• 8th for Anthropology in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019
  • 3rd for Anthropology in The Complete University Guide 2020
  • Research-inspired teaching in cultural, social and physical anthropology
  • Flexible programme giving you opportunities to explore other disciplines
  • Exciting options including anthropology of music, media, addiction, childhood and human/animal interactions

About anthropology

One of the most exciting, relevant and varied subjects you can take at university level, anthropology is the study of humankind and explores the rich diversity of human society and culture across the globe.

You will be introduced to the discipline through a broad range of case studies in different geographical and cultural settings, from kinship in a Malay fishing community, to witchcraft in post-apartheid South Africa, to ways of reading the landscape among the Apache of North America. You will also have the opportunity to trace the human story from pre-history onwards by combining social anthropology with the study of archaeology and physical anthropology. You’ll examine examples from across the globe at different points in history and learn how human beings have adapted and formed societies by looking at the material evidence people have left behind.

You will have a choice of a wide range of options on topics as varied as human/animal interactions, ethnomusicology, addiction, consumerism, health and illness, and warfare as well as regional options, such as the anthropology of Africa. You’ll learn to use the variety of methods of research and analysis used in anthropology and develop different types of skills and knowledge of the contemporary world relevant to a broad spectrum of careers.

Anthropology is taught in the Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology department and also draws on expertise from other departments, in particular, Archaeology. The close relationship between these subjects is indicative of the interdisciplinary focus in which anthropology can be studied either as Single Honours, or in combination with other arts and social science subjects such as sociology and archaeology. The department is a small, ambitious and highly successful unit and you’ll benefit from a friendly atmosphere and exposure to important new approaches and advances in social science research.

Academic staff and research interests

Our academic staff have a wide range of research interests in anthropology, sociology and philosophy. We have several trained anthropologists who are dedicated to the teaching of the programme but also conduct their own research on a range of innovative topics. The department’s research was ranked 9th in the UK in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014) and is particularly noted for the contributions it makes to the sociology of culture (science and technology, religion, the arts, sport and the military) and the sociology of knowledge and social theory. As an undergraduate you’ll benefit from this lively research environment as your teachers will be contributing to current scholarly and public debate, giving you access to the latest thinking and resources.