Majors : What is Anthropology?



Anthropology is the historical and scientific study of variations within humans, both past and present. There are as many branches of Anthropology as there are aspects of humanity, such as physical, cultural, linguistic, and medical. An individual with an Anthropology degree has a wide range of possible career choices, such as educator or organisational development and media specialist.


An average Anthropology curriculum is the perfect combination of humanities and sciences, and, thus, the perfect field for anyone who is interested in analysing human history, from global health issues to cultural identities. Besides foundational Anthropology courses, the students gain comprehensive knowledge in history, ethnography, research methodology, global communications, and much more.



As an example, here is a curriculum of Durham University’s Anthropology course;


Year 1

In your first year, you will receive a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of anthropology in the broadest sense, addressing the core disciplines of social and biological anthropology as well as interdisciplinary perspectives on culture, society and health. Currently, students take five modules in anthropology and select one elective module offered by another department, including the option to study a module in a modern foreign language.

Compulsory modules:

  • People and Cultures
  • Human Evolution and Diversity
  • Being Human
  • Doing Anthropological Research
  • Health, Illness and Society.


Year 2

In your second year, you will develop a deeper and more complex grasp of anthropology and will gain "hands-on" experience of conducting research at one of our residential field sites on the compulsory Anthropology Field Course module, normally held in September prior to the start of your second year.  You will also take a core module covering the diverse ways in which anthropological knowledge is constructed and theorised, as well as four elective modules that will enable you to pursue your interests in specific topics.

Compulsory modules:

  • Anthropology Field Course
  • Evolution, Variation and Adaptation
  • Our Place in Nature
  • Research Project Design.

Optional modules:

  • Biology, Culture and Society
  • Reading Ethnography
  • Kinship and Religion
  • Politics and Economics
  • Global Health and Disease
  • Sex, Reproduction and Love.

Year 3 (Year 4 if undertaking a Year Abroad)

In your final year, you will design and carry out your own dissertation project and have a free choice of advanced optional taught modules. Optional modules are generally based on the research expertise of staff, and reflect the University’s ideal of research-led education. Options available in the Department cover the full disciplinary spectrum, from the entirely biological to the entirely socio-cultural, or a mixture of anthropological sub-disciplines via the Specialised Aspects of Evolutionary, Health and Medical, and Social Anthropology modules. Typical topics that may be available include forensic anthropology, religious controversy, urban anthropology and public health. In your third year you are also invited to attend the regular round of research seminars given by visiting scholars or Durham-based researchers, and can participate in a key forum for current innovative research.

Core module:

  • Dissertation.

Optional modules:

  • Specialised Aspects of Evolutionary Anthropology (various topics)
  • Specialised Aspects of Social Anthropology (various topics)
  • Specialised Aspects of Medical Anthropology (various topics).




Here below you can also watch the videos about Anthropology by clicking the links;




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