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. Our flexible degree provides diverse and relevant module choices where you are taught by enthusiastic academic staff, who produce inspired field research.
Social Anthropology with Spanish provides an excellent opportunity to develop your language competence throughout your degree as well as spending a year studying language and anthropology at one of our partner institutions. Students who undertake a year abroad often comment on how their experiences significantly shape their future plans, their academic insight and feel the opportunity enhances the overall university experience.
Our degree programme
In the 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, anthropology and conservation, and global perspectives on relatedness. Additionally you take a compulsory module in Spanish.
In your second and final years, you take compulsory modules that develop your language and specialised anthropological 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 from traditional anthropology (The Anthropology of Amazonia; The Anthropology of Business) and current anthropological thinking (Theoretical Perspectives in Social Anthropology) to ideas impacting today's societies (Islam and Muslim Lives in the Contemporary World; The Anthropocene – Planetary Crisis and the Age of Humans).
Our degree also gives you the unique opportunity to study visual anthropology, with modules on the anthropological use of photography, film and video, including practical classes and visual anthropology projects.
Your third year is taken abroad at one of our partner institutions where teaching is in Spanish. Modules are primarily anthropology or related subject modules, however, you also undertake relevant language modules and are allowed the equivalent of one 'wild module' per term.
If you’re interested in this programme then visit our Year Abroad webpage which includes students talking about their experiences of their year abroad programme.
Alternatively, you can take our three-year Social Anthropology degree, our four year Social Anthropology with a Year Abroad or four-year Social Anthropology with a Year in Professional Practice.
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 Musée du quai Branly and Musée de l'HommeThe Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, CambridgeLondon financial districtImpact Hub WestminsterCanterbury Cathedral and Canterbury Mosque.
These may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.
For more details about field trips, including reports from students who went on our recent trips to Cambridge and Paris, visit Social Anthropology Field Trips.
The School of Anthropology and Conservation has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:
refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screensan integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lecturesa state-of-the-art visual anthropology rooman ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant materialstudent social spacesa teaching laboratory with first-rate equipmentan excellent fossil cast collection with hundreds of casts, including multiple entire skeletons of extant and extinct primates and hominins.
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.
Assessment ranges from 80:20 exam/coursework to 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, most core modules are split 50% end-of-year examination and 50% coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree result.
The year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and does not contribute towards your final degree classification.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
- specific themes in social anthropology, such as religion, politics, kinship, nationalism and ethnicity
- human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
- several ethnographic regions of the world including central, West and east Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia in particular Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines
- the history of anthropology as a discipline
- the variety of theoretical approaches contained within anthropology
- the process of historical and social change
- the application of anthropology to understanding issues of social and economic development throughout the world
- the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life anywhere in the world.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- general learning and study
- critical and analytical abilities
- expressing ideas in writing and orally
- group work
- the ability to review and summarise information
- data retrieval.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- understanding how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while retaining a capacity for individual agency
- recognising the pertinence of an anthropological perspective to understanding major national and international events
- interpreting texts and performance by locating them within cultural and historical contexts
- using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
- analysing the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
- devising questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
- perceiving the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself
- the ability to make sense of cultural and social phenomena which may, at first sight, appear incomprehensible.
You gain transferable skills in:
- communication – the ability to organise and summarise information; respond critically to written information; make a structured argument
- problem solving – the ability to identify problems; formulate ways of problem solving; evaluate alternative solutions
- improving your own learning – the ability to manage time; develop personal learning strategies; conduct independent research; assess your own strengths and weaknesses
- information technology – the ability to access information on the internet; produce documents; use databases; use technology for oral presentations and online portfolio development
- group work – the ability to participate in joint learning and communication; share ideas and skills; understand group dynamics.
The programme aims to:
- provide a broad knowledge in the major sub-divisions of anthropology, showing how it is linked to other academic disciplines
- explore theoretical and methodological issues
- demonstrate the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of many local, national and international issues
- develop students’ transferable skills and prepare them for employment and/or further study
- provide modules informed by the School's research.