Anthropology - BSc (Hons)

What does it mean to be human? Anthropology is for creative and critical thinkers, fascinated by every aspect of human life. Investigate the history of our species, explore the amazing diversity of human cultures and find your place in an ever-changing world.

Overview

Study how we evolved, why we live in different sorts of societies, and how we interact with both one another and the environment. You develop insight into social and cultural difference and an understanding of the history, behaviour, and evolution of our species – gaining a new perspective that is particularly valuable to employers across a wide range of industries.

Get practical with facilities like the brand new mini CT-scanner within the Imaging Centre for Life Sciences, the Ethnobiology Laboratory for identification of useful plants, and the Biological Anthropology Teaching Lab with its impressive fossil cast collection. Field trips present another opportunity for you to learn beyond your lectures at zoos, museums, religious sites and the financial district.

Reasons to study Anthropology at Kent

  • It is ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2022 and placed 9th for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2022
  • You’ll be inspired by academics at the forefront of their fields including biological, environmental, evolutionary and social anthropology
  • You can stand out by applying your skills and knowledge to a Year in Professional Practice
  • You can live, study and be immersed in a different culture when you add a Year Abroad
  • You’ll benefit from ongoing support in your studies through our excellent staff-student ratio, regular workshops and alumni talks as well as dedicated academic advisors and peer mentoring scheme

What you'll learn

On this degree you are introduced to anthropology, its foundations and its leading thinkers. You also benefit from practical learning through lab-based sessions and a number of visits away from campus.

You also enjoy a wide and varied choice of optional modules enabling you to expand your perspective or develop a specialism. You can study human sexual behaviour, or medical anthropology; take modules in ethnicity and nationalism, and power and money or discover more about primate communication or forensic anthropology.

See the modules you’ll study

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Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBB

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C/4

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in an academic based subject. Other subjects such as Hospitality, Catering, Art & Design, Music, Photography and Dance will be considered on a case-by-case basis

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL including 4 in mathematics at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies 5 at SL) 

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average, including 60% in LZ036 Academic Skills, 60% in LZ045 Life Sciences (1 & 2), and 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics (if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Typical entry requirements for 2022 entry remain published on the UCAS course search website. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing applicants. 

During Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades. Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

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 diversity, 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 primate and human evolution, culture, and behaviour. This module is required for all BSc Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history, biology, and behaviour 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 social anthropology staff.

Find out more about ANTB3020

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' people's 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.

Find out more about ANTS3010

This module explores the emergence of Anthropology as a discipline. It introduces students to the major figures, theories and approaches that have shaped Anthropology, both Sociocultural and Biological. It presents an historical outline of the major schools of thought and discusses the connections between social, cultural, and biological anthropology. It focuses on major figures who have contributed to, and shaped the discipline, and on their theoretical legacies. Students will be asked to think clearly and critically about the development of the discipline (with particular regard to colonialism and racism), and how Anthropological ideas have been applied and misapplied.

Find out more about ANTS3070

This module introduces students to the range of basic academic and research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes. Students will learn to independently use library resources to conduct scholarly research in their field of study and related fields, how to appropriately analyse that literature, and incorporate it into their own academic writing. Beyond writing, student will learn how to effectively communicate scholarly topics in the format of oral and poster presentations. Students will then be introduced to the basic aspects of collecting and analysing qualitative data as relevant in their own field of study and related disciplines. Finally, the module will focus on the skills needed to organise, analyse, and present quantitative data for the purpose of hypothesis testing in these disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS3080

Optional modules may include

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to people, place and the environment. In the first half of the module we explore this relationship through the lens of contemporary environmentalism. We consider how environmental issues are framed and managed by different societal stakeholders (such as policy makers, scientists, the media, activists) and introduce a series of core concepts of relevance to contemporary environmental management, including sustainability, resilience and environmental economics. In the second half, we explore the broader social and spatial dynamics that govern how the relationship between people, place and the environment takes shape, including urbanisation and the rise of mega-cities, the changing role of regional blocs and nation states, and changing geographies of gender, class, and ethnicity.

Find out more about GEOG3001

We are living in the era of the Anthropocene (the era of humankind), when humans have become the key driver of planetary changes. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability in the context of the Anthropocene, understanding human impacts on nature. Using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on human and environmental geography, we discuss key environmental challenges including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, among others. We explore contemporary debates around sustainable development and critically analyse these in relation to real world sustainability problems along with an understanding of the relevant policy context. You are introduced to a series of case studies that illustrate human-environment relations as connected to social, economic and political processes at different scales. The module introduces systems thinking, initiating the understanding of interconnectedness.

Find out more about GEOG3004

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module explores psychology as a science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, and group processes. The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Find out more about PSYC3040

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module explores psychology as a science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, and group processes. The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Find out more about PSYC3050

This module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, including how past geophysical processes have shaped biodiversity as we see it distributed across biomes today. The importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values) will be discussed – including a case study of the global carbon cycle, explaining how that links to biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.

Find out more about WCON3050

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

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

Humans are unique primates; anatomically peculiar and culturally complex, our 300,000 years on Earth have led us to be a species like no other. This module focuses on the scientific study of what it means to be human, from a combined biological and cultural perspective. The module traces the origins, and subsequent biological and cultural evolution, of modern humans (Homo sapiens) from the late Pleistocene through to the Holocene and modern era, highlighting the concurrent development of diet, cognition, anatomy, behaviour and culture. The proliferation of our species across the breadth of Earth's biogeographic environs will be studied, as will modern human life history, gene-culture co-evolution, variation in growth and biological adaptation – together with their genetic underpinnings – which contribute to our diversity. Our communicative, cultural and technological specialisation will be compared and contrasted with that of other extant primates. The co-dependence and co-evolution of human biology and culture will be assessed using fossil, genetic, artefact, anatomy and primate comparative-based evidence. By the end of the module students will have a thorough grounding in the core principles of biological anthropology as it relates to modern humans, and a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary forces which have shaped our biology, ecology and culture. Laboratory and seminar-based teaching will emphasise practical skills and investigative techniques employed by biological anthropologists in their quest to understand what makes us human.

Find out more about ANTB6250

The module is of core relevance for students of anthropology, and a wide range of related disciplines preoccupied with the role of anthropologically-informed thought and cultural literacy in today's transnational and multicultural globe. It explores the relationship between social between social anthropology and the Contemporary World, and a series of themes that explore how anthropologists engage with the pressing political, social and environmental concerns and crises of their day. Through examination of 'hot topics' in the discipline, key debates in public anthropology, and anthropological and ethnographic theory, the module clarifies the relevance of anthropology for the world beyond the university, and educates you in how to adapt anthropological knowledge and skills to analysis of real world issues. It also advances core disciplinary understanding relevant to social anthropological modules in stages 2 and 3. Throughout, key objectives are to support you in developing and consolidating your understanding of contemporary anthropology and your own assessment of the wider utility of the social sciences, and to provide essential critical tools for understanding the changing world around us.

Find out more about ANTS5970

Optional modules may include

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

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.

Find out more about ANTB5590

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.

Find out more about ANTB5650

This module introduces the disciplines of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology with particular reference to non-human primates. We look at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across species, combining established findings with the latest research. The module emphasises the importance of direct observation of animal/primate behaviour – introducing the necessary methods – and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. We use multi-media technology to view examples of animal behaviour, in their natural habitats, and engaging practical exercises are employed to reinforce concepts. Topics covered include interactions between primates and their environments – primates as foragers, predators and prey – as well as the nature and evolution of primate societies, cognition and communication, and social and reproductive behaviour within groups.

Find out more about ANTB5800

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.

Find out more about ANTB5820

The study of the human skeletal system is basic to the disciplines of biological anthropology and human biology. 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 and human biology hat 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.

• Evaluation of major research studies involving analysis of human bone.

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

Find out more about ANTB6280

This module will provide students with a fundamental understanding of human anatomy and how we move our body. Students will learn about the basics of the skeleton, and then focus more heavily on the muscular anatomy and other soft tissues. Students will learn to describe the structure and function of major joints and muscles as well as the basic anatomical and biomechanical principles that allow the human body to move. Students will also learn about the evolutionary origins of human anatomy and how this relates to human behaviour and common injuries and pathologies. This module will cover anatomical structures and movement throughout the body, with a focus on the limbs and trunk. This knowledge will be gained through lectures, core reading of books and peer-reviewed articles, and practical lab and seminar sessions.

Find out more about ANTB6290

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

Find out more about ANTS5730

This module aims to develop your theoretical imagination by making you familiar with the central debates that have shaped anthropological theory from the early twentieth century to our contemporary debates. It aims to teach you to understand theoretical issues and apply them with a critical and informed sense of the role of difference in the human experience. The module is not a 'history of theory' survey; rather, it will lead you through the complex interrelations and cross references that have shaped anthropological theory over the past century. The module is organised around the theme of human society, which will be used as a lens through which to view theoretical discussions within social anthropology as well as its appropriations from other disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS5960

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.

Find out more about ANTS6210

This module introduces ethnography and the ethnographic/documentary film as ways of understanding individual and social lives and the differences between cultures. The focus is critical and practical investigation of the research methods, production and communicative methods underlying them. Students will acquire both critical and practical training in these key ethnographic methodologies. The parallel histories of the development of ethnographic writing and visual anthropology will also be explored to facilitate integration between written and visual media. Indicative themes in the reading, analysis and practice of ethnography may include: (1) Critical and historical contextualisation and evaluation, (2) How to evaluate its contribution to key issues and topics in Social Anthropology; (3) Theoretical contributions; (4) Methodology and research methods; (5) The evaluation of the relationship between description and analysis (6) Examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word; (7) Ethnographies, photography and multi-media. Indicative themes in visual anthropology may include: (1) Collaborative and participatory media production (2) Photography, soundscapes and the senses (3) Cinema Verite and ethnographic film (4) Indigenous media, reception and publics (5) The transformative efficacy of video.

Find out more about ANTS6270

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.

Find out more about ANTS6310

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.

Find out more about BIOS5460

This module will cover a range of techniques that can be applied to the discovery, aging and identification of buried and ancient remains or artefacts.

Find out more about FSCI5020

This module introduces you to the many and diverse methods and design issues that inform social science research inquiry within geography and environmental studies. Its purpose is to equip you with some of the skills and mindsets to approach independent research and thus become an active participant in knowledge creation. The module explores what counts as research and how research validity can be assessed from a social science perspective. You will be trained in the design and use of a range of research techniques, including: qualitative interviews; extensive questionnaires; group work and ethnography. We also consider the processing and analysis of qualitative data, as well as basic descriptive statistics to analyse quantitative data. Towards the end of the module, we will look in more depth at the principles of research design in order to help you begin to plan your final year research project.

Find out more about GEOG5001

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognised 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.

Find out more about WCON5030

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

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

Students will be expected to conduct independent research into some aspect of anthropology, human biology, or behaviour and present their research findings in the form of a 12,000 word (maximum 13,200, minimum 9,000) dissertation, and an oral presentation. They will be assigned a supervisor who work with them, one-on-one, over the course of the module, and who will guide them on their choice of topic, data collection and analysis, and research strategy. Students will also have to submit a project participation file which documents their research process. For the project they can collect and analyse their own, original data, analyse previously collected or published data in an original manner, or combine the two approaches. The research must include collecting/analysing quantitative data, and can include other methods of data collection and analysis where appropriate.

Find out more about ANTB5330

Optional modules may include

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.

Find out more about ANTB5410

This module is a one-term placement opportunity that allows you to teach aspects of your degree subject in a local school. Launched to coincide with Kent's 50th anniversary in 2015, it highlights the longstanding excellence of human and social science research and teaching at the University, and the important role the institution has in contributing to the local community.

If selected for this module you will spend approximately 6 hours in a Kent secondary school in the Spring term (this session excludes time to travel to and from the School, and preparation and debrief time with the teacher). Generally, you will begin by observing lessons taught by your designated teacher and possibly other teachers. Later you will act somewhat in the role of a teaching assistant by working with individual pupils or with a small group. You may take 'hotspots': brief sessions with the whole class where you explain a topic or talk about aspects of university life. Finally, you will progress to the role of "teacher" and will be expected to lead an entire lesson. Throughout the module you will be given guidance and support by a local convenor based in your academic school as well as the overall module convenor.

You will be required to keep a log of your activities and experiences at each session. You will also create resources to aid in the delivery of your subject area within the curriculum. Finally, you will devise a special final taught lesson in consultation with the teacher and with your local module convener. You must then implement and reflect on the lesson.

Find out more about ANTB5560

The diversity and complexity of primate sociality is reflected in the diversity and complexity of their communication strategies. This module complements the module ANTB5800 (SE580) '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.

Find out more about ANTB5570

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.

Find out more about ANTB5650

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.

Find out more about ANTB5690

This module is designed as an exercise in the critical appraisal of current research in the fields of human biology, human behaviour and biological anthropology. Students are expected to critically engage with a series of research topics and demonstrate their ability to evaluate the scientific contribution. This module is an advanced treatment of current topics and debates in biological anthropology, human behaviour, and behavioural biology including those in genetics, palaeoanthropology, evolutionary psychology, bioarchaeology, and primatology. This module will help students understand the role of research and publication in biological and behavioural science. Students will be exposed to a broad series of topics, opinions, methodologies and journals.

Find out more about ANTB5700

This module introduces the disciplines of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology with particular reference to non-human primates. We look at the patterns and principles that can be generalised from the variation in behaviour and ecology across species, combining established findings with the latest research. The module emphasises the importance of direct observation of animal/primate behaviour – introducing the necessary methods – and the use of theoretical models with which to make sense of these data. We use multi-media technology to view examples of animal behaviour, in their natural habitats, and engaging practical exercises are employed to reinforce concepts. Topics covered include interactions between primates and their environments – primates as foragers, predators and prey – as well as the nature and evolution of primate societies, cognition and communication, and social and reproductive behaviour within groups.

Find out more about ANTB5800

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.

Find out more about ANTB5820

The study of the human skeletal system is basic to the disciplines of biological anthropology and human biology. 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 and human biology hat 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.

• Evaluation of major research studies involving analysis of human bone.

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

Find out more about ANTB6280

This module will provide students with a fundamental understanding of human anatomy and how we move our body. Students will learn about the basics of the skeleton, and then focus more heavily on the muscular anatomy and other soft tissues. Students will learn to describe the structure and function of major joints and muscles as well as the basic anatomical and biomechanical principles that allow the human body to move. Students will also learn about the evolutionary origins of human anatomy and how this relates to human behaviour and common injuries and pathologies. This module will cover anatomical structures and movement throughout the body, with a focus on the limbs and trunk. This knowledge will be gained through lectures, core reading of books and peer-reviewed articles, and practical lab and seminar sessions.

Find out more about ANTB6290

This module offers Stage 3 students the opportunity to design and execute a research project of their own devising. The topic, and the way it is researched, will be of the student's own choosing, in agreement with the student's supervisor. All students will have received training in ethnographic methods, basic photography, interviewing and sound recording, etc. in SE627. In this module, further training will be given in dissertation design and ethnographic writing.

Find out more about ANTS5340

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

Find out more about ANTS5730

This module aims to develop your theoretical imagination by making you familiar with the central debates that have shaped anthropological theory from the early twentieth century to our contemporary debates. It aims to teach you to understand theoretical issues and apply them with a critical and informed sense of the role of difference in the human experience. The module is not a 'history of theory' survey; rather, it will lead you through the complex interrelations and cross references that have shaped anthropological theory over the past century. The module is organised around the theme of human society, which will be used as a lens through which to view theoretical discussions within social anthropology as well as its appropriations from other disciplines.

Find out more about ANTS5960

The module is of core relevance for students of anthropology, and a wide range of related disciplines preoccupied with the role of anthropologically-informed thought and cultural literacy in today's transnational and multicultural globe. It explores the relationship between social between social anthropology and the Contemporary World, and a series of themes that explore how anthropologists engage with the pressing political, social and environmental concerns and crises of their day. Through examination of 'hot topics' in the discipline, key debates in public anthropology, and anthropological and ethnographic theory, the module clarifies the relevance of anthropology for the world beyond the university, and educates you in how to adapt anthropological knowledge and skills to analysis of real world issues. It also advances core disciplinary understanding relevant to social anthropological modules in stages 2 and 3. Throughout, key objectives are to support you in developing and consolidating your understanding of contemporary anthropology and your own assessment of the wider utility of the social sciences, and to provide essential critical tools for understanding the changing world around us.

Find out more about ANTS5970

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.

Find out more about ANTS6210

This module introduces ethnography and the ethnographic/documentary film as ways of understanding individual and social lives and the differences between cultures. The focus is critical and practical investigation of the research methods, production and communicative methods underlying them. Students will acquire both critical and practical training in these key ethnographic methodologies. The parallel histories of the development of ethnographic writing and visual anthropology will also be explored to facilitate integration between written and visual media. Indicative themes in the reading, analysis and practice of ethnography may include: (1) Critical and historical contextualisation and evaluation, (2) How to evaluate its contribution to key issues and topics in Social Anthropology; (3) Theoretical contributions; (4) Methodology and research methods; (5) The evaluation of the relationship between description and analysis (6) Examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word; (7) Ethnographies, photography and multi-media. Indicative themes in visual anthropology may include: (1) Collaborative and participatory media production (2) Photography, soundscapes and the senses (3) Cinema Verite and ethnographic film (4) Indigenous media, reception and publics (5) The transformative efficacy of video.

Find out more about ANTS6270

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.

Find out more about BIOS5460

This module will cover a range of techniques that can be applied to the discovery, aging and identification of buried and ancient remains or artefacts.

Find out more about FSCI5020

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an outline of the principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to developing your analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in many disciplines, including geography, wildlife conservation, animal behaviour and environmental sciences to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in these disciplines moves towards the acquisition, manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation, providing you with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs.

Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in GIS

• introduction to remote sensing

• data structures in GIS

• data sources and methods of data acquisition

• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections

• working with raster and vector data

• mapping (how to create and transform maps)

• overview of ArcGIS Pro

• GIS operations

• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information.

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using a GIS software. You will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.

Find out more about GEOG5004

Human geographers and environmental social scientists must continually analyse relevant and topical issues in a broad, real-world context. This includes understanding research at the forefront of their discipline, critically evaluating its spatial, environmental and interdisciplinary basis, and using this information to inform effective solutions to contemporary problems that are embedded in social, political and economic reality. In this module, you will use knowledge and skills gained throughout your course, and apply them in in-depth discussions of how current research topics fit into the wider theoretical or applied disciplinary context. The research topics will be presented at seminar and reading group events organised by the Geography and Environmental Social Science research theme in collaboration with the Research Centres at the School of Anthropology and Conservation. You will also write up essays as a series of critical reflections on three topics covered at the seminar and reading group events.

Find out more about GEOG6200

This module provides an opportunity to study the literature on motivation, inspired by a wide range of psychological perspectives (e.g., Evolutionary Psychology, Social Psychology, and Existential Experimental Psychology). In this, we will consider what motivates human cognition and behaviour. Specifically we will consider; (a) General Theories of Human Evolution & Motivation(b) Biological Perspectives (c) The self and Self-regulation (d) Human Mating Strategies, (e) Embodiment, (f) Threat Management, (g) Emotion, (h) Religion and Illusion, (i) The Modern Unconscious (j).. Moreover, the module will introduce students to experimental methods and measures applied in the field of research on human motivation. Finally, applications of theory and findings on human motivation to applied settings (e.g., daily life) are discussed

Find out more about PSYC6080

This module gives you grounding in methods, techniques and issues in cognitive neuroscience. It will focus on the biological bases of human behaviour, and on cognitive processes such as attention, perception, memory, and higher levels of cognition concerned with language and cognitive control, with a particular focus on how these processes are instantiated in the brain. Your will also learn about the methods used to study these processes, such as the recording of physiological signals, brain-imaging techniques, and the study of individuals with brain injury.

Find out more about PSYC6391

Genetics forms the basis of the diversity of life on earth, and is fundamental to biodiversity, speciation, evolutionary ecology, and has become recognised 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.

Find out more about WCON5030

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

Find out more about WCON5310

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

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15900
  • International full-time £21200
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £7950
  • International part-time £10600

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

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.

Additional costs

Field trips

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

General additional costs

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

Funding

University funding

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

Government funding

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

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

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.

Contact hours

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

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

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Independent rankings

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2022.

Over 91% of final-year Anthropology students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2022.

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.

Apply for Anthropology - BSc (Hons)

Full-time study

Complete this form to tell us more about you and your experience. This will enable us to make a decision. Remember that you will need to add us as your choice in UCAS to accept any offers that we make to you. There's a short checklist of details you need to help complete your UCAS application simply:


  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code L601
  • Institution ID K24

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