year abroad. Previous students have been to Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. Studying and living in a different culture can be a transformational experience, both on a personal and professional level.


Our degree programme

In the first year, you take modules that give you a broad background in the subject. The programme begins with an introduction to the history of anthropology, the foundations of biological anthropology, anthropology and conservation, and global perspectives on relatedness.

In your second and final years, you take compulsory modules that develop your specialised knowledge and skills. You can also choose further modules from a wide range of options.

Modules expand across the full range of our research expertise from traditional anthropology (The Anthropology of Amazonia; The Anthropology of Business) and current anthropological thinking (Theoretical Perspectives in Social Anthropology) to ideas impacting today's societies (Islam and Muslim Lives in the Contemporary World; The Anthropocene – Planetary Crisis and the Age of Humans).

Our degree also gives you the opportunity to study visual anthropology, with modules on the anthropological use of photography, film and video, including practical classes and visual anthropology projects.

Year abroad

The year abroad allows an immersive experience of living and studying in a different culture. You spend a year, between stages 2 and 3, studying at one of our prestigious partner institutions where you can either specialise or diversify your studies. You can also use this experience to start your dissertation by conducting field work.

Alternatively, you can take our three-year Social Anthropology degree or our four-year Social Anthropology with a Year in Professional Practice.

Field trips

A number of our modules include opportunities for learning and experiences outside of the classroom through field trips in the UK and abroad. Potential excursions are:  

  • Paris, the Musée du quai Branly and Musée de l'Homme
  • The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge
  • London Chinese temple 
  • London financial district
  • Impact Hub Islington
  • Canterbury Cathedral and Canterbury Mosque.

These may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information. 

For more details about field trips, including reports from students who went on our recent trips to Cambridge and Paris, visit Social Anthropology Field Trips.

Study resources

The School of Anthropology and Conservation has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:

  • refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
  • an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
  • a state-of-the-art visual anthropology room
  • an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material
  • student social spaces
  • a teaching laboratory with first-rate equipment
  • an excellent fossil cast collection with hundreds of casts, including multiple entire skeletons of extant and extinct primates and hominins.

Extra activities

The Anthropology Society is run by Kent students and is a good way to meet other students on your course in an informal way. There are also many national societies, which are a great way to meet people from around the world and discover more about their countries and cultures.

The School of Anthropology and Conservation puts on many events that you are welcome to attend. We host two public lectures a year, the Stirling Lecture and the DICE Lecture, which bring current ideas in anthropology and conservation to a wider audience.  We are delighted that these events attract leading anthropological figures from around the world; in 2017 we hosted paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger, one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.

Each term, there are also seminars and workshops discussing current research in anthropology, conservation and human ecology.

Independent rankings

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 86% of final-year Anthropology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

In the National Student Survey 2018, over 88% of final-year Anthropology students who completed the survey, were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Of Anthropology students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed the national survey, 100% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

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 ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently 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 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.

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30

The module introduces students to the major figures who have shaped the discipline of Anthropology (both socio-cultural and biological) and take them through the historical development of the discipline. Major thinkers such as Marx, Weber and Durkheim on the one hand, and Linnaeus, Lamarck, Darwin and Mendel on the other, are introduced, and their influence on and contribution to the discipline traced. The module will provide an historical outline of major schools of thought within Anthropology - evolution, diffusionism, functionalism structuralism, postmodernism, socio-biology, evolutionary psychology - in both Britain and the USA, and examine the relationship between socio-cultural anthropology and biological anthropology from an historical perspective.

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15

This module introduces students to the range of basic research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes, whilst also introducing the key areas of school disciplinary expertise. Students work in groups to collaboratively produce a 3 minute video addressing a question that requires knowledge of the diverse expertise of the school. The question will change in relation to the contemporary concerns and research interests of the school. An initial lecture introduces the course and collaborative video research that serves as the central methodology to communicate the results of qualitative and quantitative research on the question addressed. Lectures in the first part of the course introduce the key disciplinary and interdisciplinary resources to answer the question.

Following lectures are divided between qualitative and quantitative methods. The course concludes with an open screening of all video projects.

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15
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

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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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 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.

View full module details
15
Optional modules may include Credits

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, such as ethnicity, religion, the role of the Communist Party, and the development of capitalism.

View full module details
15

Over the course of twelve weeks this module provides students with a working knowledge of the ethnography of the countries of Southeast Asia and gives them the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues affecting the region. After being introduced to the places and peoples of the countries of Southeast Asia, students are directed to a study of agricultural and industrial developments, the political systems which exist at local and national levels, the importance of religious belief in everyday life, and issues of gender and power in the region.

Students should note that although this is an area course it is also an anthropological one and consequently students are urged to bring into their discussions in seminars and essays comparative material from other regions of the world to provide a dimension of cross-cultural analysis.

The emphasis of the module will be largely on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand though the other countries of the region will receive frequent mention. Students are encouraged to introduce into discussions and essays reference to ethnographic examples from countries in the region in which they have an interest but which may not have received much attention in the lectures.

View full module details
15

‘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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15

Law is often assumed to stand 'outside' of society, either because it is ‘above’ us or even ‘behind’ us, as in ‘society changes too fast for the law to keep up’. This module proposes law as an ethnographic subject, that is, a field of action governed by rather than governing social and cultural sensibilities. If, according to a classic cliché, anthropologists look for relationships while lawyers look for rules, the module will examine how social relationships can come to appear rule-like to legal and anthropological studies alike. Since lawyers in fact contributed to the early formation of the discipline of anthropology, anthropology itself may be seen as the product of a legalistic classification of human relations. The curriculum will therefore proceed through the history of the relationship between anthropology and law as disciplines and through ethnographic material from different legal environments. In doing so it will consider subjects such as language, gender, class, and religion and their effects upon the experiences of people involved in processes of dispute and its resolution. Finally the module will investigate how well law ‘travels’ between societies, and between different levels of the same society: for instance, how do concepts such as legal pluralism, the cultural defence, and universal human rights affect the theory and practice of law?

View full module details
15

This module seeks to engage directly with the central provocation of the Anthropocene: that the speed, scope and scale of human industrial activities are having unparalleled, unintended and poorly understood impacts on the earth as a system, thus contributing to and significantly expanding the scale and risks associated with the crisis of modernity and its multiple dimensions: environmental, social, political, and cultural. In response to this crisis, and especially in light of the fact that human activities are so profoundly entangled with biological, ecological, geographical and geological process, a number of academic disciplines are reconsidering many of their core categories, boundaries and approaches. The Anthropocene constitutes an important, novel and challenging problem and a unique case study to attempt a more careful and effective integration of the different intellectual traditions and methods as exemplified in SAC: social and biological anthropology, human ecology and conservation. Some of the main areas covered in the module include: 1) A review of the key problems and issues signalled by the Anthropocene, including the evidence and the debates and areas of disagreement 2) The Anthropocene in relation to earth system science and the planetary, with a particular emphasis in the relationship between the history of the earth, the history of life and the history of humans 3) Some of implications of the incoming period of heightened risk, uncertainty and cascading crises 4) To consider the consequences of the changes and challenges signalled by the Anthropocene upon core categories and assumptions underlying the humanities and sciences, with particular attention to such key binaries as human-nature, living-non-living, and technology-biology 5) The need and challenge of simultaneously considering multiple and apparently incommensurable scales, both in time and space 6) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 7) Considering some of the challenges the Anthropocene raises for the practice of science, politics, law, governance, etc. 8) What do these problems, questions and debates mean in terms of our own individual and collective futures, both professionally and personally?

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15

Ethnicity’ and ‘nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world., and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.

View full module details
15

This module is an introduction to ethnopharmacology, a multidisciplinary field of study that employs chemistry, ecology, biology, pharmacology and anthropology to evaluate and understand the use of plants (and other substances) in non-western medical systems. While students will be introduced to all of the disciplines involved in ethnopharmacological research, this module will have a heavy anthropological focus. Lecture and reading materials will address questions related to the actions of natural products in the human body, the ecological and evolutionary basis of medicinal plants use, the epistemology of non-western medical systems, the efficacy of medicinal plants and the development of pharmaceuticals based on traditional medicines. Topics discussed in class will provide ideas and models for student research projects. This module should appeal to students with interests in anthropology and/or medical care/research.

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15

Anthropology has an important role to play in the examination of our own organizational lives as embedded in various forms of capitalism. This module will allow students to gain anthropological perspectives on business formations, structures, practices and ideologies. Businesses – be they individuals, families, corporations, nation-states or multi-lateral corporations - have identities that are invariably distinct from one another and which are forged upon and promote particular social relationships. Ethnographic case-studies, with a strong emphasis on the stock market in the last third of the course will provide the basis for discussing how these social relationships that enact power, are embedded in broader cultural processes such as ethnicity, nationalism, migration, and kinship as well as ideologies of gender, aesthetics and religion among others. Acknowledging the multiple dynamic relationships between businesses, people and marketplaces will allow us to evaluate their roles as reactive producers, consumers and disseminators of cultural processes within our surrounding environments, extending from the local to the global.

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15

Primarily intended to offer a critical analysis of the concept of development, particularly as it is used to talk about economic and social change in the developing world, the module shows how anthropological knowledge and understanding can illuminate 'development issues' such as rural poverty, environmental degradation, international aid and humanitarian assistance, climate change and the globalization of trade. Topics discussed include the role of anthropology in development practice, by examining some of the methods being used to either study or participate in current development projects, whether at local, national or international levels of intervention.

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15
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Year abroad

You spend a year, between stages 2 and 3, studying at one of our prestigious partner institutions where you can either specialise or diversity your studies.  Some students use this opportunity to get a head-start on their dissertation by conducting their field work while abroad.

Our students have spent their year in Japan, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands, where courses are taught in English. Visit our website to read more about their experiences and why they'd encourage you to take up this opportunity.  You can also find details of our partner institutions and modules on offer (these are subject to change).

Students must achieve specified requirements before being permitted to proceed to the next stage. Students must have achieved at least a 60% average in Stage 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad. Students who fail to qualify for progression to Stage 2 or the Year Abroad will transfer to the 3-year version of the programme.

The year abroad is assessed on a pass / fail basis and the marks gained do not contribute to your final degree classification.

For fees information and more details about a year abroad please visit our Go Abroad pages. 

Due to the flexible nature of our programmes you don’t have to make a decision about participating in the year abroad before you enrol at Kent, but certain conditions apply.

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

Students will spend one academic year studying in a University with whom Kent has agreements for such exchanges. The purpose of the Year Abroad is to give students an opportunity to further their anthropological experience by living in another culture, as well as studying in a new HE context. Students develop a learning agreement (i.e. list of modules to be taken) with the module convenor (Year Abroad Coordinator) before commencing the year abroad. Students are registered for this module during their Year Abroad. During the year abroad itself students will follow the modules in their learning agreements at their host universities, therefore the curriculum will vary for each student, depending on the host institution and modules chosen. All students are encouraged to take primarily anthropology modules, or closely related subjects but are allowed the equivalent of one 'wild module' per term, as well as one language module, if appropriate.

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120

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

This module aims to develop the anthropological imagination of Stage 3 students, that is, to instill the ability to apprehend theoretical issues and apply them with a critical and informed sense of difference in the human experience. The module is not a 'history of theory' survey; rather, it will proceed by means of a set of topics through which different theoretical approaches to the same ethnographic problem or issue have been explored. The module may be organised around a single theme that has long dominated anthropological discussions (such as 'the gift', hierarchy and scale, structure and agency etc.) which will be used as a lens through which to view theoretical discussions within social anthropology as well as its appropriations from other disciplines.

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15

This module aims to aid Stage 3 students in making connections between theoretical issues and the ways in which they recur in the practices and debates of social anthropologists. The module teaches theoretical engagement by means of tracking the way that similar problems in ethnographic practice have been approached by different theoretical schools. The module engages a series of themes that illustrate how social anthropologists throughout the history of the discipline, and from different national traditions within the discipline, have engaged with the pressing political and social concerns of their day.

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15
Optional modules may include Credits

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, such as ethnicity, religion, the role of the Communist Party, and the development of capitalism.

View full module details
15

Over the course of twelve weeks this module provides students with a working knowledge of the ethnography of the countries of Southeast Asia and gives them the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues affecting the region. After being introduced to the places and peoples of the countries of Southeast Asia, students are directed to a study of agricultural and industrial developments, the political systems which exist at local and national levels, the importance of religious belief in everyday life, and issues of gender and power in the region.

Students should note that although this is an area course it is also an anthropological one and consequently students are urged to bring into their discussions in seminars and essays comparative material from other regions of the world to provide a dimension of cross-cultural analysis.

The emphasis of the module will be largely on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand though the other countries of the region will receive frequent mention. Students are encouraged to introduce into discussions and essays reference to ethnographic examples from countries in the region in which they have an interest but which may not have received much attention in the lectures.

View full module details
15

‘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.

View full module details
15

This module introduces visual anthropology via the encounter between media maker and subject and framed in relation to the concepts of reflexivity and intersubjectivity. Central concerns are the cross-cultural reception of media, the use of video and photography as and for research, the social history of film and photography relating to ethnographic subjects, the study of national and regional cinematic traditions (outside Europe and America) and the comparative ethnography of television and broader consideration of issues of social representation and political ideology in visual imagery. Indicative areas covered in the module include:

1) Collaborative Media and Intersubjectivity

2) Soundscapes and Sensory Ethnography

3) Photography and Sociality

4) Observational and Participatory Cinema

5) Ethno-fiction and Indigenous Media

6) Intersections of medical and visual anthropology

7) New Media and Activism

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15

This module explores the use of audio-visual media as research, reflexive and transformational ethnographic practice in tune with contemporary anthropological theorising of ethnographic and documentary film. The collaborative and feedback oriented process of using audio-visual media in the production of a short video film that is presented online delivers experiential insights and re-evaluation of the value of video, photography and audio to research, represent and influence aspects of people's lifeworlds. The practical instruction in how to develop a project is grounded in exercises that explore cultural and personal assumptions of what a camera does. Further training in cinematography, interviewing and sound, camera movement and improvisation, and the flexible uses of DSLR cameras present the key pre-production training. Editing theory and practice is taught with a view to efficient workflow and minimal post-production, facilitating knowledge of use in independent multi-media production. Web based interactive platforms are introduced with a view to facilitate wider communication and dissemination. The value of feedback is emphasised in creating media productions that have academic and personal integrity, resonance with and impact on particular audiences.

View full module details
15

This module is an introduction to ethnopharmacology, a multidisciplinary field of study that employs chemistry, ecology, biology, pharmacology and anthropology to evaluate and understand the use of plants (and other substances) in non-western medical systems. While students will be introduced to all of the disciplines involved in ethnopharmacological research, this module will have a heavy anthropological focus. Lecture and reading materials will address questions related to the actions of natural products in the human body, the ecological and evolutionary basis of medicinal plants use, the epistemology of non-western medical systems, the efficacy of medicinal plants and the development of pharmaceuticals based on traditional medicines. Topics discussed in class will provide ideas and models for student research projects. This module should appeal to students with interests in anthropology and/or medical care/research.

View full module details
15

Ethnicity’ and ‘nationalism’ are matters of contemporary urgency (as we are daily reminded by the media), but while the meanings of these terms are taken for granted, what actually constitutes ethnicity and nationalism, and how they have been historically constituted, is neither clear nor self-evident. This module begins with a consideration of the major theories of nationalism and ethnicity, and then moves on to a series of case studies taken from various societies around the world., and then moves on to examine a number of other important concepts—indigeneity, ‘race’, hybridity, authenticity, ‘invention of tradition’, multiculturalism, globalization—that can help us appreciate the complexity and dynamics of ethnic identities. The general aim of the module is to enable and encourage students to think critically beyond established, homogenous and static ethnic categories.

View full module details
15

This module seeks to engage directly with the central provocation of the Anthropocene: that the speed, scope and scale of human industrial activities are having unparalleled, unintended and poorly understood impacts on the earth as a system, thus contributing to and significantly expanding the scale and risks associated with the crisis of modernity and its multiple dimensions: environmental, social, political, and cultural. In response to this crisis, and especially in light of the fact that human activities are so profoundly entangled with biological, ecological, geographical and geological process, a number of academic disciplines are reconsidering many of their core categories, boundaries and approaches. The Anthropocene constitutes an important, novel and challenging problem and a unique case study to attempt a more careful and effective integration of the different intellectual traditions and methods as exemplified in SAC: social and biological anthropology, human ecology and conservation. Some of the main areas covered in the module include: 1) A review of the key problems and issues signalled by the Anthropocene, including the evidence and the debates and areas of disagreement 2) The Anthropocene in relation to earth system science and the planetary, with a particular emphasis in the relationship between the history of the earth, the history of life and the history of humans 3) Some of implications of the incoming period of heightened risk, uncertainty and cascading crises 4) To consider the consequences of the changes and challenges signalled by the Anthropocene upon core categories and assumptions underlying the humanities and sciences, with particular attention to such key binaries as human-nature, living-non-living, and technology-biology 5) The need and challenge of simultaneously considering multiple and apparently incommensurable scales, both in time and space 6) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 7) Considering some of the challenges the Anthropocene raises for the practice of science, politics, law, governance, etc. 8) What do these problems, questions and debates mean in terms of our own individual and collective futures, both professionally and personally?

View full module details
15

Law is often assumed to stand 'outside' of society, either because it is ‘above’ us or even ‘behind’ us, as in ‘society changes too fast for the law to keep up’. This module proposes law as an ethnographic subject, that is, a field of action governed by rather than governing social and cultural sensibilities. If, according to a classic cliché, anthropologists look for relationships while lawyers look for rules, the module will examine how social relationships can come to appear rule-like to legal and anthropological studies alike. Since lawyers in fact contributed to the early formation of the discipline of anthropology, anthropology itself may be seen as the product of a legalistic classification of human relations. The curriculum will therefore proceed through the history of the relationship between anthropology and law as disciplines and through ethnographic material from different legal environments. In doing so it will consider subjects such as language, gender, class, and religion and their effects upon the experiences of people involved in processes of dispute and its resolution. Finally the module will investigate how well law ‘travels’ between societies, and between different levels of the same society: for instance, how do concepts such as legal pluralism, the cultural defence, and universal human rights affect the theory and practice of law?

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15

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 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.

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30

Primarily intended to offer a critical analysis of the concept of development, particularly as it is used to talk about economic and social change in the developing world, the module shows how anthropological knowledge and understanding can illuminate 'development issues' such as rural poverty, environmental degradation, international aid and humanitarian assistance, climate change and the globalization of trade. Topics discussed include the role of anthropology in development practice, by examining some of the methods being used to either study or participate in current development projects, whether at local, national or international levels of intervention.

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15

Anthropology has an important role to play in the examination of our own organizational lives as embedded in various forms of capitalism. This module will allow students to gain anthropological perspectives on business formations, structures, practices and ideologies. Businesses – be they individuals, families, corporations, nation-states or multi-lateral corporations - have identities that are invariably distinct from one another and which are forged upon and promote particular social relationships. Ethnographic case-studies, with a strong emphasis on the stock market in the last third of the course will provide the basis for discussing how these social relationships that enact power, are embedded in broader cultural processes such as ethnicity, nationalism, migration, and kinship as well as ideologies of gender, aesthetics and religion among others. Acknowledging the multiple dynamic relationships between businesses, people and marketplaces will allow us to evaluate their roles as reactive producers, consumers and disseminators of cultural processes within our surrounding environments, extending from the local to the global.

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15

Teaching and assessment

In our most recent national Teaching Excellence Framework, teaching at Kent was judged to be Gold rated. 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.

Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. Social and biological anthropology staff have been awarded national teaching awards, reflecting the quality of the undergraduate programmes.

Anthropology at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field trips and laboratory sessions. For project work, you are assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly. You also have access to a wide range of learning resources, including the Templeman Library, research laboratories and computer-based learning packages.

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.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not contribute towards your final degree classification.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a broad knowledge in the major sub-divisions of anthropology, showing how it is linked to other academic disciplines
  • explore theoretical and methodological issues
  • demonstrate the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of many local, national and international issues
  • ensure that the research by staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in a manner that is efficient, reliable and enjoyable to students
  • prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers through developing students’ transferable skills
  • provide the opportunity to study anthropology at a university abroad. The year-abroad experience will also expose students to life in a different culture and thereby broaden their anthropological perspective. To achieve this, Stage A learning will be undertaken at University abroad (e.g. Japan or Europe), selected from those with whom the School has existing links for year-abroad programmes.

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, such as 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 anthropology as a discipline
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within anthropology
  • 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
  • cultures and societies of year abroad countries.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general learning and study
  • critical and analytical abilities
  • expressing ideas in writing and orally
  • communication
  • group work
  • IT
  • the ability to review and summarise information
  • data retrieval
  • integrate into a different educational, cultural, social, and, in some cases, professional environment.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while retaining a capacity for individual agency
  • recognising the pertinence of an anthropological perspective to understanding major national and international events
  • interpreting texts and performance by locating them within cultural and historical contexts
  • using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • analysing the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
  • devising questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • perceiving the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself
  • the ability to make sense of cultural and social phenomena which may, at first sight, appear incomprehensible
  • the ability to apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of practical situations, personal and professional.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • information retrieval skills in relation to primary and secondary sources of information.
  • communication and presentation skills (using oral and written materials and information technology).
  • time planning and management skills.
  • ability to engage in constructive discussion in group situations and group work skills.

Careers

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, analyse complex data and present your work with clarity and flair.

Graduate destinations

Our recent graduates have gone into areas such as:

  • overseas development and aid work
  • media research or production (TV and radio)
  • journalism
  • advertising
  • film production
  • social work
  • education
  • international consultancy
  • work with community groups
  • town and country planning
  • business
  • civil service
  • further research in social anthropology
  • social sciences research.

Help finding a job

The School offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you'll need to look for a job.  This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

Through your studies you learn how to work independently, analyse complex data and present your work with clarity and flair. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry

Typical entry requirements for 2019 entry courses remain published on the UCAS course search website and apply to applications received during the main UCAS application cycle. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing and Adjustment applicants.

However during Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades.

Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. You can submit an application via our online Clearing application form as soon as your full results are known. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

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

BBB

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 16 points at HL

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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700

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.

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2019/20 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2019/20 academic year pay £1,385 for that year. 

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

Field trips

One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.

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. 

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.