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.
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.
Social Anthropology with a Year abroad student Gabriele talks about her course at Kent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anthropology at Kent was ranked 4th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and 9th for teaching quality in The Times Good University Guide 2017.
Of the Anthropology and Conservation students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). For graduate prospects, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
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.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
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SE301 - Social Anthropology
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.Read more
SE302 - Foundations of Biological Anthropology
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.Read more
SE307 - Thinkers and Theories: An Introduction to theHistory and Development of
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.Read more
SE308 - Skills for Anthropology and Conservation
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.Read more
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SE617 - Ethnographies I
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.Read more
SE618 - Advanced Social Anthropology I
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.Read more
SE619 - Advanced Social Anthropology II
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.Read more
SE601 - European Societies
‘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.Read more
SE616 - The Anthropology of China
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 ChinaRead more
SE607 - Islam and Muslim Lives in the Contemporary World
This module is concerned with a diverse range of approaches deployed by anthropologists to the study of Islam and Muslim lives in the contemporary world. The aim of the module is to familiarize students with the complex intertwinements between Islam as a set of sacred texts and a world religious tradition, and the ways in which these are locally understood, interpreted and experienced throughout specific historical, social and political contexts. The key topics covered in this module focus on contemporary economic, political, religious and social developments in the Muslim world such as religious nationalism; war on terror and Islamophobia; the socio-cultural impact of new technologies on religious practice; the practice and politics of pilgrimage; gender; sectarianism and secularism; colonialism, imperialism and globalisation; diasporic Islam; or charity and social justice. This module will develop students' awareness of the strengths and limitations of anthropological insights compared to other disciplinary perspectives on Islam and Muslim lives, and more generally how these influence larger debates on the anthropological study of religion and politics.Read more
SE556 - Social Sciences in the Classroom
The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students in the Autumn term. These will include sessions on the sections of the national curriculum that are degree specific, the relationship with the teacher, how to behave with pupils, as well as how to organise an engaging and informative session on an aspect of the specific degree subject drawn from the national curriculum. These sessions will be run by members of the Partnership Development Office.
After training the student will spend approximately 6 hours in a school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, they will begin by observing lessons taught by their designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later they will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. They may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where they explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, the student will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson.
The student will be required to keep a weekly log of their activities. Each student will also create resources to aid in the delivery of their subject area within the curriculum. Finally, the student will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the lesson.Read more
SE558 - The Anthropocene: Planetary Crisis and the Age of Humans
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 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) introduction to the Anthropocene- approaching the Earth as a system 2) The stratigraphy of industrial development and debates about the onset of the Anthropocene 3) Rethinking the nature-culture divide 4) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 5) Thinking the planet: challenges for science and governance.Read more
SE565 - Sex Evolution and Human Nature
Much of the material presented in this course forms part of the relatively new academic discipline of evolutionary psychology/anthropology. The goal of this course is to discover and understand the principles of evolutionary psychology and other complementary paradigms. The module explores human behaviour (primarily human sexual behaviours) from an evolutionary perspective. Topics covered are reproductive and mating strategies, parenting behaviour, kinship, cooperation, survival, status striving, jealously, and aggression. The course will provide an excellent understanding of the deeply biological nature of human behaviour, and develop skills in critical thinking. Students will be encouraged to bring relevant questions and observations to seminars and time will be allocated to deal with them.
Lecture and seminar topics will include:
• The origins of human nature and evolutionary anthropology
• Why does sex exist, what does it mean to be a particular sex, and why don’t men breast-feed?
• What aspects of our personalities are determined by our biological need to reproduce?
• Why are human beings so intelligent?
• Viewing humans as a species of ape. What can we learn by studying chimpanzees about ourselves and our ancestors?
• Human mating strategies. Male and female long and short term strategies. The essence of beauty.
• Do men and women differ in their natures? If so, are these differences genetic?
• Adultery. What’s love got to do with it?
• Why do humans have a concealed (not advertised) ovulation?
• Why is there a menopause?
• Sexual conflict and jealousy
• Why do we make friends, and what are they good for?Read more
SE573 - Ethnicity and Nationalism
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.Read more
SE584 - The Anthropology of Business
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.Read more
SE585 - From the Raw to the Cooked: The Anthropology of Eating
Students will learn about the evolution and significance of food production, especially in relation to globalisation, identity and health. The module will cover different modes of food production, the domestication of animals and the cultivation of staple crops in the course of social development. it will look at different theories about the importance of food production for the rise of urban cultures and organised religion, and the relationship of food production systems to trade, colonial expansion and the process of globalisation. Moving from production and distribution to eating itself, the module will cover notions of food identity at collective and individual levels, by looking at the process of food preparation and consumption and abstinence in different cultural settings. We will also look at various forms of disordered eating, the dynamic relationship between cultures and eating and contemporarary debates over fast food, genetic engineering, and personal identity against the background of rising food prices, regional food shortage and the management of famine in different countries.Read more
SE594 - Anthropology and Development
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.Read more
SE595 - Social Computing
In this module you will learn how people are using social computing resources, how anthropologists and others understand these activities, how to access and deploy these resources yourself, and how to leverage your participation to better understand social and cultural processes that are underway in social computing contexts.
In Social Computing we describe and analyse how people use and adapt new technologies to form and navigate cultural and social contexts, create and spread knowledge and undertake action emerging from computer-enhanced capabilities. Capabilities include the internet (including so call Web 2.0), clouds, augmented reality, robotics and virtual devices, wearable computers and sensors and artificial intelligence.
We begin by looking at the major theoretical paradigms and methods that have guided research on these in anthropology and related disciplines. In the remainder of the module we examine case studies of social computing based on different capabilities, using a took-kit that supports the creation and analysis of social computing capabilities and developing group and individual contributions to an on-going collective module project that will contribute to the Social Computing context.
Topics considered include the creative commons of open source, Web 2.0 and resource clouds, social networks, organisational change, reputation, social, lgel and ethical issues, mobile and ubiquitous computing and argmented reality. Topics discussed in class will provide ideas and models for student research projects.Read more
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.
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SE608 - Anthropology Year Abroad Mark
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.Read more
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SE596 - Theoretical Perspectives in Social Anthropology
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.Read more
SE597 - Theoretical Topics in Social Anthropology
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.Read more
SE534 - Special Project in Social Anthropology
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.Read more
SE554 - Visual Anthropology
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 ActivismRead more
SE555 - Project in Visual Anthropology
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.Read more
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.
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.
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.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- general learning and study
- critical and analytical abilities
- expressing ideas in writing and orally
- group work
- the ability to review and summarise information
- data retrieval
- integrate into a different educational, cultural, social, and, in some cases, professional environment.
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.
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.
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.
Our recent graduates have gone into areas such as:
- overseas development and aid work
- media research or production (TV and radio)
- film production
- social work
- international consultancy
- work with community groups
- town and country planning
- 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.
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.
Of the Anthropology and Conservation students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). For graduate prospects, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2018.
According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £17,300.
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|
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.
34 points overall or 16 points at HL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more 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.
The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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.
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
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
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.