Introduction

Anthropology and German at Aberdeen is a great study combination, adding to an existing grounding in what it means to ‘be human’ with an in-depth study of a major modern European language and culture. The language, perspective and skills you will develop will open up a wide range of career options with an international flavour.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
RL62
Degree marketing image

Anthropology – for which we boast 100% student satisfaction – will give you a thorough grounding in humanity, the differences in human cultures and communities and how they have developed. You will gain unique insight into behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world and find connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.

Combining this study with a modern European language and culture is highly appealing to employers operating in an increasingly global environment.

German at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation with the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment. You will gain a solid grounding in the German language whatever your level, taught by native speakers from Germany and Austria. You will gain a broad understanding of culture in the German-speaking world, together with a deeper understanding of Germany’s complex history.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your language skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in a German-speaking country.

The combination of skills you’ll graduate with, including critical thinking, communication and analysis in addition to your language and cultural skills, will have special appeal to employers in European and international business.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Academic Writing for Social Sciences (AW1006)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003)

15 Credit Points

Anthropology is the comparative study of human ways of life through the study of societies and cultures around the world. In this course we introduce some of the key topics of contemporary anthropological inquiry: What is Anthropology? What do anthropologists do? What is ethnography? How can we see the diverse world of societies and cultures around us, not by looking from the outside, but by looking at how people themselves make their own lives and meanings?

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Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502)

15 Credit Points

In this course students will be offered an extended introduction to social anthropology and will focus on topics: language and culture, belief and religion, gender and sex, kinship, and race. Students will develop and refine their understanding of major issues in the discipline of social anthropology through staff lectures, tutorials, and ethnographic films.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginner - for absolute beginners and those who have studied German for up to 3 years

  • German for Beginners 1 (GM1054)
  • German for Beginners 2 (GM1554)
  • Background to German Beginners 1 (GM1049) AND/OR Background to German Beginners 2 (GM1549)

Advanced - for post-Higher candidates and those who have studied German for more than 4 years

  • German Language 1 (GM1050)
  • German Language 2 (GM1550)
  • Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052) AND/OR Modern German Culture 2 (GM1556)

Plus further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points.

German for Beginners 1 (GM1054)

15 Credit Points

This language course provides students with a sound foundation in German (grammar and vocabulary). It enables students to understand the gist of authentic written and spoken German and to speak and write about familiar topics with a degree of accuracy and fluency.

No previous knowledge of German is required, but this course is also for students which took German at school before, on any level lower than Higher or A-level.

With 3 Language Classes and 1 Language Practical per week this course encourages and supports students to develop their personal self-study strategies.

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German for Beginners 2 (GM1554)

15 Credit Points

This language course provides students with a sound foundation in German (grammar and vocabulary). It enables students to understand the gist of authentic written and spoken German and to speak and write about familiar topics with a degree of accuracy and fluency.

No previous knowledge of German is required, but this course is also for students which took German at school before, on any level lower than Higher or A-level.

With 3 Language Classes and 1 Language Practical per week this course encourages and supports students to develop their personal self-study strategies.

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Background to German for Beginners 1 (GM1049)

15 Credit Points

Students will gain detailed knowledge and understanding of the fascinating political and cultural developments and historical events in 20th century Germany.

They will be introduced in weekly lectures and tutorials to a variety of texts and contemporary films.

This course is taught in English and normally taken in conjunction with GM1054 German for Beginners 1. It is specifically recommended to students with the intention to proceed with German Studies beyond level one.

No pre-requisites are required.

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Background to German for Beginners 2 (GM1549)

15 Credit Points

This course is intended for beginners, wishing to proceed with German Studies beyond level 1. It provides an introduction to selected German Short Stories from the 20th-century, with a particular focus on relating these to their cultural, historical and social context.

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German Language 1 (GM1050)

15 Credit Points

This module is designed for students with an SCE H in German or equivalent. The course develops receptive and productive oral and written German language skills. Students who are considering applying for entry to German Honours must take this course.

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German Language 2 (GM1550)

15 Credit Points

This module is designed for students with an SCE H in German or equivalent. The course develops receptive and productive oral and written German language skills. Students who are considering applying for entry to German Honours must take this course. The course builds on GM1050.

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Modern German Culture 1 (GM1052)

15 Credit Points

Learn more about German 20th-century literature, dealing with the events that shaped German and European history. As in all good literature, we will discuss universal themes and topics covering all of the most important aspects of modern life.

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Modern German Culture 2 (GM1556)

15 Credit Points

Learn more about modern German history, culture and literature while also extending your skills in reading German texts.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Modern German Culture 3 (GM2043)

15 Credit Points

Learn more about modern German history and culture while also extending your skills in reading German texts.

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Modern German Culture 4 (GM2543)

15 Credit Points

This course consists of the study of selected aspects of German culture and involves the close analysis of German texts.

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Key Debates in Anthropology (AT2010)

30 Credit Points

This course explores some of the key questions that anthropologists have debated: what it is to be human, the nature of human interaction with other humans, with non-humans, and with the environment, and the different ways that people perceive the world and act within it. Themes that will be discussed in this course include the category of the person, morality and ethics, art and aesthetics, what is power, how to engage with Otherness, and how anthropologists engage actively, outside academia, in development, health, or business.

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Reimagining Colonialism (AT2515)

30 Credit Points

This course will explore contemporary colonial expressions from an anthropological perspective. It will be split into two main themes: Material Histories; and Mediated Histories. Within these themes it will address topics such as the "capturing" of cultures in museums, kinship and politics, gendered colonialism, economic development, media, aboriginal rights and contemporary resistance movements.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginner

  • German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040)
  • German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540)

Advanced

  • German Language 3 (GM2042)
  • German Language 4 (GM2542)

Plus further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

German Language (Advanced Introductory) 1 (GM2040)

15 Credit Points

The course consists of language classes leading to advanced communicative competence in German and it will include the analysis of contemporary texts drawn from a variety of contexts. This course may be taken only by students who have completed the German for Beginners courses.

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German Language (Advanced Introductory) 2 (GM2540)

15 Credit Points

The intention of the course is to extend and reinforce further students' command of German grammar, vocabulary and syntactic structures, and to introduce various styles of written and spoken German. The course builds on the work done in GM2040 and is intended only for continuing beginners.

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German Language 3 (GM2042)

15 Credit Points

This level two language course will build on and extend students' fluency and written skills in German.

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German Language 4 (GM2542)

15 Credit Points

Building on work done in GM 2042, the course will develop further language skills.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

This degree is offered as a 5-year option with an integrated year abroad consisting of study or work abroad (Mode A), or a 4-year option, in which students spend their fourth semester on a university exchange abroad (Mode B).

Anthropological Theory (AT3027)

30 Credit Points

This course explores theoretical issues and key debates in contemporary anthropology. We begin with the questioning of the central concepts of culture and society in anthropology during the 1980s. Following this, we ask: how can anthropology proceed if the targets of its investigation can no longer be understood as objective entities? How can anthropology proceed if the anthropologist themselves is inevitably implicated in and part of those very targets? To look for possible answers, the course examines current anthropological interest in power and history, political economy and phenomenology, experience, embodiment and practice, ontology and things that speak.

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German Junior Honours Language Study (GM3069)

15 Credit Points

This junior honours language course will build on and extend students' written skills and fluency in German.

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Optional Courses

Select a further 30 credit points from level 3 course(s) in Anthropology (options below) and a further 45 credit points from level 3 courses in German.

Society and Nature (AT3522)

15 Credit Points

Through a series of lectures and a mix of tutor and student led tutorials, this course will interrogate the division between society and nature. We will examine where the division came from, how it informs many understandings of humans and the environment, and whether we would be better off disposing of it altogether. Examples of the impact of this construction will be provided but students will be encouraged and expected to seek out their own and to do their own research which will then be brought back to the course through lively tutorial discussions resulting in peer and tutor feedback.

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Emotion, Self and Society (AT3526)

15 Credit Points

This course addresses the anthropological study of emotion and self. It covers the different theoretical approaches to emotion, self and subjectivity. The broad questions addressed revolve around the cultural construction of emotion and self, and the entanglement of psychodynamic processes and power in the formation of the subject. The topics covered include anger and fear, grief and compassion, personhood, technologies of self and subjectification, identification and melancholia.

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Religion, Power and Belief (AT3534)

15 Credit Points

What is religion? What does ritual do? Does ritual have effects, in the persons performing them, in society, or the world? How might ritual be a means or medium for political action? This course is an ethnographically grounded discussion of how anthropologists have addressed the concept of religion, the interface of religion and power, and is a critical interrogation the concept of belief.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses
German Language Study for Senior Honours (GM4099)

30 Credit Points

Building on the skills gained during the Junior Honours language course and before, this module expands and refines German language expertise in writing, reading, speaking and listening, to an advanced level, for their final exit written and oral exam in German.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following dissertation course options.

Plus, select further credit points from level 4 course(s) in Anthropology (see options below) and German to gain a total of 60 credits in each discipline.

Joint Honours Dissertation in Anthropology (AT4047)

30 Credit Points

This course is open to joint honours students in anthropology. Having chosen a topic for their study, students will be allocated a supervisor and carry out readings, research and writing under the guidance of their supervisor. Students will write a 10,000-word dissertation based on library research.

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Dissertation in German (GM4052)

30 Credit Points

Students engage in their first larger project of independent research. The dissertation is to be written in German and followed by a 20 minute Viva.

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Anthropology, Museums and Society (AT403A)

30 Credit Points

This course is organised around a series of seminars and visits to selected museums. The course is divided into two parts. The first addresses approaches in anthropology to the meanings of artefacts; the second considers contemporary curatorial practice. Assessment is based on an artefact study, which will involve original research utilising the collections of the University of Aberdeen, and an essay in which students reflect upon the course as a whole.

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Anthropology and Art: on Place, Landscape and Materials (AT4046)

30 Credit Points

Anthropology and art have much to offer each other. Taking historical and contemporary perspectives, students in this course will debate the cultural significance of art and the nature of creativity. We will focus particularly on questions of place, landscape and materials through a combined art-anthropology approach. The course will use the University of Aberdeen’s own art and ethnographic collections, and we will also work with Peacock Visual Arts in Aberdeen.

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Anthropology of the North (AT4044)

30 Credit Points

Through a series of lectures and a mix of tutor and student led tutorials, this course focuses on the sometimes difficult history of anthropology and the circumpolar north. Misconceptions (sometimes intentionally created) about the people who live there and their relationships to the environment have informed both state policy and anthropological theory and now is the time for a new anthropology of the north to set the record straight. Students will be encouraged and expected to do their own research on topics of their own choosing and bring these insights back to the course through lively tutorial discussions.

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The Constitutional Imagination (AT4525)

30 Credit Points

This course will examine anthropological theories of the state, political organization and violence. Through an analysis of both modern and historical case studies from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we will critically examine theories of state of modern and non-modern state formation and organisation, and the nexus of religion and colonial history. In the second half of the course, particular attention will we paid to the ethnography of violence as a mode of state and proto-state political action.

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Roads, Mobility, Movement, Migration (AT4526)

30 Credit Points

In this course students will be introduced to the topical themes in contemporary anthropology: roads, automobility, car cultures, migration, road narratives, and roads in film and literature. The course is based on the notions of movement and mobility and will incorporate the ethnographic material from the North, including Scotland and Siberia. During the course students will conduct their own research on the road of their choice. The course includes: a fieldwork element, screenings of documentary films about roads, and weekly student-led discussions.

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The Political Anthropology of Indigenous Rights (AT4547)

30 Credit Points

Indigeneity is one of the more controversial relations created by globalisation. Widely criticised for being ‘essentialist’ and ‘anti-liberal’, it is one of the more quickly growing identities recognized by the United Nations and defended in the constitutions of many nation-states. Using anthropological insight, this course survey the history of the term, study its expansion from the ‘salt-water colonies’ and ‘settler states’ to the heartland of Europe, and explore some of the challenges and advantages of the term. The seminar will explore how the term has come to be used in different post-colonial situations from the classic “heartlands” if indigeneity in North America, Latin America, and Northern Fennoscandia, to new contexts in China, India, Africa. The course will also explore how the politics of aboriginal rights has become closely linked to struggles for recognition, environmentalism, and collective struggles against neo-liberalism. The course is run in a seminar format with students encouraged to weigh and evaluate the results of their reading.

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More Than Human (AT4538)

30 Credit Points

This course explores new directions in how we think about humans and other species.

Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in how the social sciences and humanities deal with animals, plants and other organisms and we scrutinise these cutting edge ideas in depth. A lot of emphasis is placed on trying to think through real life encounters and issues, from a walk in the park to new revelations about life from the bottom of the ocean. Although the focus is on anthropological work, the course should appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

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We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Anthropology and German?

  • Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing Anthropology departments in the UK.
  • Our core staff specialise in regions as diverse as Canada, the Central Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • We offer innovative ideas and a fresh vision of the subject, with an emphasis throughout on work at the cutting-edge of the discipline and research.
  • A vibrant student anthropology society regularly organises academic and social events bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students with staff outside the classroom.
  • The Department takes a multi-disciplinary approach with courses, covering German film and visual culture, gender studies, literature and history.
  • Courses focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
  • A small, friendly department with a flourishing German Club and a Drama Group that puts on an annual play in German.
  • The University Library has extensive German holdings.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £18,000
Students Admitted in 2021/22
Home Students £1,820
Students Admitted in 2021/22
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

Careers

  • Anthropology Consultancy, Research and Education in German-speaking organisations
  • Gallery and Museum Curator
  • Social Researcher

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Discover Uni

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX