Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Anthropology with a Year Abroad - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code L606

2019

In anthropology, you consider what it means to be human by exploring culture, history, arts, biology and evolution. Our comprehensive programme gives you a new perspective on the human world, providing a depth of insight into social and cultural difference and giving you an understanding of the history and behaviour of your species – invaluable to any employer. 

Overview

The School of Anthropology and Conservation uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field visits and laboratory sessions. You are taught by research academics at the forefront of their fields while our excellent student-to-staff ratio ensures a high level of academic support.

We are one of the largest and long-established groups of anthropologists in the UK. Our expertise spans the full breadth of the discipline and includes an innovative group of primatologists, a team who excel in paleoanthropology and a centre for human ecology pushing the boundaries of environmental change research.

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

Whether your background is in arts, humanities or sciences, you will find our BSc in Anthropology an exciting, stimulating and rewarding opportunity.

Our degree programme

In your first year, you are introduced to anthropology, its foundations and its leading thinkers. Optional modules allow you to expand on areas of particular interest, which may include violence and conflict, or human physiology and disease. You can also benefit from practical learning through lab-based sessions and a number of visits away from campus.

In your second and final years, you take compulsory modules that further your understanding of the key areas of biological and social anthropology. You study issues such as power and economy, religion, cosmological imagination, and biology and human identity.

You also enjoy a wide and varied choice of modules enabling you to expand your perspective or develop a specialism. You can study the anthropology of gender, business, health or creativity; take modules in visual anthropology or discover more about primate communication. In your final year, you undertake a research project in anthropological science, choosing your topic with your project supervisor.

You benefit from the intellectual breadth of our programme, and the high degree of flexibility in shaping it to your interests as they grow and develop.

Year abroad

The year abroad allows an immersive experience of living and studying in a different culture. You spend a year studying at one of our partner institutions in Japan or Europe between the second and final years. You can also use this experience to start your dissertation by conducting fieldwork. 

Alternatively, you can take our three-year Anthropology degree or our four-year 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 Musee du Quai Branly and Musee de l'Homme
  • Howletts Wild Animal Park
  • St Leonard's Ossuary
  • London Chinese temple
  • Impact Hub Westminster
  • London financial district
  • Canterbury Cathedral and Canterbury Tales Experience.

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

Study resources

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

  • climate-controlled human osteology lab housing an exceptional collection of Anglo-Saxon and medieval skeletons (>1000) and related radiographs
  • a visual anthropology room
  • an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material
  • a dedicated 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
  • 3D imaging paleoanthropology lab with state-of-the-art equipment and expert academic support
  • refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
  • an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
  • student social spaces.

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

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 4th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

For graduate prospects, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2018, 5th in The Times Good University Guide 2018 and 7th in The Complete 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.

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

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

Social Anthropology is a discipline which arose with other social sciences in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, social and cultural anthropology has made a speciality of studying 'other' peoples worlds and ways of life. With increasing frequency, however, anthropologists have turned towards 'home', using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. By studying people's lives both at 'home' and 'abroad', social and cultural anthropology attempt to both explain what may at first appear bizarre and alien about other peoples' ways of living whilst also questioning what goes without saying about our own society and beliefs. Or, to put it another way, social and cultural anthropology attempt, among other things, to challenge our ideas about what we take to be natural about 'human nature' and more generally force us to take a fresh look at what we take for granted.

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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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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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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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Stage 2

Modules may include Credits

The module is designed as a bridging module between more biological elements of the BSc programme and the more socio-cultural anthropology courses students take as part of that programme. Being largely a broad survey of human evolutionary biology and identity, it will serve to introduce the more biological students to arguments and materials that will place their biological understanding within a broader framework of ideas about what makes people who and what they are and encourage them to explore the socio-cultural aspects of biological science. For the more socio-cultural BA students the module provides an opportunity to consolidate biological understanding from the Foundations of Biological Anthropology module and learn how to assess the assumptions and limitations of biology in the understanding of human behaviour. We will cover topics such as the human fossil record, human variation, what makes us human and ecological adaptation. By the end of the module the student should have knowledge of the basic principles of biological anthropology, an understanding of human identity, and be able to relate those ideas to wider concepts in biology. The student will be given an overview of the hominin fossil record and its interpretation, and receive in depth study of the different biological and social aspects that define us as human and the evolution of human life histories. The student will be introduced to the genetic and phenotypic variation of the modern human species, how humans have adapted to particular environments, and the importance diet played in human evolution. The student will also acquire some of the practical skills of data collection currently used by biological anthropologists.

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This module will introduce students to quantitative research methods, with particular reference to biological and scientific anthropology, as well as basic statistics and data handling, through a combination of seminars and practical classes on research methods, statistics, and instruction in the use of computer software to analyse data. The goal of this module is to provide students with an understanding of how scientific research proceeds, and thus how to design and undertake an independent research project. Topics covered include an introduction to parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques, how to use programmes such as SPSS, how to build and tests hypotheses, and how to structure a research proposal.

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This module will provide the fundamental theoretical and comparative perspective that lies at heart of biology, with a particular focus on the order Primates. Particular attention will be paid to the evolutionary history of the primates and comparative primate (skeletal) anatomy, both placed in an evolutionary ecological context (e.g. a consideration of dentition in relation to diet and feeding; post-cranial anatomy in relation to locomotion and phylogenetic trends). The module covers latest discoveries and developments in these areas, engaging students with primary literature. Extensive use of casts of primate skeletal material will provide hands-on 'experiential' learning. The module will provide a detailed treatment of natural and sexual selection as key components of evolutionary theory that shape the adaptations of organisms, and the way adaptations are used to make sense of the diversity of organisms with particular reference to the primates.

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The module is a cross-cultural analysis of economic and political institutions, and the ways in which they transform over time. Throughout the term, we draw upon a range of ethnographic research and social theory, to investigate the political and conceptual questions raised by the study of power and economy. The module engages with the development and key debates of political and economic anthropology, and explores how people experience, and acquire power over social and economic resources. Students are asked to develop perspectives on the course material that are theoretically informed and empirically grounded, and to apply them to the political and economic questions of everyday life. The module covers the following topics: the relationship between power and authority; key concepts and theoretical debates in economic anthropology; sharing and egalitarianism; gift exchange; sexual inequality; violence; the nation state; money; social class; work; commodification; financialisation.

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This module is focused on a diverse range of approaches deployed by anthropologists to the study of religion, and belief and symbolic systems. It introduces a range of anthropological insights to the ongoing transformations of religious traditions and belief systems vis-à-vis colonial encounters, post-colonial settings, as well as globalisation. The aim of the module is to familiarize students with the complex interactions between lived religious practice, religious traditions, and the ways in which these are intertwined with other domains of social life, politics, economics and ideology. The key topics covered in this module focus on ritual and sacrifice; witchcraft and sorcery; secularisation and fundamentalism; millennialism and conversion; cosmology and ideology; human and non-human relationships; modes of religiosity, rationality and belief; mediation and ethics. This module will develop students' awareness of the strengths and limitations of anthropological insights compared to other disciplinary perspectives on religion such as theology, cognitive science or sociology.

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This module introduces students to the discipline of behavioural ecology, with particular reference to non-human primates. The module looks at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across primate species. Set within an evolutionary behavioural-ecological framework, this module combines established findings with the latest research. It emphasises the importance of direct observations of primate behaviour and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. The module covers social and reproductive behaviour within primate groups, the nature and evolution of primate societies, and cognition and communication, as well as interactions between primates and their environments: primates as foragers, predators and prey. The module will make particular use of multi-media technology to allow students to see and hear primates in their natural habitats.

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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?

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The study of the human skeletal system is basic to the discipline of biological anthropology. This module will examine the fundamentals of human osteology. Students will learn to identify and analyse human bone and evaluate and interpret major research in biological anthropology that has as its basis the analysis of bone.

Indicative topics are:

A detailed consideration of the basic properties of bone growth, development, and function in the human body.

An examination of all major skeletal structures and the morphological features associated with them. The focus will be on the function of these structures within the body as well as the identification of fragmentary remnants of them in a forensic or archaeological context.

Major techniques used in biological anthropology to analyse human bone, such as estimation of age at death, estimation of biological sex and stature.

Critical evaluation of major research studies in biological anthropology involving analysis of human bone.

Consideration of ethical issues in the collection and curation of human bone.

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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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Throughout the five hundred years of contact between Europe and the Americas, Amazonia has captivated the political, scientific and popular imagination of industrialized nations. To many people in our society, "the Amazon" epitomizes the mysterious, the wild, the uncivilized -- an image that anthropologists have variously exploited and criticized. Either way, they usually describe Amazonian societies as being either isolated from or opposed to "civilization" (i.e. the capitalist state). As Amazonians are incorporated into the nation-state and the global economy, however, it has become impossible to view them as either isolated or silent. Today, there is increased interest and concern relating to the place of humans in the environment and the future of indigenous peoples and the areas in which they dwell.

This course will employ several classic ethnographic studies of South America – by anthropologists, such as Claude Levi-Strauss, Pierre Clastres, Philippe Descola, William Fisher, Neil Whitehead and Michael Taussig – to examine how the Amazon has inscribed itself on the imagination of anthropologists, as well as how anthropologists have used their experiences in non-Western societies to contribute to broad debates in Western philosophy. Ethnographic case-studies will provide the basis for discussing issues of theoretical and topical importance, such as environmentalism; political ecology, ethnogenesis, gender relations, kinship and exchange. Ultimately, this engagement challenges some of the most basic categories of our discipline: "the state," "society," and "culture."

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An introduction to cognitive anthropology and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between cognitive processes, culture and social organisation. The topics covered will include the forming of categories, relations between categories, the symbolic construction of nature, the classification of natural kinds, the convergence of cognitive and symbolic approaches, the evolution of hominid cognitive processes, the development of second order representations, social cognition and classification, spatial orientation, time reckoning and the cultural construction of knowledge.

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This module introduces linguistic anthropology and a critical exploration of the relationship between language, culture, and social organisation. Indicative topics covered are: language and thought in the history of anthropology; the rudiments of linguistic description; language as a social phenomenon; oratory and ritual speech; the significance of the written word and literacy; speech variation; the links between language; social structure and culture; linguistic aspects of symbolism; the relationship between words and categories; colour classification and universalist versus relativist theories.

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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.

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You study the diversity of animal life throughout evolution, including elements of functional anatomy and physiology such as circulation and gaseous exchange, the digestive system, the nervous system and reproduction.

Topics:

a. Comparative physiology – in this section the diversity of different physiological systems will be studied including circulation, gaseous exchange, feeding and digestion, excretion, nervous tissue and the senses , reproduction and immunology.

b. Form and Function – in this section a diverse range of taxonomic groups and their characteristics will be studied to understand the relationship between structure and function. How these characteristics equip the animal to survive and succeed in its particular environment will be explored.

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Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognized to be vital to the successful restoration of endangered species. An understanding of the evolutionary processes that foster biodiversity and genetic diversity is essential for modern conservation biologists, across timescales ranging from a few generations to millions of years. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of genetic processes and evolutionary mechanisms within the context of conservation.

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This module considers how criminal law makes use of science. Forensic evidence is a rapidly developing area in criminal trials – new techniques are continually being developed and forensic evidence such as DNA profiling is increasingly presented as evidence. This rapid expansion has resulted in forensic evidence becoming increasingly debated in the media and by the criminal justice process – from articles hailing DNA profiling as preventing or undoing miscarriages of justice to those questioning a lay jury's ability to make a judgement in case involving highly complex scientific or medical evidence.

The module will be broken down into 4 parts:

1. Initially, analysis of the historical development of the use of forensic evidence will be made along with explanation of both what constitutes forensic evidence and the basic scientific techniques involved.

2. Consideration of the way in which forensic science has developed as a useful tool within the criminal justice process

3. Analysis of the difficulties of placing emphasis on forensic science within the trial system – cases in which forensic science has resulted in subsequently questioned decisions.

4. Current issues surrounding the use of forensic science: This section of the course will be devoted to considering the questions which arise out of the use of forensic evidence such as:

• Who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence,

• Who are the experts who present the evidence to juries

• To what extent does the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

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This is an introduction to environmental anthropology, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, environmental determinism and cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, ethnoecology, the description of subsistence, the concept of cultural adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, low intensity agriculture, intensification, environment, culture and development, and the anthropology of the environmental movement.

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The module addresses the causes, effects, treatments and meanings of health and illness. Health and illness are of major concern to most of us, irrespective of our cultural, social and biological contexts. In this module we will begin with an overview of the major theoretical paradigms and methods in medical anthropology. We will then focus on how and why different diseases have affected various human populations throughout history and the ways perceptions of what constitutes health and illness vary greatly, cross-culturally as well as within one particular cultural domain. This will be followed by an overview of ethnomedical systems as a response to illness and disease. Anthropological studies in the sphere of medicine originally tended to concentrate on other people's perceptions of illness, but have increasingly come to focus on the difficulties encountered when trying to define what constitutes health in general. Anthropology has also turned its attention to a critical examination of biomedicine: originally thought of as providing a 'value free, objective and true' assessment of various diseases (epidemiology), biomedicine is now itself the subject of intense anthropological scrutiny and is seen as the expression of a culturally specific system of values. The module will also consider practical applications of medical anthropology.

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This module focuses on gender issues. The study of gender in anthropology developed in the 1970s, with the rise of the feminist movement in Europe and America. However, gender studies came to reflect a bias evident in most feminist discourses: an interest in gender was equated with an interest in women's issues, and the anthropological theories at this time replicated a bias similar to that of which male researchers had previously been accused. Not until recently has the study of gender come to incorporate an examination of the discourse of power, knowledge and social action generated through the interface between men and women in society. The module proposes to trace the developments of the theoretical debate in anthropology, while simultaneously providing ethnographic material illustrating the theoretical perspectives and the cross-cultural variations in the definition of gender identities. Concepts of sex and gender will be examined using anthropological material stemming from the study of religion, ritual and politics

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The aim of this module is to introduce students to recent developments in natural resource management focused on the ideas of natural capital, ecosystem services and sustainable landscape management and thus a module set firmly with the socio-ecological tradition of human ecology. The module will trace the traditions of this gradual harmonisation of resource management discourse and how it plays out conceptually, empirically and at the interface of environmental science, policy and practice. The module will also set this tradition in a critical frame, drawing back to underlying assumptions about the idea of nature, and the relationship between nature, economy, human development and well-being. It will also have a practical edge by covering issues of environmental citizenship and the ethical, procedural and practical rationales that underpin different forms and levels of engagement in environmental decision making.

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The aim of this module is to introduce students to the relevance of anthropological debates to contemporary political issues, specifically in relation to one of the most pertinent and persistent phenomena of the 20th century: violent conflict and war. Students will gain a firsthand insight into one of anthropology's main contributions: the way that small-scale issues can be related to much broader and perhaps universal questions about human nature, violence, poverty and inequality. Even though this module will focus on anthropological approaches to violence and conflict, it will also draw on discussions from other disciplines (such as philosophy and political theory), such as human nature, war and genocide, legitimacy and the state. Other topics that will be covered include memory, gender, subjectivity, structural violence, reconstruction and reconciliation, as well as anthropological approaches to peace, emotions and human suffering. In addition, by discussing the ethics of doing research in conflict situations, this module will allow students to critically engage with the challenges, dilemmas and limitations of anthropological research methods. The module is designed in a way that it encourages students to engage with current affairs and to get first insights into how anthropology can contribute to our understanding of political, social and historical events.

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This module focuses on the afterlives of Soviet socialism in contemporary Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Throughout the 20th century, Soviet socialism provided the main economic and (geo)political alternative to Western capitalism and its forms of industrial modernisation. It was, however, also an internally-diverse social, political and cultural project that impacted all spheres of society and interpersonal relations, ranging from economic organisation, housing and consumption, to religious life. In 1989, this project collapsed with large-scale societal transformations across the Eurasian landmass and beyond. Starting from this point of rupture, the module addresses two sets of aims. Firstly, it will introduce students to the diversity of the afterlives of the 'actually living' Soviet socialism and postsocialism in contemporary Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Secondly, it will ask how ethnographic study of postsocialism can contribute to critical and comparative understanding of rapid and radical social changes. These aims will be explored by focusing on the themes studied by anthropologists (in a dialogue with historians and political scientists), including religious revival; memory and nostalgia; food and consumption; infrastructure and/of the state; nationalism; money and exchange networks; morality and personhood.

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Since Durkheim, social scientists have explored the ways in which people's thought and ethics reflect the structure of their societies and cultures. Meanwhile, economists, psychologists and moral philosophers have explained human thought and action in terms of individual actors’ beliefs and motivations. Both approaches seem to have important things to teach us, but they also appear to be mutually contradictory.

From at least the 1970s, anthropologists have been making attempts to resolve this tension—which came to be known as the structure and agency problem. Their efforts have given rise to some of the most exciting debates in anthropology from its beginnings down to the most recent issues that divide scholars working in the field today on issues such as the anthropology of ethics. In this module students will learn about the most important of these controversies, learning to address questions such as the following:

• Are you truly responsible for your thoughts and actions or are you just a product of your society?

• If we understand things through cultural categories, can there be real communication with people from other cultures or are we doomed to misunderstand each other?

• Does everyone think about freedom in the same way or is it something specific to western liberal societies?

• Is what we don’t know just as much a product of culture as what we do know?

• Is the concept of 'culture’ helpful or misleading in studying human action?

• Can individuals’ actions be explained in terms of the social functions they fulfil, or only in terms of the individuals’ personal interests?

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

Students will be expected to come to seminars with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies.

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

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

Students will be expected to come to seminars with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies.

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

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This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', 'society', ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

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Starting in the 1930s, Urban Anthropology has been one of the main sub-fields of Social Anthropology, but it is also an area where our discipline has engaged very intensely in interdisciplinary relations. After the 1950s the world changed globally, with an ever-increasing percentage of the world's population living in urban contexts. As a result, the relevance of urban and modern modes of living became central for anthropological research. Ethnographic methodology too had to be adapted as a consequence with an increased attention to matters of bureaucracy and technology. Today, in a world where global mobility is intense and consumerism dominates, it can be argued that even rural populations live in a periurban condition. Traditionally, urban anthropology dealt centrally with problems of marginality and deviance, but now increasingly the focus is on the interaction between urban planning and the politics of everyday living. Most of our students are likely to go on to do academic research in areas of applied research in urban settings. Therefore, it is especially important that they should be introduced to the problems that urban anthropology raises.

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This module critically surveys anthropological approaches to creativity and creative expression—selected from research on creativity itself, and on the anthropology of art and literature (both oral and written). We explore three fields of creative practice as they relate to contemporary anthropology. 1) We review classic approaches to the anthropology of art, in both non-Western and Western contexts. We assess recent breakthroughs which challenge the borders between artistic and ethnographic discourse, exploring how the ethnographic encounter can be rethought via dialogue with contemporary artists. 2) We review the anthropology of literature, and assess both pioneering forms of literary expression in the work of anthropologists, and the output of anthropological practitioners of literary fiction and poetry. 3) We examine how anthropology itself can be conceptualised as the creative expression of an encounter with others, lived experience, and the unknown, and explore the implications for anthropological modes of representation (including public anthropology). Students have the option to develop a creative project during the module that builds on this training, and can submit both academic and practice-led creative anthropological research as their assessment.

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Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 taking courses at one of our partner universities abroad, where courses are taught in English. 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.

Examples of modules available during your year abroad are available from the School of Anthropology and Conservation website.

In the unlikely event that force majeure prevents us from placing every student who meets the academic requirement, for example if a partner university is forced to terminate an exchange unexpectedly, and places become limited, the School/Schools concerned will weigh up applicant' academic performance, attendance and individual merit in order to decide who is placed. Individual merit would cover such things as commitment to the degree programme, participation and motivation.

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

For full details of the Year Abroad opportunities available to University of Kent students please visit our Go Abroad website.

Modules may 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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Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

Students will be expected to conduct original research into some aspect of scientific anthropology and present their research findings in the form of a 12,000 word (approx.) dissertation, and an oral presentation. They will also have to submit a project participation file. For the project they can collect and analyse their own data, analyse previously published data in an original manner, or combine the two approaches. The research must include collecting/analysing quantitative data. Students will be assigned an individual supervisor who will advise them on their choice of topic and research strategy. The participation file will document the progress of the research and related research training. There is no word limit, as exact content will depend on the project topic. At a minimum it should include: A diary of the research, a log of the meetings with the supervisor, notes from supervisions or from consultations with the supervisory team, notes from data collection and analysis, notes from wider reading, and any draft methods of data collection (questionnaires etc.).

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Hominins – the array of species of which ours is the only living representative – provide the clues to our own origins. In this module, the methods and evidence used to reconstruct their biology and behaviour are discussed. This module will provide students with an advanced knowledge of human evolution, as well as techniques used in the examination of behaviour and cognition in fossil hominins. Emphasis is placed on the study of both the fossil and archaeological evidence for human evolution. By the end of the module, students will be able to assess the importance of an evolutionary perspective to the human sciences.

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Some diseases leave a characteristic signature on the human skeleton after death, which can be retained in the burial environment. Palaeopathology is the study of these diseases in human skeletons from an archaeological context to infer aspects of life in the past, such as childhood growth, as well as adult diet, activity, health, social interaction (caring, contact), and conflict. The purpose of this module is to provide theoretical knowledge about the causes and manifestations of skeletal disease, and practical experience identifying and diagnosing palaeopathology. The relationship between skeletal growth and developmental disturbances are considered. Disease, activity, and diet are discussed. Skeletal responses to specific and non-specific infections, as well as neoplastic and traumatic events, are explored.

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This module is an advanced treatment of current topics and debates in evolutionary anthropology including those in anthropological genetics, palaeoanthropology, evolutionary psychology, bioarchaeology, cultural evolution and primatology. The module will help students understand the role of research and publication in anthropological science. Students will be exposed to a broad series of topics, opinions, methodologies and journals.

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The diversity and complexity of primate sociality is reflected in the diversity and complexity of their communication strategies. This module complements the module ANTB5800 'Primate Behaviour & Ecology' by examining the ways in which primates communicate with one another through olfactory, tactile, visual, and acoustic signals. We will address fundamental questions in animal communication including: Is it appropriate to characterize such communication in terms of information transfer? How does communication evolve? What maintains signal honesty, and under what conditions can deceptive communication can evolve? The module will cover the physical and biological bases of signal production and perception. We will explore the extent to which studies of primate communication can provide a window into their minds. Finally, we will delve into the question of the relevance of primate communication for understanding the evolution of human language.

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This module examines the contribution of biological anthropology to the study of forensic science and provides students with a detailed understanding of the methods and theory of forensic anthropology. We cover topics such as biological profiling, field excavation and recovery, forensic taphonomy, identity, trauma and expert witness testimony. By the end of this module students will know how biological anthropology is applied in a forensic arena, and understand how human remains are recovered and analysed.

Students are introduced to concepts applied in forensic anthropology. Students learn how to correctly excavate a burial and recover human remains. Students are introduced to environmental factors influencing crime scene recovery and skeletal material and will learn about the importance of other forensic specialities such as forensic entomology, palynology, sedimentology and odontology. They are introduced to forensic anthropological recovery on a local scale and in mass disaster situations. Students also acquire an understanding of the role of a forensic anthropologist in the courtroom.

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This module introduces students to the discipline of behavioural ecology, with particular reference to non-human primates. The module looks at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across primate species. Set within an evolutionary behavioural-ecological framework, this module combines established findings with the latest research. It emphasises the importance of direct observations of primate behaviour and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. The module covers social and reproductive behaviour within primate groups, the nature and evolution of primate societies, and cognition and communication, as well as interactions between primates and their environments: primates as foragers, predators and prey. The module will make particular use of multi-media technology to allow students to see and hear primates in their natural habitats.

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If behaviour has been shaped by natural selection, then those behaviours must have some biological basis. This module explores the extent to which hormonal mechanisms provide such a biological explanation of behaviour in humans and our primate cousins. Students will learn the basics of the endocrine system, and consider both how hormones affect behaviour and how behaviour may affect hormones. This module will examine the role that hormones play in the differentiation of behaviours between females and males, as well as the evidence that sexual, parental, aggressive, and affiliative behaviours are influenced by hormones. Students will thus complete this module with a greater appreciation of the hormonal underpinnings of the complex sociality that characterizes humans and other primates.

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The aim of this module is to introduce students to recent developments in natural resource management focused on the ideas of natural capital, ecosystem services and sustainable landscape management and thus a module set firmly with the socio-ecological tradition of human ecology. The module will trace the traditions of this gradual harmonisation of resource management discourse and how it plays out conceptually, empirically and at the interface of environmental science, policy and practice. The module will also set this tradition in a critical frame, drawing back to underlying assumptions about the idea of nature, and the relationship between nature, economy, human development and well-being. It will also have a practical edge by covering issues of environmental citizenship and the ethical, procedural and practical rationales that underpin different forms and levels of engagement in environmental decision making.

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

Students will be expected to come to seminars with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies.

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

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Since Durkheim, social scientists have explored the ways in which people's thought and ethics reflect the structure of their societies and cultures. Meanwhile, economists, psychologists and moral philosophers have explained human thought and action in terms of individual actors’ beliefs and motivations. Both approaches seem to have important things to teach us, but they also appear to be mutually contradictory.

From at least the 1970s, anthropologists have been making attempts to resolve this tension—which came to be known as the structure and agency problem. Their efforts have given rise to some of the most exciting debates in anthropology from its beginnings down to the most recent issues that divide scholars working in the field today on issues such as the anthropology of ethics. In this module students will learn about the most important of these controversies, learning to address questions such as the following:

• Are you truly responsible for your thoughts and actions or are you just a product of your society?

• If we understand things through cultural categories, can there be real communication with people from other cultures or are we doomed to misunderstand each other?

• Does everyone think about freedom in the same way or is it something specific to western liberal societies?

• Is what we don’t know just as much a product of culture as what we do know?

• Is the concept of 'culture’ helpful or misleading in studying human action?

• Can individuals’ actions be explained in terms of the social functions they fulfil, or only in terms of the individuals’ personal interests?

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This module focuses on the afterlives of Soviet socialism in contemporary Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Throughout the 20th century, Soviet socialism provided the main economic and (geo)political alternative to Western capitalism and its forms of industrial modernisation. It was, however, also an internally-diverse social, political and cultural project that impacted all spheres of society and interpersonal relations, ranging from economic organisation, housing and consumption, to religious life. In 1989, this project collapsed with large-scale societal transformations across the Eurasian landmass and beyond. Starting from this point of rupture, the module addresses two sets of aims. Firstly, it will introduce students to the diversity of the afterlives of the 'actually living' Soviet socialism and postsocialism in contemporary Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Secondly, it will ask how ethnographic study of postsocialism can contribute to critical and comparative understanding of rapid and radical social changes. These aims will be explored by focusing on the themes studied by anthropologists (in a dialogue with historians and political scientists), including religious revival; memory and nostalgia; food and consumption; infrastructure and/of the state; nationalism; money and exchange networks; morality and personhood.

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The aim of this module is to introduce students to the relevance of anthropological debates to contemporary political issues, specifically in relation to one of the most pertinent and persistent phenomena of the 20th century: violent conflict and war. Students will gain a firsthand insight into one of anthropology's main contributions: the way that small-scale issues can be related to much broader and perhaps universal questions about human nature, violence, poverty and inequality. Even though this module will focus on anthropological approaches to violence and conflict, it will also draw on discussions from other disciplines (such as philosophy and political theory), such as human nature, war and genocide, legitimacy and the state. Other topics that will be covered include memory, gender, subjectivity, structural violence, reconstruction and reconciliation, as well as anthropological approaches to peace, emotions and human suffering. In addition, by discussing the ethics of doing research in conflict situations, this module will allow students to critically engage with the challenges, dilemmas and limitations of anthropological research methods. The module is designed in a way that it encourages students to engage with current affairs and to get first insights into how anthropology can contribute to our understanding of political, social and historical events.

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This module critically surveys anthropological approaches to creativity and creative expression—selected from research on creativity itself, and on the anthropology of art and literature (both oral and written). We explore three fields of creative practice as they relate to contemporary anthropology. 1) We review classic approaches to the anthropology of art, in both non-Western and Western contexts. We assess recent breakthroughs which challenge the borders between artistic and ethnographic discourse, exploring how the ethnographic encounter can be rethought via dialogue with contemporary artists. 2) We review the anthropology of literature, and assess both pioneering forms of literary expression in the work of anthropologists, and the output of anthropological practitioners of literary fiction and poetry. 3) We examine how anthropology itself can be conceptualised as the creative expression of an encounter with others, lived experience, and the unknown, and explore the implications for anthropological modes of representation (including public anthropology). Students have the option to develop a creative project during the module that builds on this training, and can submit both academic and practice-led creative anthropological research as their assessment.

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Starting in the 1930s, Urban Anthropology has been one of the main sub-fields of Social Anthropology, but it is also an area where our discipline has engaged very intensely in interdisciplinary relations. After the 1950s the world changed globally, with an ever-increasing percentage of the world's population living in urban contexts. As a result, the relevance of urban and modern modes of living became central for anthropological research. Ethnographic methodology too had to be adapted as a consequence with an increased attention to matters of bureaucracy and technology. Today, in a world where global mobility is intense and consumerism dominates, it can be argued that even rural populations live in a periurban condition. Traditionally, urban anthropology dealt centrally with problems of marginality and deviance, but now increasingly the focus is on the interaction between urban planning and the politics of everyday living. Most of our students are likely to go on to do academic research in areas of applied research in urban settings. Therefore, it is especially important that they should be introduced to the problems that urban anthropology raises.

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This module emerges out of the fact that the human-environment nexus has, in recent years, become an area of intense debate and polarisation, both social and intellectual; a space in which many of the core categories within the natural and social sciences- be these the 'nature', 'society', ‘humanity’ or indeed ‘life’- are being reconsidered and reconfigured. By engaging with recent debates and case studies from different regions it seeks to critically assess, compare and contrast some of the key contemporary, at times controversial, debates that engage collaborators, colleagues and critics from diverse academic specialties and perspectives. Through the use of lectures, and student-led seminar discussions focused on specific papers and case studies it seeks to review and compare some of concepts and approaches used to research, analyze and theorise the intersecting and mutually constituting material, symbolic, historical, political dimensions of human-plant and human-environment relations. It also seeks to assess how such an understanding can better guide our attempts to address the complex socio-environmental problems facing our world and our future by explicitly addressing the issue of complexity and scale, both in space and over time.

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

Students will be expected to come to seminars with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies.

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

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Throughout the five hundred years of contact between Europe and the Americas, Amazonia has captivated the political, scientific and popular imagination of industrialized nations. To many people in our society, "the Amazon" epitomizes the mysterious, the wild, the uncivilized -- an image that anthropologists have variously exploited and criticized. Either way, they usually describe Amazonian societies as being either isolated from or opposed to "civilization" (i.e. the capitalist state). As Amazonians are incorporated into the nation-state and the global economy, however, it has become impossible to view them as either isolated or silent. Today, there is increased interest and concern relating to the place of humans in the environment and the future of indigenous peoples and the areas in which they dwell.

This course will employ several classic ethnographic studies of South America – by anthropologists, such as Claude Levi-Strauss, Pierre Clastres, Philippe Descola, William Fisher, Neil Whitehead and Michael Taussig – to examine how the Amazon has inscribed itself on the imagination of anthropologists, as well as how anthropologists have used their experiences in non-Western societies to contribute to broad debates in Western philosophy. Ethnographic case-studies will provide the basis for discussing issues of theoretical and topical importance, such as environmentalism; political ecology, ethnogenesis, gender relations, kinship and exchange. Ultimately, this engagement challenges some of the most basic categories of our discipline: "the state," "society," and "culture."

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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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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.

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This module introduces linguistic anthropology and a critical exploration of the relationship between language, culture, and social organisation. Indicative topics covered are: language and thought in the history of anthropology; the rudiments of linguistic description; language as a social phenomenon; oratory and ritual speech; the significance of the written word and literacy; speech variation; the links between language; social structure and culture; linguistic aspects of symbolism; the relationship between words and categories; colour classification and universalist versus relativist theories.

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An introduction to cognitive anthropology and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between cognitive processes, culture and social organisation. The topics covered will include the forming of categories, relations between categories, the symbolic construction of nature, the classification of natural kinds, the convergence of cognitive and symbolic approaches, the evolution of hominid cognitive processes, the development of second order representations, social cognition and classification, spatial orientation, time reckoning and the cultural construction of knowledge.

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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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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.

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Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognized to be vital to the successful restoration of endangered species. An understanding of the evolutionary processes that foster biodiversity and genetic diversity is essential for modern conservation biologists, across timescales ranging from a few generations to millions of years. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of genetic processes and evolutionary mechanisms within the context of conservation.

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You study the diversity of animal life throughout evolution, including elements of functional anatomy and physiology such as circulation and gaseous exchange, the digestive system, the nervous system and reproduction.

Topics:

a. Comparative physiology – in this section the diversity of different physiological systems will be studied including circulation, gaseous exchange, feeding and digestion, excretion, nervous tissue and the senses , reproduction and immunology.

b. Form and Function – in this section a diverse range of taxonomic groups and their characteristics will be studied to understand the relationship between structure and function. How these characteristics equip the animal to survive and succeed in its particular environment will be explored.

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This module focuses on gender issues. The study of gender in anthropology developed in the 1970s, with the rise of the feminist movement in Europe and America. However, gender studies came to reflect a bias evident in most feminist discourses: an interest in gender was equated with an interest in women's issues, and the anthropological theories at this time replicated a bias similar to that of which male researchers had previously been accused. Not until recently has the study of gender come to incorporate an examination of the discourse of power, knowledge and social action generated through the interface between men and women in society. The module proposes to trace the developments of the theoretical debate in anthropology, while simultaneously providing ethnographic material illustrating the theoretical perspectives and the cross-cultural variations in the definition of gender identities. Concepts of sex and gender will be examined using anthropological material stemming from the study of religion, ritual and politics

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The module addresses the causes, effects, treatments and meanings of health and illness. Health and illness are of major concern to most of us, irrespective of our cultural, social and biological contexts. In this module we will begin with an overview of the major theoretical paradigms and methods in medical anthropology. We will then focus on how and why different diseases have affected various human populations throughout history and the ways perceptions of what constitutes health and illness vary greatly, cross-culturally as well as within one particular cultural domain. This will be followed by an overview of ethnomedical systems as a response to illness and disease. Anthropological studies in the sphere of medicine originally tended to concentrate on other people's perceptions of illness, but have increasingly come to focus on the difficulties encountered when trying to define what constitutes health in general. Anthropology has also turned its attention to a critical examination of biomedicine: originally thought of as providing a 'value free, objective and true' assessment of various diseases (epidemiology), biomedicine is now itself the subject of intense anthropological scrutiny and is seen as the expression of a culturally specific system of values. The module will also consider practical applications of medical anthropology.

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This is an introduction to environmental anthropology, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, environmental determinism and cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, ethnoecology, the description of subsistence, the concept of cultural adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, low intensity agriculture, intensification, environment, culture and development, and the anthropology of the environmental movement.

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This module considers how criminal law makes use of science. Forensic evidence is a rapidly developing area in criminal trials – new techniques are continually being developed and forensic evidence such as DNA profiling is increasingly presented as evidence. This rapid expansion has resulted in forensic evidence becoming increasingly debated in the media and by the criminal justice process – from articles hailing DNA profiling as preventing or undoing miscarriages of justice to those questioning a lay jury's ability to make a judgement in case involving highly complex scientific or medical evidence.

The module will be broken down into 4 parts:

1. Initially, analysis of the historical development of the use of forensic evidence will be made along with explanation of both what constitutes forensic evidence and the basic scientific techniques involved.

2. Consideration of the way in which forensic science has developed as a useful tool within the criminal justice process

3. Analysis of the difficulties of placing emphasis on forensic science within the trial system – cases in which forensic science has resulted in subsequently questioned decisions.

4. Current issues surrounding the use of forensic science: This section of the course will be devoted to considering the questions which arise out of the use of forensic evidence such as:

• Who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence,

• Who are the experts who present the evidence to juries

• To what extent does the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

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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.

Many of the core modules have an end-of-year examination which counts for 50% to 100% of your final mark for that module. The remaining percentage comes from practical or coursework marks. However, others, such as the Project in Anthropological Science are assessed entirely on coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks and, where appropriate, the marks from your year abroad, 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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills
  • provide students with the skills to adapt and respond positively to changes in the discipline
  • acquaint students with theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding anthropology
  • demonstrate the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of local, national and international biological and social phenomena arising from the changing nature of human organisation in the distant past and in the contemporary world
  • provide a broad range of knowledge in the discipline of anthropology, stressing the need for a biological approach, and showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines
  • provide a grounding in human and primate biological variation and demonstrate the links between biological and sociocultural processes
  • ensure that the research of staff informs the design of modules, 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. Europe, Japan), selected from those with whom the School has existing links for year-abroad programmes.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles relevant to the study of human biology, evolution and sociality
  • human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • the fossil evidence of human evolution
  • the similarities and differences between humans and other primates
  • biological perspectives on human ecology
  • the ethical implications of human biological diversity
  • the principles of Mendelian and population genetics, as well as molecular biology
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life
  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
  • specific themes in social anthropology such as religion, politics, kinship and religion
  • several ethnographic regions of the world
  • cultures and societies of year abroad countries.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • general learning and study skills
  • critical and analytical skills
  • the ability to express ideas orally and in writing
  • communication and IT skills
  • statistical analysis
  • practical skills specific to the scientific study of anthropology
  • hypothesis testing
  • integrate into a different educational, cultural, social, and, in some cases, professional environment.

Subject-specific skills

You gain specific skills in the following:

  • the ability to describe and analyse aspects of biological diversity
  • to identify the relationship between environmental and cultural influences in human ecology
  • the ability to engage in intelligent debate on the process of human evolution
  • to design and carry out a research project in the field of scientific anthropology
  • an understanding of the processes involved in the development of human variation, including a working knowledge of the principles of classical genetics and molecular biology
  • a general knowledge of human biology, and an appreciation of how biological processes interact with behaviour and culture in humans
  • the ability to compare and contrast the morphology and behaviour of humans to that of other animals, specifically primates
  • the ability to understand how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments
  • to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of oneself and others
  • to be able to make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena, which may appear at first sight incomprehensible
  • the ability to apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of practical situations, personal and professional.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to make a structured argument
  • to make appropriate reference to scholarly data
  • time-management
  • familiarity working with equipment in a scientific laboratory
  • knowledge of IT
  • oral presentations and other methods of communication including poster and PowerPoint presentations
  • working in a team.

Careers

Studying 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 found work in:

  • education
  • social work
  • town and country planning
  • advertising
  • journalism
  • film production
  • media research and production (TV and radio) 
  • overseas development
  • relief agencies
  • international consultancy firms
  • the civil service.

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

As an anthropology student, you develop expertise in understanding, interpreting and responding to human behaviour. 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.

Independent rankings

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.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

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

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

GCSE

Mathematics grade C, single or double science grade B.

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 including 4 in mathematics at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies 5 at SL) and plus science 4 at HL or SL.

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £18400

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

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

Fees for Year in Industry

For 2018/19 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 2018/19 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. 

For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.