Introduction

Anthropology at Aberdeen is a wide and fascinating exploration of humankind and what it means to ‘be human’. You will study the differences in human cultures and societies and how they have developed across the world. The programme has a special focus on the northern polar countries and their links to north east Scotland. Our programme is a brilliant foundation for many careers and scores 100% satisfaction with students.

This programme is studied on campus.

Anthropologists explore the biological and social features that make us human to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and ethnic differences in our beliefs and perspectives. At Aberdeen, we explore this subject in a wide social, political and economic context.

You will gain a unique insight into the behaviour, beliefs and attitudes of societies all over the world, finding connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion and themes including ethnicity and nationalism.

You will be inspired by teachers and researchers who are international leaders in their fields and you will take advantage of Aberdeen being an international research centre for studying the northern Arctic peoples from Russian and the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as people from Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska.

The skills you will develop in critical thinking and analysis will give you a deep knowledge and understanding of human behaviour, which can be applied in business and many other fields. Many of our graduates now work in research, teaching, media, politics, or in business or public sector organisations in a host of roles with international and cultural contexts.

You will enjoy a special, warm welcome at the University of Aberdeen and benefit from excellent teaching, the international impact of our research and a global experience, all within our friendly and vibrant international community. You will love our beautiful campus and great facilities for learning, sports and leisure and our many opportunities to develop extra skills, broaden your horizons and gain the competitive advantage in the career path you choose.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
L600

What You'll Study

Anthropology is a diverse field of study that will provide you with unique insights into the differences in human behaviour from a cross-cultural perspective. You'll learn about the beliefs and attitudes of societies all over the world and will study themes such as ethnicity and nationalism, anthropological approaches to religion, colonialism, society, nature and morality. This programme is taught through a selection of compulsory and optional courses adding up to 120 credits.

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.

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Introduction to Anthropology: Peoples of the World (AT1003) - Credits: 15

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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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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Introduction to Anthropology: Questions of Diversity (AT1502) - Credits: 15

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 a further 90 credit points from Level 1 courses
  • First and Second Year students select 60 credits from Enhanced Study options (Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century)
Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Political Anthropology (AT2005) - Credits: 15

How do human beings relate to one another at a communal level? What holds human societies together? This course examines the basic forms of human solidarity that anthropologists have identified that bind us together as people: race, class, ethnicity, kinship, gender. In each case, these core ideas will be examined not just as descriptions of social life, but as forms of power and identity. The course introduces students to what these terms mean, how they have been used in understanding human societies, and what they look like in a cross-cultural context.

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Anthropological Approaches to Religion (AT2006) - Credits: 15

This course helps students to understand critically the phenomenon of religion. There are two main aims. Firstly, four contrasting approaches to religion that have been influential in anthropology and beyond will be introduced. These include religion as a social phenomenon, religion as a cultural phenomenon, Marxist perspectives on religion, and religion as embodied experience. Secondly, students themselves will engage with the question of what religion is, compare and contrast different answers to this question, and develop their own, informed, understanding.

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Reimagining Colonialism (AT2515) - Credits: 30

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 a further 60 Credit points from courses of choice.
  • First and Second Year students select 60 credits from Enhanced Study options (Sustained Study, Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century)
Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Doing Anthropological Research (AT3031) - Credits: 15

This course aims to acquaint students with the practical, methodological and theoretical issues associated with anthropological research. It examines critically different methodological approaches and the relation between fieldwork experiences and ethnographic production. The course is run through a series of student-led seminars with guest anthropologists, tutorials and workshops which involve practical activities. Issues covered include preparation for fieldwork, framing research questions, collecting ethnographic data and presenting ethnographic interpretations. An important part of the assessment is a small individual research project chosen, designed and carried out by the student.

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Anthropological Theory (AT3027) - Credits: 30

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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Research Project Part 1 (AT3529) - Credits: 15

It will introduce students to the necessary skills required for carrying out an undergraduate level research project in anthropology, and is an essential prelude to the dissertation. In it, students will identify a research project of their choice, and will be guided through the necessary steps and skills required for the production of a 4000 word project proposal.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.
  • Third and Fourth Year students select:
    • 30 credits from Enhanced Study options (Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century)
    • 210 credits in Anthropology courses in total.
Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Anthropology Research Project Part 2 (AT4037) - Credits: 30

This course will build on the initial research design students built during Research Project Part I towards their undergraduate research project in anthropology.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 courses in Anthropology.
  • Third and Fourth Year students select:
    • 30 credits from Enhanced Study options (Discipline Breadth or Sixth Century)
    • 210 credits in Anthropology courses in total.

Course Availability

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

The Anthropology programme combines a flexible combination of lectures, small-group seminars and personal supervision of individual project work.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • 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
  • 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?

  • You will gain a deep knowledge and understanding of human behaviour, which can be applied in business and many other fields.
  • The University approaches the study of anthropology from an international perspective, meaning you will have unique insights into the infrastructure of companies from other countries and cultures.
  • The social, political and economic context in which you will study anthropology at Aberdeen will provide you with a cross-cultural understanding of how current affairs are perceived by international businesses.
  • The critical thinking and analysis skills that you develop will enable you to work with a diverse range of people in a variety of international and cultural contexts.
  • At Aberdeen, our teaching is research-led, so you will have unique insights into the subject based on research carried out by staff and postgraduate students.
  • A particular strength of our Anthropology programme at Aberdeen is our focus on the study of the circumpolar North. Our core staff also specialise in the study of regions as diverse as Canada, the Central Asian Republics, Iceland and Scandinavia, Siberia, Scotland and the UK, South America, Tibet and the Himalayas.
  • You will benefit from the University's close links with other programmes such as Sociology, Politics, International Relations and Archaeology.
  • As an Anthropology student, you will have access to the University’s extensive anthropological and ethnographic museum collections.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

Qualifications

SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, 5,5,5 at HL
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Tuition fee rates can be found on our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,000
All Students
International Students £13,800
Students admitted in 2016/17
International Students £14,300
Students admitted in 2017/18

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 Open Day

Our next Open Day will be on

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Careers

The critical thinking and analysis skills that you develop from studying Anthropology at Aberdeen will enable you to work with people in a variety of cultural contexts. Many of our graduates now work in research, teaching, media and politics for private and public sector organisations. Alongside support from the University Careers Service, the valuable skills you will learn at Aberdeen will give you a competitive advantage in the career marketplace.

Career Opportunities

  • Charity Fundraiser
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Employment Support Worker
  • Graduate Trainee Relocation Adviser
  • Junior Lecturer
  • Marketing Officer
  • Publicity Officer
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Youth Worker

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.

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Top in Scotland for Anthropology

Source: National Student Survey 2016

Find out more

World Class Facilities

This programme is delivered by a team of experienced staff and as such, the Anthropology department at Aberdeen is one of the fastest-growing in the UK. By studying Anthropology at Aberdeen, you will benefit from having access to staff and researchers who are Key Opinion Leaders. You will be taught by people who have experience working in anthropological fields and will gain valuable insight into how current issues are perceived by different cultures.

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Anthropology ranked 5th in the UK

Anthropology ranked 5th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, 2016

Key Information Set (KIS)

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Key Information Set.

You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

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

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