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BSc (Hons) Anthropology

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Anthropology is the study of humans: what unites us as a species and how and why individuals and groups vary both biologically and culturally across space and time. Our course - just one of a handful at UK universities to offer complementary units covering both social anthropology alongside the core focus of biological anthropology - provides a firm foundation for understanding how societies work through comprehensive study of the dual biological/social nature of humans and societies, past and present.

The course is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of human biological and cultural diversity. Anthropological theory and fieldwork, cultural ecology, human-environment interaction, human evolution and material culture and technology are all key areas of study, and in addition, you will undertake hands-on practical and laboratory work, all delivered by leading practitioners in their fields. Along the way, you will also gain a unique combination of highly transferable analytical, communication and presentation skills that are highly valued by a range of prospective employers.

After a broad, foundational first year, in your second and third years, you will be able to select from a portfolio of subject options from biological and social anthropology and allied disciplines, allowing you to create a course of study built around your own interests, passions, and career aspirations. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete a five- or 30-week placement outside university. This will give you the chance to apply skills developed throughout your degree as well as build a network of professional contacts and a strong CV, enhancing your career prospects after graduation.

This course received a 92% overall satisfaction rating from our final year students in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) with 100% of them agreeing that our staff are good at explaining things. Join us on live chat or register to come and meet us at an open day.

We have three different anthropology programmes at BU, which offer a balanced foundation in the discipline. The courses differ only in the weighing of the archaeological, biological, or social and cultural perspectives on studying human life and human experience in past and present. When making your choice, we suggest that you consider the following programme specialisation:

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

All statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

For September 2021 entry: In order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses.

This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in June 2020 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2021, September 2022


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


3 years full-time with a 5-week placement, or 4 years with a 30-week placement

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: 104-120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our full entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in either reading or writing and 5.5 in all other components, or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

How you will be assessed

​You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found in the programme specification for your course.

Download the programme specification (pdf 2.5mb)


At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; so we offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course. We will provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement.

A placement year is a vital part in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

What’s more, you can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Your application

For this course we are looking for students with:

  • An understanding of what anthropology is
  • An enthusiasm for applying science to solve problems
  • Good written and oral communication skills, and the ability to think analytically
  • An interest in anthropology (e.g. by school project work or relevant volunteer work).

How to apply

Entry requirements


You will have varied career options when you graduate. Our degree covers social and biological anthropology, which means you can work in various disciplines once you graduate, including archaeology, forensic science, cultural ecology, human environment interaction and human evolution to name just a few.

There are many opportunities for you to work not only in academia, but also in commercial organisations. During your time here, you will have the chance to undertake placements and fieldwork in the UK and elsewhere in the world, enhancing your experience and allowing you to network with professionals who can be invaluable contacts when you are searching for work.Within six months of completing their course, 90% of our students who study anthropology courses are working or studying.

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer – including unlimited Academic Excellence Scholarships for UK, EU and International students.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be. You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

Hear from our staff

Dr Fiona Coward

Studying anthropology will lead you to question all kinds of things you’ve taken for granted about the way we live our lives and how our society is organized.

Hear from our staff

Dr Christos Gatzidis

It’s important not to disregard the impact of a BU education on an individual such as attention to deadlines, professionalism, facilitation of organised teamwork, and many others.

All statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.