At Kent, Cultural Studies is taught in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research where you benefit from a large choice of specialist modules on race, social change, criminal justice or disability and the arts. You are taught by leading academics in fields like gender, race and the body.
You study different ways of life and explore the links between culture and society drawing on critical theories and methods from the social sciences and the humanities. We examine a range of areas from digital media, to the creative and cultural industries, to social identities and movements.
Kent’s School of Anthropology and Conservation has a range of experts working on social anthropology in regions as diverse as the Middle East, Europe, China and Amazonia.
Our degree programme
The programme begins with an overview of different cultural, sociological and anthropological theories that address ‘culture’ and ‘society’ as part of a broader global and historical context. You then go on to learn how to conduct and apply qualitative sociological research. There is a special focus on ethnography, a popular method used in social anthropology.
During all stages of your studies you have the opportunity to choose specialist modules that suit your interests and include topics like the anthropology of business as well as emotion, media and culture. Our modules and creative forms of assessment are designed to stimulate your thinking and prepare you for a job market looking for versatile and innovative individuals.
In your final year of study, there is an option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice or you can complete a project in visual anthropology. This allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.
At Kent, we have a number of excellent subject-specific facilities to help your learning in social anthropology. These include:
a state-of-the-art visual anthropology room with a suite of computers equipped for editing film and cameras made available for student use an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material a teaching laboratory with first-rate equipment.
You also have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format through Kent’s Templeman Library. Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development.
Our Student Learning Advisory Service offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.
There are also a number of student-led societies relating to your interests, for example:
UKC Digital Media Anthropology SocietyFeminist SocietySocrates Society.
There are events available throughout the year for students from the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. These may include: research seminars and webcasts career development workshops informal lectures by guest experts followed by group discussion. Cultural Studies
We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams.
Teaching is through seminars and lectures and, where appropriate, lab and field work. Assessment varies from 100% coursework to a combination of examinations and coursework.
For assessment details for individual modules click the 'read more' link within each module listed in the course structure.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- The complexity of culture as a contested object of inquiry
- The role the media and cultural institutions play in society
- The role and function of cultural forms as sources of popular knowledge and ideas
- Ways in which people engage with cultural texts and practices and make meaning from them
- The relation between cultural texts (e.g. artistic, literary, media, social, political, scientific) and the historical contexts of their production and reception
- How culture is both product and process and gives rise to social and political ‘forms of life’
- How the modes of production/consumption of cultural texts and products shape contemporary life
- The nature of the cultural impact of new technologies
- Anthropological data from a range of historical periods and national origins and the way they can be interpreted and evaluated.
- The development of anthropological perspectives on ritual and belief, past and present ethnicity and culture, and their application in present-day contexts.
- Critical theories and concepts deployed in analyses of culture and systems of ritual and belief.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- Ability to analyse a wide range of cultural forms
- Critical evaluation of scholarship and ideas, both classical and contemporary
- Representation in language of the views and ideas of others
- Application of cultural theory to both familiar and unfamiliar cultural material, phenomena and contexts
- Expression of own ideas in oral and written communication
- Ability to identify, evaluate and to construct arguments
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
- Conception and application of cross-disciplinary strategies of investigation of cultural issues, themes and topics
- The ability to identify and analyse ethical and political subject matters represented in media culture of all kinds
- The ability to account for and criticise the interrelation of aesthetic cultural practices and forms and the social and political contexts of their emergence and affect
- The ability to evaluate theoretical models and paradigms of cultural production, consumption and reception
- Ability to integrate diverse sources of cultural information and produce new disciplinary knowledge
- The effective deployment of terms and concepts and techniques specific to the study of social anthropology, with particular reference to beliefs and rituals, national or ethnically based culture and cultural identities and practices.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- Graduates will be skilled at gathering and collating, retrieving and synthesising information drawn from a variety of sources (eg library, IT, CD-ROM, press, etc.) textual, visual, popular and academic, in traditional formats as well as electronic.
- Graduates will be able to work independently on the design and execution of research projects.
- Graduates will have the ability to reflect on and understand the accumulation of knowledge about cultural practices diversely understood
- Graduates will be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive in producing output for a variety of audiences
- Graduates will be skilled at self-directed project planning, development and execution of work to deadlines.
- Graduates will possess skills of expression in written and oral forms; be adept at representing both the ideas of others as well as their own and will be able to argue for and justify their views.