Anthropology and Sociology at Aberdeen is a great partnership, adding to your thorough grounding in what it means to ‘be human’ with a ‘sociological imagination’ exploring how society shapes us as individuals. This programme explores how we can understand ourselves, our relationships with others and the challenges we face in a changing world.
This programme is studied on campus.
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 insights into human behaviours, beliefs and attitudes all over the world, exploring connections between aspects of life such as family, economics, politics and religion.
In Sociology, you will deepen this knowledge through studying topics as wide-ranging as sociology of the family, work-life balance, religion and society. You will become skilled in the social research methods used to gather evidence to better understand aspects of society.
You will be taught by academic staff with international reputations for their research in conflict and peace, religion and secularisation, social movements, and global political sociology.
You will develop unique insights and critical thinking skills that have tremendous value to employers in all sectors. Recent Aberdeen graduates are working in business, journalism, management, marketing and advertising, local and national government, social and market research, teaching, health services, social work, charities and human resources.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 48 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time
- Start Month
- UCAS Code
What You'll Study
- Year 1
- 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.
- 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.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, 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
- 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?
- Introductory Sociology I (SO1005) - 15 Credit Points
Sociology is the study of human social groups. It particularly focuses on modern societies, analyzing how they work and how the major social institutions in them (such as religion, the media, government and the economy) operate. The course provides students with a general introduction to the unique manner in which sociologists seek to understand contemporary societies. Students are presented with current and classical approaches to understanding the social processes that underlie self-construction, group formation and social interaction, within urbanizing and globalizing social contexts.
- 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.
- Introductory Sociology II (SO1507) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introduction to macro-sociology, which analyzes the ways that people’s lives are shaped by large-scale forces, structures, and institutions. Students are introduced to the particular ways in which classical and contemporary sociologists understand social forces in the modern domestic and global environment and learn to think critically about those social forces that impact their everyday lives using the sociological imagination. Substantive topics likely to be covered in this course include the media, politics, religion, surveillance, education, class stratification, international inequalities, and the relationship between humans and other animals.
Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.
- Year 2
- 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.
- Studying Social Life 1 (SO2005) - 30 Credit Points
This follows on from level-one sociology. It is designed to highlight the ways that sociological theory informs the research endeavour, not only the questions sociologists raise, but also the particular modes through which we go about investigating them. The module examines these points in relation to a range of micro-level topics – the body, food and feeding, health and illness, the emotions, group behaviour, sex and gender, the life course and death and dying – all of which emphasise the nature of human interaction and sociological efforts to understand it.
- 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.
- Studying Social Life 2 (SO2505) - 30 Credit Points
This macro-sociology course extends students’ understanding of large-scale social, as well as political and economic, processes and institutions. Particular focus is on the sociological analysis of global issues and socio-political controversies, many of which are subject to topical and, at times, contentious debate at the beginning of the 21st century. The substantive topics include areas of social and political concern such as globalisation; the changing nature of economy, work and leisure; risk and insecurity; multiculturalism; food production and security; social movements; nationalism and identities.
- Year 3
- 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.
- Social Research Methods (SO3524) - 30 Credit Points
Sociologists use a range of methods and techniques to explore and test sociological theory. This module introduces many of these methods and techniques. It aims to ground students’ theoretical understanding of society through the practical analysis of a variety of data. It starts by introducing the varying philosophical starting points of research and goes on to provide foundation level critical analysis skills in the key quantitative and qualitative methods that sociologists have deployed to understand and ‘capture’ the social world.
- Religion and Society (SO3067) or Thinking Sociologically (SO3066)
- Select a further 30 credit points from Level 3 Anthropology courses
- Religion and Society (SO3067) - 30 Credit Points
Modernization changes the nature and social position of religion: what was once imposed on entire societies becomes a matter of choice and as societies become more religiously diverse, religion is increasingly confined to the home and the family. National churches are replaced by denominations and sects and the state’s increasing neutrality allows new religious movements to flourish. This course uses secularization to examine such basic sociological concepts as social differentiation, individualism, social cohesion, community versus voluntary association, immigration, conversion, recruitment, gender, and cultural defence.
- Thinking Sociologically (SO3066) - 30 Credit Points
Thinking Sociologically is the department's core sociological theory module. The course offers our students an introduction to a range of key sociological thinkers and bodies of thought, both classical and contemporary, that inform sociological analysis of social life and social institutions. As such, this course is intended to provide our honours students with a conceptual 'toolkit', that can be applied to facilitate understanding, insight and informed critique with respect to a broad range of historical and contemporary social, political and economic phenomena.
- Year 4
- Independent Study in Anthropology (AT4036)
- Select a further 30 credit points from Level 4 Anthropology courses
- Select a further 60 credit points from Level 4 Sociology courses.
- Research Project (Sociology) (SO4049)
- Select a further 60 credit points from Level 4 Anthropology courses
- Select a further 30 credit points from Level 4 Sociology courses.
- Independent Study In Anthropology (AT4036) - 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.
- Research Project (SO4049) - 30 Credit Points
This course affords students the opportunity to apply their sociological knowledge and research skills to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the department. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather and analyse data, and write a final report. All students will be guided in the arts of critical analysis, report planning, and report writing. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.
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
- Individual Projects
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.
- View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme
How the programme is taught
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
How the programme is assessed
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
Learning Methodscheduled: 25%
Learning Methodscheduled: 12%
Learning Methodscheduled: 13%
Learning Methodscheduled: 5%
Why Study Anthropology and Sociology?
- 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 has an international reputation for its research. It is recognised by the UK Government's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as an outlet for research training and supervision for Masters and PhD students.
- The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council judged the department to be "excellent" in its most recent Teaching Quality Assessment exercise: the highest grade possible.
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.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Please note: entry requirements are different for 2018 and 2019 entry.
Entry Requirements (2018):
SQA Highers - AABB
A Levels - BBB
IB - 32 points, including 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)
Entry Requirements (2019):
Entry requirements for 2019 will be displayed here shortly.
Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.
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:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
For international students (all non-EU students) the tuition fee charged upon entry 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.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year|
|Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year|
International non-EU Applicants
- 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.
You can choose from a specialist career in Anthropology upon studying a further degree or you can choose a range of careers in sociology which could include health, counselling, business and marketing, writing and publishing and more. Together these subjects may offer a strong knowledge combination to work in a wide range of careers.
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.
Top in Scotland for Anthropology
Source: National Student Survey 2016Find out more
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