The School of Anthropology and Conservation uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field visits and laboratory sessions. You are taught by research academics at the forefront of their fields while our excellent student-to-staff ratio ensures a high level of academic support.
We are one of the largest and long-established groups of anthropologists in the UK. Our expertise spans the full breadth of the discipline and includes an innovative group of primatologists, a team who excel in paleoanthropology and a centre for human ecology pushing the boundaries of environmental change research.
Our Anthropology degree gives you the opportunity to spend a year in professional practice, invaluable in today's global job market. It demonstrates your ability to adapt to new situations, your sensitivity to other cultures (intercultural competence), and provides commercial awareness, a valuable asset for employers.
Whether your background is in arts, humanities or sciences, you will find our BSc in Anthropology an exciting, stimulating and rewarding opportunity.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you are introduced to anthropology, its foundations and its leading thinkers. Optional modules allow you to expand on areas of particular interest, which may include Violence and Conflict, Animals, People and Plants, or Human Physiology and Disease. You can also benefit from practical learning through lab-based sessions and a number of visits away from campus.
In your second and final years, you take compulsory modules that further your understanding of the key areas of biological and social anthropology, such as Power and Economy; Religion and Cosmological Imagination; and Biology and Human Identity.
You also enjoy a wide and varied choice of modules enabling you to expand your perspective or develop a specialism. You can study the anthropology of gender, business, health or creativity; take modules in visual anthropology or discover more about primate communication. In your final year, you undertake a research project in anthropological science, choosing your topic with your project supervisor.
Year in professional practice
The Year in Professional Practice is a wonderful opportunity to spend up to a year, between the second and final years, undertaking work placements with organisations relevant to your degree programme. You spend a minimum of 24 weeks on placement at one or more organisations. Placements can be at home or abroad and give you the opportunity to apply your academic skills in a practical context, offering you rare and unique experiences which will set you apart.
Alternatively, you can take our three-year Anthropology BSc degree, without a work placement. You can also choose to take Anthropology with a Year Abroad.
A number of our modules include opportunities for learning and experiences outside of the classroom through field trips in the UK and abroad. Potential excursions are:
Paris, the Musee du Quai Branly and Musee de L'HommeHowletts Wild Animal ParkSt Leonard's OssuaryLondon Chinese templeImpact Hub WestminsterLondon financial districtCanterbury Cathedral and Canterbury Tales Experience.
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 radiographsa visual anthropology rooman ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant materiala dedicated teaching laboratory with first-rate equipmentan excellent fossil cast collection with hundreds of casts, including multiple entire skeletons of extant and extinct primates and hominins3D imaging paleoanthropology lab with state-of-the-art equipment and expert academic supportrefurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screensan integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lecturesstudent 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.
In our most recent national Teaching Excellence Framework, teaching at Kent was judged to be Gold rated. Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. Social and biological anthropology staff have been awarded national teaching awards, reflecting the quality of the undergraduate programmes.
Anthropology at Kent uses a stimulating mix of teaching methods, including lectures, small seminar groups, field trips and laboratory sessions. For project work, you are assigned to a supervisor with whom you meet regularly. You also have access to a wide range of learning resources, including the Templeman Library, research laboratories and computer-based learning packages.
Many of the core modules have an end-of-year examination which counts for 50% to 100% of your final mark for that module. The remaining percentage comes from practical or coursework marks. However, others, such as the Project in Anthropological Science are assessed entirely on coursework. Stage 2, year in professional practice and stage 3 marks count towards your final degree result.
Year in Professional Practice
Assessment is by means of a manager appraisal (10%), a written report by the student (80%) and a presentation by the student (10%); the manager appraisal is carried out by the manager within the placement host organisation whereas the report and presentation are assessed by SAC academic staff.
Knowledge and understanding
You will develop knowledge and understanding of:
- the principles relevant to the study of human biology, evolution and sociality
- human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
- the fossil evidence of human evolution
- the similarities and differences between humans and other primates
- biological perspectives on human ecology
- the ethical implications of human biological diversity
- the principles of Mendelian and population genetics, as well as molecular biology
- the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life
- social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
- specific themes in social anthropology such as religion, politics, kinship and religion
- several ethnographic regions of the world
- the way that an employee can contribute to the organisation in which they work
- specific areas of theory, policy or practice relevant to the host organisation(s) and the agreed placement task(s).
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- general learning and study skills
- critical and analytical skills
- the ability to express ideas orally and in writing
- communication and IT skills
- statistical analysis
- practical skills specific to the scientific study of anthropology
- hypothesis testing
- apply some of the above skills from the perspective of your chosen employment sector
- gain a broader perspective on your individual discipline.
You gain specific skills in the following:
- the ability to describe and analyse aspects of biological diversity
- to identify the relationship between environmental and cultural influences in human ecology
- the ability to engage in intelligent debate on the process of human evolution
- to design and carry out a research project in the field of scientific anthropology
- an understanding of the processes involved in the development of human variation, including a working knowledge of the principles of classical genetics and molecular biology
- a general knowledge of human biology, and an appreciation of how biological processes interact with behaviour and culture in humans
- the ability to compare and contrast the morphology and behaviour of humans to that of other animals, specifically primates
- the ability to understand how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments
- to perceive the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of oneself and others
- to be able to make rational sense of cultural and social phenomena, which may appear at first sight incomprehensible
- application in professional practice of one or more of the above skills.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- the ability to make a structured argument
- to make appropriate reference to scholarly data
- familiarity working with equipment in a scientific laboratory
- knowledge of IT
- oral presentations and other methods of communication including poster and PowerPoint presentations
- working in a team
- the ability to work in a professional setting
- enhanced communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills
- enhanced ability for self-management, focus, and project management.
The programme aims to:
- develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills
- provide students with the skills to adapt and respond positively to changes in the discipline
- acquaint students with theoretical and methodological issues relevant to understanding anthropology
- demonstrate the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of local, national and international biological and social phenomena arising from the changing nature of human organisation in the distant past and in the contemporary world
- provide a broad range of knowledge in the discipline of anthropology, stressing the need for a biological approach, and showing how it is closely linked to other academic disciplines
- provide a grounding in human and primate biological variation and demonstrate the links between biological and sociocultural processes
- ensure that the research of staff informs the design of modules, their content and delivery in a manner that is efficient, reliable, and enjoyable to students
- prepare graduates for employment and/or further study in their chosen careers through developing students’ transferable skills
- offer students the opportunity to gain experience of work in a professional environment
- provide an opportunity to apply knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in stages 1 and 2 of their degree programme in a professional setting
- develop employment-related skills, including an understanding of how to relate to the structures and functions in an organisation
- develop the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of professionalism, independent thought, personal responsibility and decision-making.