BSc Human Sciences with Study Abroad
|Typical offer||AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD|
|Location||Cornwall (Penryn Campus)|
Why study Human Sciences?
Find out more from our staff and students about our BSc Human Sciences degree, based at our Penryn Campus in Cornwall. View on Youtube.
This four-year version of the BSc Human Sciences degree includes a year spent studying abroad, between the second and final years. In this third year you study at a university with which we have established links, for example in North America or Australia, and credit for this academic work counts towards your degree at Exeter. You can find a complete list of International Exchange partner universities on the International Exeter website (click on the College of Life and Environmental Sciences link).
Who and what are human beings?
Why are individuals and society the way they are?
What problems do human societies face now and in the future, and how can we address them?
Our BSc Human Sciences degree is designed to enable you to answer these questions through examining the past and present of humans from the perspectives of both social and biological sciences.
This unique, interdisciplinary programme covers a broad range of topics, from human evolution and genetics, to the development of human cultures and cultural diversity, all the way through to sustainability and the interactions between human societies and their environments. It is designed for those interested in human biology, the environment, social policy, politics, economics and society.
The study of human behaviours –culture and society – is often set apart from the natural world. Yet humans, like other animals, have an evolutionary history and evolutionary forces continue to shape behaviour and culture, affecting the way we live today. Important insights can therefore come from studying humans in the same way as we study other animals. Also, many of the problems we currently face, such as the biodiversity crisis, climate change, or the conflicts which occur within or between countries, relate to how humans create, shape and interact with their natural and social environments. Solutions to these problems will come from insights generated from a number of different disciplines.
Bridging the gap between the natural and social sciences, our BSc Human Sciences programme allows you to combine exciting disciplines to make connections between biological processes, political and environmental issues and social patterns. It will enable you to understand relationships between science and policy and show how you may be able to facilitate decision-making in this context. The degree will encourage your curiosity about the human environment and how it functions. Modules are delivered by world leading academics in Biosciences and Geography plus you have the opportunity to select from a range of relevant modules in other disciplines such as Law and Politics.
- Combine aspects of social and biological sciences, covering a broad range of topics from human evolution and genetics to sustainability and social organisation
- Enables you to examine the past and present of humans from the contrasting perspectives of the social and biological sciences
- You will understand relationships between science and policy and show how you can facilitate decision-making in this context
- Delivered jointly by Geography and Biosciences, the programme combines these exciting disciplines to make connections between biological processes, political and environmental issues and social patterns
You will develop both knowledge and practical skills in a range of core disciplines in the human sciences. This year includes lectures and laboratory work, introducing you to modern approaches to understanding the biology of organisms including humans, through ecology, genetics and evolution, to the comparative study of social and cultural patterns of world populations. You will also develop important communication and analytical skills.
In your second year, you will perform a more in-depth examination of the subject areas to which you were introduced in your first year. For example, you will consider the evolutionary origins of human behaviour by exploring the relationship between human cultural processes and human genetic processes. In particular, you will be encouraged to investigate the ways in which human beings both shape their environments and are shaped by them. You will also undertake a residential field course on the Isles of Scilly*.
Study Abroad year
In your final year, you will undertake a research project with a member of academic staff. Outside of the research project you will have freedom to choose among our final year modules, tailoring your degree to your specific interests. You will also take part in a two-week residential overseas field course in Kenya*.
*Field course destinations are subject to change. Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs.
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 following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.
You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
You may take up to 30 credits of elective modules outside of the programme in all Stages of the programme as long as you have obtained the explicit permission of the Programme Director, any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
Entry requirements 2020
AAA–AAB; IB: 36–34; BTEC: DDD
International students should check details of our English language requirements.
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
At the University of Exeter we are committed to the idea that all students who have the potential to benefit from higher education have the opportunity to do so. We believe that fair access to higher education is a fundamental enabler for social mobility, improving life opportunities and outcomes for individual students, while benefiting the economy and society as a whole.
Educational context can affect your grades, and we take this into account in order to recognise your potential. If you meet certain criteria, we may make you a lower offer than our typical entry requirements. Find out more about contextual offers.
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
You will be welcomed into an intimate and supportive learning environment that encourages enthusiasm and passion for your programme. You will benefit from excellent student:staff ratios, small group tutorials and friendly, accessible staff. Teaching and learning is through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and field work. We have well equipped laboratories with the latest scientific teaching equipment.
Foreign Language Centre, Penryn
Undergraduates based in Penryn can boost their employability by using up to 30 credits each year to study a foreign language. If you study the language for more than one year you may be entitled to have ‘with proficiency in’ added to your degree certificate. The FLC in Penryn will be offering modules in French and Spanish language from complete beginners up to advanced levels, plus German and Mandarin Chinese from beginner’s level.
If you achieve at least 60 credits in a language via our Foreign Language Centre you may be able to have the words ‘with proficiency in’ and the language added to your degree title. Further details about the FLC can be found on the FLC website
We are committed to providing you with a supportive learning environment in which you can build confidence. All students have a Personal Tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies, as well as a group of dedicated first-year tutors whose role is to support your transition to university-level learning. In addition, all students are represented through Student-Staff liaison committees and can regularly feed back through module and course evaluations. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Student’s Guild Advice Unit.
As a student on our Penryn Campus you will have the opportunity to participate in a Student Mentoring Scheme in your first year, matching you with a second or third year student who can answer your questions, offer advice and moral support to smooth your transition to university.
Your progress is monitored through a mixture of examinations, assessments (oral and written, formative and summative), and practicals.
The final degree mark is based on approximately 50 per cent exam and 50 per cent coursework assessments. The latter include a final year dissertation, which is an independent research project in which you study the topic that excites you most.
The modules taken in the first year must be passed to progress to the second year but the marks obtained do not influence your final degree classification.
Assessment methods will vary depending on your choice of optional modules; check individual module descriptions for details.
Students registered on the BSc Human Sciences with Study Abroad can apply for a place to study with a number of International Exchange partner universities. You can find a complete list of International Exchange partner universities on the International Exeter website (click on the College of Life and Environmental Sciences link).
This International Exchange programme enables you to spend a year abroad at an English speaking international (non-European) university. Whilst abroad you will study approved modules at the host university to the value of 120 credits; these will be credited towards your University of Exeter Human Sciences degree, which you would then complete after four years of study rather than three.
To qualify for application for an International Exchange place, we would expect you to have successfully completed your Year 1 studies with an average mark of at least 60%. All assessments during the year abroad would be undertaken at the host university and would count towards your final degree. Upon return to the University of Exeter, you would then complete your degree in a fourth year (equivalent to the current Year 3 of our Human Sciences programme).
Find out more
Find out more about our field courses in Human Sciences.
Our field courses are among the most inspirational, rewarding and enjoyable experiences as an undergraduate student at the University of Exeter. They form an integral part of your degree, positioned at the very heart of our teaching in Human Sciences.
Field courses provide you with the ambition and ability to develop and apply the knowledge gained from our world-leading academic staff in the classroom into the central issues, concerns and experiences facing the world around us.
Each field course is carefully designed to bring theory to life, whether through developing fundamental field techniques in some of the most stunning landscapes found on our doorstep in West Cornwall, or further afield.
In Year 2 you will go on a week-long residential field course on the Isles of Scilly. The Isles of Scilly is an ideal location in which you will get to try out a range of methodologies used in study, from ethnography to geomorphology. In addition the module will introduce you to key research skills such as sampling design, data analysis, interpretation of information, and field presentations.
In your final year, you will have the opportunity to go on a residential field course to Kenya*. This field course to Kenya will tackle a range of topics that you have been introduced to during your Human Sciences degree, including some of the biggest environmental and social issues facing the world today.
*Field course destinations are subject to change. Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs.
Our BSc Human Sciences will allow you to take full advantage of the growing demand in research organisations, industry and business for graduates who are able to work in the multidisciplinary environments of the future. The breadth of career opportunities open to graduates is vast, such as health, conservation, education, third sector work, culture and heritage and community work. With training in both biological and social sciences, your options are likely to be broader than from a more narrowly focused subject.
We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. Visit our Careers and Employability web page for more information.
The University of Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Whatever path you want to follow after graduation, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.