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  • Get up close and hands-on with a range of materials, from primate skeletons to religious relics, in our University’s cutting-edge departmental laboratory
  • Embark on thoroughly rewarding research projects in Barbados and Georgia
  • Become a sought-after employee by diverse industries, from medicine and museums to academia and advertising
  • Develop intercultural understanding – a key asset in today’s job market

Anthropology delves into the bare bones of what it means to be human. It takes the whole world as its canvas and brings you into close contact with an eye-opening array of human behaviours from both the past and present.

Our Anthropology programme is a fascinating exploration of human societies, looking at present-day western and non-western groups, social development through time as seen in the material culture and biological aspects of humanity.

This three-year course enables you to get to grips with questions commonly posed by anthropologists: How has evolution shaped us? What is culture? Do any universals of human behaviour exist?

Due to the broad nature of the topic, anthropologists are highly valued by employers in many industries for their cross-cultural communication skills and their ability to analyse human behaviour. As Margaret Mead, the great American anthropologist, once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

The course strikes a balance between academic learning and hands-on application, so you don’t spend all your time nose-deep in library books. You can tinker with extensive archaeological materials, from primate skeletons to religious relics, in our University’s cutting-edge departmental laboratory.

Our programme uses a wide range of assessment methods including fieldwork projects and work placements, so you can join thoroughly rewarding research projects locally or further afield in places such as Barbados and Georgia.

Classes are taught by passionate and highly-respected leaders in the field who specialise in all aspects of human evolution, from Palaeolithic humans who first occupied Europe two million years ago to modern funerary practice.

The degree consists of three strands which extend throughout the entire course: social anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology/material culture.

In Year 1, you receive an introduction to social and biological anthropology, archaeology and material culture, as well as primate and human evolution.

Year 2’s core modules focus on research methods, theory, society, art and visual culture. A wide range of possible optional modules are available, covering aspects of religion, global environmental change, race, ethnicity, migration and the archaeology of death and burial.

The third and final year allows for specialisation in areas including social and biological anthropology. You can explore in-depth topics such as African America, Geographies of Inequality, Indigenous Religions, and Magic and Esoteric Traditions in Post-Medieval Britain.

As an anthropology student, you learn how to understand, interpret and respond to human behaviour. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop valuable transferable skills highly prized by employers, including the ability to think critically, communicate your ideas and opinions clearly and work both independently and collaboratively.

Our graduates work in a wide range of careers such as international development, Government, business (especially cross-cultural communication), museums, health and tourism.


Graduates are expected to go on to work in NGOs, government, business (especially cross-cultural communication), museums, health and tourism.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degree with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

You have the option to undertake a work placement in Year 3 instead of a dissertation. Fieldwork projects are being developed to work alongside existing archaeological projects.

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Anthropology course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA)

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
Independent learning: 936 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 252 hours
Independent learning: 936 hours
Placement: 12 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

Teaching, learning and assessment: 264 hours
Independent learning: 912 hours
Placement: 24 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

69% coursework
25% written exams
6% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

72% coursework
14% written exams
14% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

62% coursework
23% written exams
15% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures


2018 Entry: 104-120 points

*UCAS has changed the way they calculate the tariff for courses. Find out more about the new tariff.

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

If English is not your first language: Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International Students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Introduction to Social Anthropology 15

This module forms an introduction to the principles and methods upon which the study of social, or cultural, anthropology is based. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed or expected. The philosophical distinctiveness of the subject in relation to other disciplines is outlined, and the location within anthropology of social anthropology is examined. This leads on to an assessment of the different approaches to social anthropology (e.g. ethnography, historical anthropology, material culture studies) and how they differ. These thematic lectures are buttressed by the use of sessions looking at case studies of the different approaches, especially ethnographies. These are located within comparative and critical anthropological traditions. Parallel study skills sessions alongside this lecture series allow you to develop quickly the key skills needed in an HE environment.

The History of Anthropology 15

This module is a linking introductory survey covering both the major figures who have shaped the discipline of anthropology (both social and biological) and the main theoretical approaches in relation to key areas within social and biological anthropology. It spans the period from the early modern roots of anthropology until the present day. We will critically examine the schools of thought that have dominated the discipline at different times and examine a selection of ethnographies and other major works that represent them. Thus we will briefly consider developments within a historical framework of major schools of thought within anthropology – evolution, diffusionism, functionalism, structuralism, postmodernism, socio-biology, evolutionary psychology – in Britain and beyond, and examine the relationship between social anthropology and biological anthropology (in areas such as sexuality, race and medicine) from an historical perspective up to the present day.

Introduction to Material Culture 15

Archaeologists deal with things. These things (material culture or artefacts) are a way of understanding the lives of the humans who made them. This course presents you with a detailed background to the main categories of material culture that you might encounter on any archaeological sites; these items include: stone tools, pottery, coins, metalwork etc. You will learn about the technology behind these artefacts, and crucially how things that we make do not just have a simple function, but also encode important symbolic information as well. By the end of this course you will look afresh at the way humans make and give meaning to even the most mundane and everyday items.

World Prehistory 15

This module provides an introduction to the development of humans from hominid origins to the development of written forms of communication. Therefore, although the module has a single chronological starting point (c 7.5 my BP), it has a variable end point depending upon the part of the world under discussion. The module addresses the main stages of human evolution and development, starting with the separation from the Honinidae (the human family) from the Pongidae (the apes), the transition from Australopithecines to Homo and eventually to modern humans, and covering the origins and development of crucial human processes such as technology, social systems, art, farming and urbanisation. The significance of the independent invention of key developments (such as agriculture) in different parts of the world will be stressed. By these means, the student will gain a greater awareness of the main sequences of human development on a world scale, be able to better appreciate the 'time lines' of the prehistoric periods and will understand how the prehistory of the British Isles is a connected sub-set of that of both continental Europe and the world as a whole.

Introduction to Archaeology 15

This module forms an introduction to the principles and methods upon which the study of archaeology is based. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed or expected. The philosophical distinctiveness of the subject is outlined, and the various sub-divisions within archaeology (e.g. environmental archaeology, experimental archaeology) are examined. This leads on to an assessment of the methods of establishing chronological sequences in archaeology, and an overview of the methods to be examined in more detail in later modules. These thematic lectures are buttressed by the use of sessions looking at case studies of recent research projects within the Department in order to help draw together and assist understanding of the key themes. Parallel study skills sessions alongside this lecture series allow you to develop quickly the key skills needed in an HE environment.

Themes in Social Anthropology 15

This module will introduce students to several key themes within social anthropology, which have been the subject of debate for decades.  In each case the boundaries of the debate will be established and the key readings (especially ethnographies) considered, and the relationship of these debates to other disciplines.  They will then be considered in a group discussion.  Themes will be drawn from a broad list of possible topics.  These include: kinship; gender, material culture and technology, globalisation, landscape and environment, ‘anthropology at home’, belief, magic and ritual, culture, or politics.  The emphasis will be on contestation and recent ethnography.

Introduction to Primate and Human Evolution 15

The module provides an introduction to the biological evidence for primate and human evolution, as well as to the ways in which this evidence has been analysed and interpreted.  The anatomy of various primate and hominid species is considered from the perspective of reconstructing both primate and human evolutionary history and the evolution of primate and human behaviour.  We will examine key fossil discoveries with reference to reconstructions of the environment and the archaeological record.  We will thereby produce a synthesis of primate and evolution and human origins, which covers the period from the Eocene to Homo sapiens, and considers fossil evidence from the African Rift Valley to Europe and Asia and species from Adapidae to Homo, providing anatomical and evolutionary background to the emergence of a tool-using hominid species.

Introduction to Biological Anthropology 15

This module forms an introduction to the principles and methods upon which biological anthropology is based. A background in science is not assumed or required.  The module provides an overview of human adaptation to different environmental and other stresses, covering human nutritional requirements, epidemiology and the evolution of infectious diseases relevant to the study of human ecology.  We will also explore primates and primate behaviour, elementary genetics, human reproduction and sexuality, demography, human growth and development, and changing perceptions of race and its validity as a concept. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about human behaviour and culture.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Biology and Society 15

This module develops a number of themes within biological anthropology. These include the argument that human behaviour evolves as a response to different ecological circumstances. Topics will include behavioural ecology and landscape (as applied to both animal and human behaviour) and evolutionary psychology.  Specific consideration is given to mate choice, life history evolution and kinship in humans, and the study of human cognition in cultural and cross-cultural contexts.  We will also cover approaches to the human body: in the past, the body was often perceived as a biological fact with straightforward strengths and limitations, but for modern anthropology, bodies are far more complex.  Similarly, we critically examine the construction of ‘race’, its modern critiques and its continuing use in public discourse.

Anthropological Theory 15

This linking module considers contemporary social and biological anthropological and material culture theory.  It addresses a series of issues, such as the relationship between anthropology and globalisation, the proper use of evolutionary approaches, the role of reflexivity in ethnography, thinking through things, and understanding aggression and conflict.  This module includes functionalist models, evolutionism, Marxism, structuralist approaches to social structure and kinship and to conceptual communication; phenomenological theory, agency and structure, post-modernism and post-structuralism, post-colonialism, globalisation, ontology, and cognitive approaches within the discipline.  You will be encouraged to read and log a set of key texts, and in each lecture a case study is used to help you understand the main issues under discussion. In this way, you will be able to understand the appropriateness of theories which may be relevant to your research interests and to gain a wider appreciation of how we think through problems and issues. These will be discussed in seminars.

Anthropology of Art and Visual Culture 15

The module explores representation, art and visual culture in anthropology and the importance of its role in western and non-western cultures, especially art produced by small-scale societies. The forms of visual culture and art and, in particular, the representation of the human body, are examined in relation to evidence such as pottery, sculpture, painting, photography and film.  The anthropology of art considers art to be a social process, and therefore not only analyses the artistic artefacts themselves and the aesthetic values attributed to them, but also their production processes, and the wider social and historical contexts within which this occurs.  The module focuses on issues of representation, collection, and museum practice, and critically discusses various anthropological theories of art and visual culture.  The module also investigates the possibility of cross-cultural aesthetics, the anthropology of art in museums, and provides an anthropological overview of the contemporary art world.  Specific objects and examples of visual culture are examined closely and their interpretation linked to larger questions relating to gender, embodiment, technology and representation.

Research Methods in Anthropology 15

This module of lectures and tutorials examines in depth how anthropological field research is designed and carried out in a wide range of different settings, ranging from very remote villages to urban settings, and in loosely or highly structured organisations, whether in another country, or one's own. The module addresses in depth how such research is written up as ethnographies and how such ethnographies should be read. Students will learn practical ethnographic field techniques by carrying out a directed field exercise in participant-observation, following training, and will learn how to design an anthropological research project, including planning, fieldwork, analysis and write-up phases, by writing up a proposal for an actual research project (which they may opt to pursue in their third year). Basic statistics and data handling are also covered. Students will also consider the ethics of anthropological research, as a preparation for their own work.
Seminar topics may include: Introduction to research in the natural and social sciences, participant observation, choosing informants, interviewing, processing interview data, analysis and presentation of qualitative data, questionnaire design and analysis, developing an integrated research design, running workshops and focus groups, ethics and consent.

Optional Credits

Year 2 Optional Modules
  • Human Bioarchaeology
  • The Archaeology of Death and Burial
  • Early Prehistoric Europe
  • Religion, Ritual and Society
  • Southern Cultures
  • Religion in Contemporary Britain
  • Culture: High and Low
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Buddhism: Traditions and Transformations
  • Race, Ethnicity and Migration


Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Placement 30

You can choose between the Placement module or a Dissertation in Anthropology.

This module allows students to take up a placement in a voluntary sector body either in the UK or overseas. The aim is that you will make a positive and personally rewarding contribution to the community whilst also reflecting critically upon your experience and developing skills which will enhance your employability and personal development.

Specialism in Social Anthropology 30

Study will involve an in-depth exploration of a particular theme or area in the study of anthropology in line with the lecturing staff’s research expertise. Key controversies and problems will be considered and methodologies analysed. A focus will lie on independent study on the part of the students to explore particular themes, texts, figures, or areas around the subject, which will be based in contemporary scholarly resources. Students will be required to take the initiative on devising their assessment projects, and to exhibit strong communication skills in the delivery of their findings.

Dissertation in Anthropology 30

You choose either the Dissertation in Anthropology module, or Placement.

This double module is an 8-10,000 word dissertation in anthropology. It enables students to apply their knowledge of theory and practice, in order to produce a piece of independent research which shows clarity of expression, logical argument and creative thought.

Communicating Anthropology 30

The significance of communication for the anthropological public voice is considerable. Through this linking module students explore both the treatment of contemporary anthropological issues in the media and how anthropologists can become effective communicators using anthropological data, contributing to the relevance of the discipline. Students are introduced to the critical importance of communicating appropriately for multiple professional and lay audiences in a variety of media, e.g. print and digital, photography and film. The module is run as a series of workshops in which students explore a series of major contemporary issues from the three strands of anthropology, analyse existing coverage, and devise strategies for their effective communication to an appropriate audience. Students explore a range of textual, oral and visual communication strategies.

Optional Credits

Year 3 Optional Modules
  • Fieldwork
  • African America
  • Geographies of Inequality
  • The Archaeology of Space and Place
  • Indigenous Religions
  • Global South
  • Caribbean Peoples and Cultures
  • Archaeology of Africa
  • Religion, Magic and Esoteric Traditions in Post-Med

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.



As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


Field study

Student can opt to take a module and join approved research projects. Students may have to cover project-specific costs. At the highest end of this spectrum are potential projects in Barbados (two weeks) and Georgia (four weeks). Costs incurred by the student will include flights, food and accommodation for the duration of the project.

Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards

If you’re applying to study our BA (Hons) Anthropology course in September, you may be eligible for a Subject Scholarship of £500

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards page.

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
104-120 points
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester