The study of biological anthropology includes many sub-disciplines, such as skeletal biology, human evolution, forensic anthropology, human behavioural ecology and primatology. Typical questions you may explore include: What disease existed in ancient populations? How did humans evolve? Why are symmetrical faces more attractive? Do monkeys have language?
This programme appeals to those with an academic background or interest in Biology, Human Biology, Medicine, Psychology or Zoology (among others) or those working towards a career in science journalism, museum work, conservation (especially primate conservation), forensic science (for example Scotland Yard), health care, archaeology and academic research.
The School of Anthropology and Conservation offers a friendly and cosmopolitan learning community with students from over 70 different nationalities and 45% of staff from outside the UK. You are taught by enthusiastic academics at the forefront of their fields, including published primatologists and a team who excel in paleoanthropology.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you take modules that give you a broad background in the subject. The programme begins with an introduction to the history of anthropology, the foundations of biological anthropology, skills for anthropologists and an introduction to social anthropology.
In your second and final years, you take compulsory modules that develop your specialised knowledge and skills. You can also choose further modules from a wide range of options.
Modules expand across the full range of our research expertise for example: human osteology; primate communication; sex, evolution and human hehaviour; palaeoanthropology; palaeopathology; forensic science in criminal trails and forensic archaeology.
Biological Anthropology student Ellie talks about her course at Kent.
A year abroad is a wonderful opportunity, often described by students as life changing and invaluable. A year abroad extends your degree to a four-year programme and typically allows you to spend a year studying at one of our partner institutions in the US or Canada. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent, but certain conditions apply.
Year in professional practice
You can stand out from the crowd by adding a year in professional practice to your degree. You spend a minimum of 24 weeks, between the second and final years, working in professional practice in the UK or abroad. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent, but certain conditions apply.
A number of our modules include opportunities for learning and experiences outside of the classroom through field trips. Potential excursions are:
- Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks
- St Leonard's Ossuary
- Paris, the Musée du quai Branly and Musée de l'Homme
These may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.
The School of Anthropology and Conservation has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:
- climate controlled human osteology lab housing an exceptional collection of Anglo-Saxon and medieval skeletons (>1000) and related radiographs
- a dedicated teaching laboratory with first-rate equipment
- an excellent fossil cast collection with hundreds of casts, including multiple entire skeletons of extant and extinct primates and hominins
- 3D imaging paleoanthropology lab with state-of-the-art equipment and expert academic support
- refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
- an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
- a visual anthropology room
- an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material
- student social spaces
The Anthropology Society is run by Kent students and is a good way to meet other students on your course in an informal way. There are also many national societies, which are a great way to meet people from around the world and discover more about their countries and cultures.
The School of Anthropology and Conservation puts on many events that you are welcome to attend. We host two public lectures a year, the Stirling Lecture and the DICE Lecture, which bring current ideas in anthropology and conservation to a wider audience. We are delighted that these events attract leading anthropological figures from around the world; in 2017 we hosted paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger, one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.
Each term, there are also seminars and workshops discussing current research in anthropology, conservation and human ecology.