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Undergraduate Courses 2017

Biological Anthropology with a Year in the USA - BSc (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

Biological anthropology focuses on the study of human evolution and adaptation. Biological anthropologists are particularly interested in investigating why variation arose and how it is maintained, as well as trying to explain how people are adapted to the environments in which they live. They study the human fossil and stone tool record, primate behaviour, human material culture and the development of modern human behaviour in evolutionary and comparative perspective.

Typical questions that interest biological anthropologists could be: why do people have different skin colours or facial shapes? Does the environment affect fertility? What are the best ways to assess childhood malnutrition? When and how did humans evolve? What does chimpanzee aggression say about human violence? How much can you really tell about a person from their skeleton? Why is sex fun?

Biological anthropology is not often studied at school, but if you have taken biology or psychology you may have already covered many of the basic principles that biological anthropologists use in their work. Biological anthropology is not offered as a stand-alone degree at many universities, and Kent offers a fantastic opportunity to study the subject in great detail.

The year in USA provides an excellent opportunity to experience another culture and a different learning environment. Students who engage in a year abroad often comment on how their experiences significantly shape their future plans, their acadmic insight and feel the opportunity enhances the overall university experience. Opportunities are currently available at California State University, Long Beach; University of California; Indiana University Bloomington; Purdue University; State University of New York Buffalo or; University of Tennessee at Knoxville (subject to change). In addition there are opportunities available in Canada. If you’re interested in this programme then visit our Year Abroad webpage which includes students talking about their experiences of their Year Abroad programme.

To find out more about this programme visit the School of Anthropology website.

Think Kent video series

In this talk, Dr Tatyana Humle, senior lecturer in Primate Conservation and member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent, summarises some of the main challenges faced by people and chimpanzees in West Africa and highlights the key drivers putting at risk co-existence between them.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2015, Anthropology was ranked 6th in the UK for student satisfaction with 95% of students satisfied with the overall quality of their course. 

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

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

SE301 - Social Anthropology (30 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.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE302 - Foundations of Biological Anthropology (30 credits)

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

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE307 - Thinkers and Theories: An Introduction to theHistory and Development of (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE308 - Skills for Anthropology and Conservation (15 credits)

This module is designed to introduce students to the range of basic practical and technical skills required across the School's BA and BSc programmes. The following areas will be covered:

Literary skills - different types of academic writing, and when and how to use them.

Reading skills - how to read an academic paper, how to precis an argument, how to make notes on a book chapter.

Bibliographical skills - how to construct a bibliography and the use of the library, online databases and full-text journals.

Correct referencing and the use of Endnote/Refworks.

Data collection and handling - the use of spreadsheets for simple statistics and graphs.

Planning projects and fieldwork.

The use of appropriate specialist software.

Photography and video skills.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

SE561 - Biology and Human Identity (15 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE567 - Methodology in Anthropological Science (15 credits)

This module will introduce students to anthropological research, 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 anthropological research works, and 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 anthropology-specific research methods.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE582 - Comparative Perspectives in Primate Biology (15 credits)

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). 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. It complements, and is complemented by, SE580 Primate Behaviour and Ecology.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE575 - Medicinal Plants: Home Remedy, Pharmaceutical, Illicit Drug (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE565 - Sex Evolution and Human Nature (15 credits)

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?

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE566 - Human Osteology (15 credits)

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.



Seminar/practical topics will include:

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE609 - Forensic Anthropology (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE580 - Primate Behaviour and Ecology (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE549 - The Anthropology of Health, Illness and Medicine (15 credits)

A synopsis of the curriculum

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 finish with the consideration of practical applications of medical anthropology.



Lecture and seminar topics may include:

Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in Medical Anthropology

Human Disease Evolution and Ecology

Epidemiology and Ethno-epidemiology

The Body in Medical Anthropology

Social Constructions of Health, Illness and Medicine

Ethnomedical Systems

Popular Medical Beliefs and Practices

Symbolic and Ritual Healing

The Hegemony of Biomedicine

Definitions of Disease and State Interventions

Applied Medical Anthropology

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE556 - Social Sciences in the Classroom (15 credits)

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students (2x3hours) 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 the local module convenors, the academic schools' Outreach Officers (though this may be the same person) and members of the Partnership Development Office.



After training the student will spend one session per week for six weeks in a school in the Spring term (this session includes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher and 'in class’ time with the teacher and pupils – 3 hours in total). 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 project (final taught lesson) in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the project.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

DI503 - Evolutionary Genetics and Conservation (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW584 - Forensic Science in Criminal Trials (15 credits)

Please note: You do not need to have studied maths, science or probabilities to perform well on this module!



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. This module considers how the criminal justice system makes use of forensic science. Initially, analysis of the relevant rules of evidence will be made alongside a broad overview of forensic science in the courtroom. This is then built upon through an exploration of case law and consideration of topical questions such as who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence, who are the experts who present the evidence to juries and the extent to which the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PS502 - Forensic Archaeology (15 credits)

Dating : Radioactive decay and detection of radiation, radiocarbon dating and related methods, accelerator mass spectrometry, uranium series dating, potassium-argon dating, radioactive tracers, isotope dilution, neutron activation, stable isotope techniques with forensic applications, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, thermoluminescence dating and thermal history, Lindow Man, detection of irradiated food.



Detection : Magnetometry, metal detectors, resistivity surveys, ground penetrating radar, aerial photography, and remote sensing.



Osteology : The study of human osteology is fundamental to the discipline of forensic anthropology. This series of lectures begins by examining the structure, growth, and function of bones and teeth. Methods of skeletal analysis in forensic anthropology are then examined, including age, sex, stature, trauma, disease, and race. Applications in biological anthropology will also be reviewed. This section of the course will include a laboratory practical.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

You spend a year between Stages 2 and 3 taking courses in biological anthropology at a university in the USA. Students are required to have obtained a Stage 2 average of 60% or above, before commencing their year abroad.

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 applicants' 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.

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

Possible modules may include:

SE608 - Anthropology Year Abroad Mark (120 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.

Credits: 120 credits (60 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

SE533 - Project in Anthropological Science (30 credits)

In SE533 Project in Anthropological Science, students will be expected to conduct original research into some aspect of scientific anthropology and present their research findings in the form of a 10,000 — 12,000 word dissertation, and a moderated 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. In most cases the research will include collecting/analysing quantitative data. Students will be assigned an individual supervisor who will advise them on their choice of topic and your 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.).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE541 - Palaeoanthropology (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

SE556 - Social Sciences in the Classroom (15 credits)

The module will begin with (locally timetabled, formative) training sessions for the students (2x3hours) 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 the local module convenors, the academic schools' Outreach Officers (though this may be the same person) and members of the Partnership Development Office.



After training the student will spend one session per week for six weeks in a school in the Spring term (this session includes time to travel to and from the School, preparation and debrief time with the teacher and 'in class’ time with the teacher and pupils – 3 hours in total). 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 project (final taught lesson) in consultation with the teacher and with the local module convener. They must then implement and evaluate the project.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

SE557 - Primate Communication (15 credits)

The diversity and complexity of primate sociality is reflected in the diversity and complexity of their communication strategies. This module will build on 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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

SE549 - The Anthropology of Health, Illness and Medicine (15 credits)

A synopsis of the curriculum

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 finish with the consideration of practical applications of medical anthropology.



Lecture and seminar topics may include:

Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in Medical Anthropology

Human Disease Evolution and Ecology

Epidemiology and Ethno-epidemiology

The Body in Medical Anthropology

Social Constructions of Health, Illness and Medicine

Ethnomedical Systems

Popular Medical Beliefs and Practices

Symbolic and Ritual Healing

The Hegemony of Biomedicine

Definitions of Disease and State Interventions

Applied Medical Anthropology

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

PS502 - Forensic Archaeology (15 credits)

Dating : Radioactive decay and detection of radiation, radiocarbon dating and related methods, accelerator mass spectrometry, uranium series dating, potassium-argon dating, radioactive tracers, isotope dilution, neutron activation, stable isotope techniques with forensic applications, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, thermoluminescence dating and thermal history, Lindow Man, detection of irradiated food.



Detection : Magnetometry, metal detectors, resistivity surveys, ground penetrating radar, aerial photography, and remote sensing.



Osteology : The study of human osteology is fundamental to the discipline of forensic anthropology. This series of lectures begins by examining the structure, growth, and function of bones and teeth. Methods of skeletal analysis in forensic anthropology are then examined, including age, sex, stature, trauma, disease, and race. Applications in biological anthropology will also be reviewed. This section of the course will include a laboratory practical.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

LW584 - Forensic Science in Criminal Trials (15 credits)

Please note: You do not need to have studied maths, science or probabilities to perform well on this module!



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. This module considers how the criminal justice system makes use of forensic science. Initially, analysis of the relevant rules of evidence will be made alongside a broad overview of forensic science in the courtroom. This is then built upon through an exploration of case law and consideration of topical questions such as who should decide whether a new scientific technique should be admissible evidence, who are the experts who present the evidence to juries and the extent to which the admission of forensic evidence assists juries.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

DI503 - Evolutionary Genetics and Conservation (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

SE609 - Forensic Anthropology (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

SE569 - Palaeopathology (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE570 - Current Issues in Evolutionary Anthropology (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE575 - Medicinal Plants: Home Remedy, Pharmaceutical, Illicit Drug (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

Read more

SE605 - Hormones and Behaviour (15 credits)

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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Anthropology at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups and laboratory sessions. For the Project in Anthropological Science, you will be assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly. You will also have access to a wide range of learning resources, including the Templeman Library, research laboratories and computer-based learning packages. On average, you have four hours of lectures and six hours of seminars and/or lab sessions each week.

The School of Anthropology and Conservation has dedicated teaching and research laboratories. The teaching lab has a completely integrated audiovisual system, providing cutting-edge lectures and is primarily used by BSc students. You also have access to an excellent fossil cast collection with more than 50 casts of extant and extinct primates and hominins, including an entire Homo erectus skeleton.

We are associated with the nearby Quex Museum, which has one of the largest collections of primate skeletal material in the world, to which our undergraduates have access; the biological anthropology research laboratory houses the Powell-Cotton collection of human skeletal remains, which provides you with material for hands-on learning and research. We have links with Howletts and Port Lympne wild animal parks, providing opportunities for students to conduct projects with non-human primates. We also have dedicated computing facilities within the School, in addition to the general University IT provision.

Many of the core modules have an end-of-year examination that accounts 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 and Human Osteology, are assessed entirely on coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.

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

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop students’ critical and analytical powers with respect to biological anthropology
  • provide students with the skills to adapt and respond positively to changes in the discipline
  • offer a broad range of knowledge in the discipline of anthropology, stressing the need for a biological approach to the subject, and showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines such as psychology, archaeology and forensic sciences
  • provide a grounding in human and primate biological variation and make explicit the links between biological and sociocultural processes
  • ensure that the research of staff informs the design of modules, and their content and delivery in a manner that is efficient and reliable, and enjoyable to students
  • offer the opportunity to study anthropology at a university in the USA. The year abroad experience will also expose students to life in a different culture and thereby broaden their anthropological perspective. To achieve this, Stage 3 learning will be undertaken at a US University, selected from those with whom the School has existing links for year abroad programmes
  • prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers by developing students’ transferable skills.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • major aspects of human evolution, including the significant fossil evidence and its contextual associations, and behavioural and ecological reconstructions based on these
  • the similarities and contrasts between humans and other primates, and their significance for human adaptive success
  • selected aspects of primate diversity, behaviour, and acquaintance with relevant concepts of primatology
  • aspects of human genetic and/or phenotypic diversity, their evolutionary implications and significance for schemes categorising human variability
  • the range and flexibility of individual biological responses, and awareness of the distinction between such adaptability and population adaptation
  • biosocial perspectives on human ecology, for example, subsistence and dietary diversity, and comparative study of health, well-being and disease across societies and/or over time
  • consideration of human life history patterns, reproductive influences, population size and structure, and aspects of applied anthropology, including development studies
  • awareness of the nature, complexity and richness of human biological diversity and an appreciation of its social and ethical implications
  • an awareness of evolutionary principles relevant to the study of human evolution and adaptation
  • an in-depth understanding of current issues relating to biological anthropology.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • learning and study skills
  • the capacity to express your ideas in writing, to summarise the arguments of others, and to distinguish between the two
  • independence of thought and analytical, critical and synoptic skills
  • scholarly skills such as the ability to make a structured argument, reference the works of others, and assess historical evidence.

Subject-specific skills

You gain specific skills in the following:

  • to interpret varied information on aspects of human biological diversity
  •  the ability to analyse and evaluate rqualitative and quantitative data utilising appropriate techniques
  • to design and implement a project involving data collection on some aspect(s) of biological anthropology, and to display relevant investigative, analytical and communication skills
  • an understanding of the subject, and qualities of mind associated with intellectual reflection, evaluation and synthesis
  •  knowledge of how human beings are shaped by, and interact with, their social and physical environments, and an appreciation of their social and biological diversity
  • the ability to formulate, investigate and discuss anthropologically informed questions.
  • competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in biological anthropology
  • the ability to apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of practical situations, personal and professional.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • information retrieval skills in relation to primary and secondary sources of information
  • communication, IT and presentation skills using oral and written materials
  • time planning and management skills
  • the ability to engage in constructive discussion in group situations and group work
  • statistical and computing methods

Careers

Studying biological anthropology gives you an exciting range of career opportunities. We work with you to help direct your module choices to the career paths you are considering. Through your studies, you learn how to work independently, to analyse complex data and to present your work with clarity and flair.

Our graduates have gone on to become professional biological anthropologists, science journalists, museum curators, forensic scientists, rescue archaeologists, or work in non-government organisations, development agencies like the World Health Organisation, Primate Conservation, business and the Civil Service.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB including science (Biology preferred) or Psychology, Human Biology, Chemistry or Mathematics grade B.

GCSE

Mathematics grade C.

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies at 5), and science 5 in a HL or 6 in SL .

International students

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

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

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised. However, details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.  

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. Details of the scholarship for 2017 entry have not yet been finalised. However, for 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page. 

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Read our student profiles

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £16480

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.

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.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets


The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000