29 March 2017
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Anthropology degree

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This degree is about the study of humans, and will give students a comprehensive understanding of their own and other people's cultures, societies and economies. It is a complex academic subject that studies people across different periods, locations and fields i.e. socio-political, evolutionary and cultural.

It’s often described as the most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences, partly because it focuses on observing and analyzing people in their own surroundings and culture.

Anthropology looks at the rich diversity of contemporary human societies, their history and what it means to be human. It studies how people are shaped by and interact with their social, cultural and physical environments, and will give student a high level of cultural awareness by showing them why people or cultures do particular things in certain ways.

Graduates with an anthropology degree are well-suited for a career in any number of fields, including: education, teaching, research, museum curation, social work, international development, government, non-profit management, and forensics.
Anthropology studies humanity in all its aspects, from evolution right through to our relationship with the natural and material world.

Anthropology course overview

Anthropology touches on areas like health, cultural studies, ethnography, symbolism, sociology, psychology, archaeology and more. On many courses students have options to specialize in a particular geographic region or a specific area of interest to them. They will also achieve a practical competence in a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools.

On a more hands on level undergraduates will be involved in major fieldwork research projects, whilst on the theoretical side they will take part in in-depth discussions on the practical, political and ethical issues likely to affect any research projects.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a anthropology degree 

  • Cultural anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Physical anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Human Evolution
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Human Skeletons from Archaeological Sites
  • Ethnographic Research Methods
  • Language Training
  • Migration and Diaspora

Students will learn about

  • The importance of culture in a society.
  • How and why peoples and cultures differ.
  • The development of anthropology as a solid, coherent discipline.
  • Why people change their behaviour.
  • The rise of complex societies.
  • How cultures function in a multicultural world.
  • The relationship between theoretical analysis and ethnographic data.
  • Global migration
  • Religion

Students will learn how to

  • Compare human behaviour and social structures across the world.
  • Interview, collect and analyse oral sources of information.
  • Write up and communicate research results.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of their subject of study.
  • Write and analyse field notes, and ethnographic writings.
  • Construct a argument and point of view.
  • Identify people from various backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures.
  • Recognise the politics of language, indirect forms of communication
  • Engage in group work including constructive discussion.
  • Become more aware and sensitive to people from different countries.


Anthropology personal statement

Below is a anthropology personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.

Anthropology personal statement example 1

"In my opinion anthropology, when combined with other things such as studying foreign languages, cultures, or religions, gives you a good sense of what really matters in the world. It is a subject that can help you to understand not only yourself but also others, it allows you to interact with people who are different than you and in some ways bring you closer to them.

The more I have studied anthropology the more I want to learn, to me it’s a stimulating, intriguing subject that requires independent thinking and clear logical reasoning, both traits that I possess.

I have always been curious about the world around me, and about how societies and cultures have evolved. The comparative study of society and culture fascinates me, and I greatly enjoy watching people in their own environment. I always had a strong desire to learn about cultures other than my own and I want to gain an understanding of the world so that I might help to teach others about issues like tolerance. On a personal level, I feel it can make a person less ethnocentric, by deconstructing their cultural assumptions, and opening their mind.

These are the main reasons why I want to study anthropology, all apart from the fact that I find it a very interesting and compelling subject which will teach me more about human diversity.
 
Another benefit of having this degree is that the training I receive on it can be applied to any number of other professions. I will have be equipped with a set of analytical skills that are suitable for many different jobs and fields such as the civil service, conservation heritage management, working for charities and  lecturing.

I am a open minded person who is ready and prepared for the diverse challenges that the discipline has to offer.

I consider myself fortunate to have studied A level Anthropology at college. During my time on the course I found myself surrounded by teachers who had a profound commitment to teaching in the truest sense of that word. The knowledge and skills that I acquired during my studies at college have served me extremely well both within and outside the world of academia. This experience has provided me with an exceptional foundation for success at the degree level.

Recently I have managed to secure a job as a volunteer with a charitable organisation that was involved in the ethnographic study of societies and cultures from around the world. They needed someone to work on a project, and this gave me the perfect opportunity to gain some work experience and to make contacts. My responsibilities included handling correspondence, answering emails, record-keeping, interviewing, transcribing, critical analysis, and writing reports. I gained other useful competencies such as careful note taking, attention to detail, observational and analytical skills and cross-cultural communication. I also learnt practical field skills, along with the theoretical and regional knowledge which is essential to studying or working in this area. 

This work experience has changed the course of my life in ways I would not have imagined, by opening up my horizons to a variety of related areas I didn’t even know existed, and by allowing me access to further opportunities to challenge and improve myself.

The decision to study anthropology at your university is probably been the most important decision of my academic life. I firmly believe that the level of education at your institution is equal in quality to that available at the most prestigious of institutions, with the added benefit of a tutor to student ratio that allows for a degree of personal interaction impossible at other universities."


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