BSc Anthropology

UCAS codeL601
Duration3 Years
Typical offerAAB-ABB; IB: 34-32
Location Streatham (Exeter)


This programme is specially designed to help you develop an understanding of how people behave in social groups and how human beings have adapted over time. You’ll acquire practical skills relating to the excavation and study of human remains, in addition to developing logical and systematic methods of analysis to reveal patterns of social action.

The BA pathway has a stronger focus on cultural and social anthropology, considering a range of beliefs and practices in societies in different parts of the world and linking the study of anthropology more firmly to broader problems and issues in social theory.

Programme variations

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The Anthropology degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Year 1

In the first year, you will take introductory modules in socio-cultural and physical anthropology. You will gain a thorough foundation in the past and present conditions of human social and cultural life and gain an understanding of quantitative methods.

Compulsory modules

ANT1005Introduction to Social Anthropology: Exploring Cultural Diversity 15
ANT1004Introduction to Social Anthropology-Theorising the Everyday World 15
ARC1010Themes in World Archaeology15
ARC1020Essential Archaeological Methods15
SOC1041Data Analysis in Social Science 15
SOC1004Introduction to Social Data 15

Optional modules

Plus 30 credits of Anthropology and Archaeology year one modules.

Anthropology modules
ANT1003Imagining Social Worlds: Texts15
ANT1006Cultures: Food15
ANT1007Media and Society15
ANT1008Imagining Social Worlds: Artefacts15
ANT1034Contemporary Research in Sociology and Anthropology0
Archaeology modules
ARC1007Archaeological and Forensic Science Practicals15
ARC1004AArtefacts 115
ARC1004BArtefacts 215
ARC1008Introduction to Forensic Archaeology15

Year 2

In your second year, you’ll learn about the current issues and topics that attract socio-cultural anthropologists’ attention and the approaches and methods they have developed to understand them. You will learn practical research skills used by anthropologists to understand human behaviour and interaction and start carrying out small independent research projects. Your second year will include modules in forensic anthropology and you will continue to develop skills in quantitative research methods. In addition, you will be able to choose from a wide range of options covering topics such as childhood, addiction, warfare, and family life, as well as the development of material culture, hunter-gatherer societies, African and South American civilizations, or relating to past societies such as the Stone or Bronze Ages. . Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Compulsory modules

ANT2002Ethnography Now 15
ARC2514Introduction to Forensic Anthropology15
ANT2003Current Debates in Anthropology 15
ANT2005Current Debates in Anthropology: Practice 15
ANT2004Into the Field 15

Optional modules

45 credits of optional modules:

Anthropology modules
ANT2010Human-Animal Interactions15
ANT2009Living Cities: Migration, Place and the Politics of Identities15
ANT2011Anthropology of Africa: Histories, Politics and Perspectives15
ANT2012The Human Condition: Classic Readings in Anthropology 30
ANT2013Visual Anthropology: Methods and Perspectives15
ANT2029Sociology and Philosophy of Globalisation15
ANT2032Culture and Perception15
ANT2078Eat: The Social Self as Consumer15
ANT2085Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society Part 1: Medicine and Social Control15
ANT2087Disability and Society15
ANT2088Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society15
ANT2089Cultures of Race, Ethnicity and Racism15
ANT2090Sound and Society15
Archaeology modules
ARC2107Hunter Gatherers: Archaeology and Ethnography15
ARC2117The Archaeology of the Indian Subcontinent15
ARC2121Brooches, Beads, Swords and Shields: Early Medieval Culture15
ARC2122Egyptian Style: Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt15
ARC2123Sustainability and Collapse in Past Societies15
ARC2124Giving and Taking: the Archaeology & Anthropology of Circulation and Exchange15
ARC2125Ancient Arts and Crafts: Perspectives on Material Culture15
ARC2406Medieval Castles in Context15
ARC2407Neolithic Britain in its European Context15
ARC2506AReading Stone Tools15
ARC2513Aerial Survey15

Year 3

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

Compulsory modules

ANT3040Anthropology Dissertation OR ARC300030
ARC3000Archaeological Dissertation OR ANT304030

Optional modules

90 credits of year three Anthropology Modules

ANT3002Childhood 15
ANT3004Living cities: Migration, place and the politics of identities15
ANT3005Human-Animal Interactions15
ANT3006Anthropology of Africa15
ANT3029Sociology and Philosophy of Globalisation15
ANT3085Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society Part 1: Medicine and Social Control15
ANT3086Addiction 30
ANT3087Disability and Society15
ANT3088Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society15
ANT3089Cultures of Race, ethnicity and racism15
ANT3090Sound and Society 15

Entry requirements 2018

Typical offer

AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

We aim to convey anthropology as a dynamic and reflexive mode of social scientific inquiry, in order to impart knowledge and understanding of the cultural practices, beliefs and knowledge of people living in different societies across the globe. We encourage independent study and assist the development of anthropologically informed critical judgement and thinking based on comparative cross-cultural insight.

You'll learn through lectures, seminars and practical exercises, with an increasing emphasis on seminar discussion and project work in the second and third years. You should expect around 10 contact hours per week and will need to plan additional hours of private study per module. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time.

You'll have regular tutorials where you'll meet to discuss oral and written assignments with your tutor, together with a small group of other students. These personal contacts are very important in developing staff-student relations and for getting to know your fellow students. Our programmes help to develop skills and understanding so that you can take increasing responsibility for your learning in more specialised seminar-based modules.

We're actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.

The Student-Staff Liaison Committee gives you the chance to discuss and review the degree programmes, including existing and planned module content, through regular meetings with departmental staff.

Research-inspired teaching

Our programmes are based on teaching that is inspired by research and are designed to offer expertise within a framework that brings out the skills of communication, analysis, information handling and interpretation of evidence, which will make you both a desirable employee and an informed and critical citizen. You'll have the opportunity to work closely with academic staff who are at the cutting edge of research and academic debate and you'll benefit from an innovative curriculum inspired by leading research. All staff teach options which are linked to their own interests which include the study of childhood, human/animal interactions, addiction, anthropology of Africa, city life, health and disability, music, religion, resource extraction and the environment.


We use diverse methods of assessment to support our emphasis on presentation, teamwork and projects/dissertations, as well as essay writing and exams. The ratio of assessment by coursework to assessment by exam varies according to which modules you take, but on average is about 50:50. You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.


You will be introduced to methods of field work-based inquiry that are strongly featured within the qualitative traditions of sociology and anthropology. The Ethnography Now module, for example, focuses on learning through practical experimentation with ethnographic research which you’ll undertake within a field that you already inhabit-namely, the University campus.


Your brilliant career

Find out how we can help you build your brilliant career.

Our programmes give you an excellent all-round education, where you'll learn to understand other people's points of view, to communicate your own position clearly and to argue effectively. You'll also learn to collect, assess and present evidence and to work independently and in groups.

Our programmes are demanding and encourage initiative and open-mindedness, helping to ensure that you'll be well equipped with a range of academic, personal and professional skills, all of which will prepare you for future employment or research in a wide variety of fields. Many of our graduates choose to follow their degree with employment or further study in people-focused fields, whereas others choose to use their skills in business or public sector administration.

Many students from the department take part in the Exeter Award  and  the Exeter Leaders Award. These schemes encourage you to participate in employability related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.

Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Many employers target the University when recruiting new graduates.

Examples of the destinations of recent Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology graduates.


  • Student Support Worker
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Graduate Library Trainee
  • Audit Assistant
  • Legal Service Manager


  • National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy
  • Scholastic
  • Bodleian Libraries
  • National Skills Academy
  • KPMG

Examples of further study followed by our graduates:

  • MA Philosophy and Sociology of Science, University of Exeter
  • MA International Relations, University of Exeter
  • MA Gender Studies, University College London
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law, Guildford

For further information please visit the  University's employability website  .

You have the option to undertake a work placement through the Learning from Work Experience in Social Sciences module (SSI2001).

You will be encouraged to research and reflect on a range of work-related questions such as the nature of an organisation and your role within it,  employment practices including induction, health and safety procedures, self-appraisal and continuing professional development.

By practising specific skills for employment, including the writing of CVs, application forms and supporting statements, you will become better prepared for the world of work beyond university.

Contact us


Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192

Website: Visit the Anthropology web pages