BA (Hons) Anthropology & Visual Practice

  • UCAS
  • Entry requirements
    A-level: BBB
    IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
  • Length
    3 years full-time
  • Department

Course overview

Providing a comprehensive treatment of social anthropology. The course offers training in photography, film making and editing. You'll study anthropological societies and gain insight into the field in relation to contemporary cultural issues.

Why study BA Anthropology & Visual Practice at Goldsmiths?

  • We offer a fresher approach to the subject than the 'traditional anthropology' taught at other institutions, and we are recognised for our contribution to the field of visual anthropology
  • We look at anthropology from a contemporary perspective, which means that what you learn in the classroom will be relevant in a variety of public domains, in Britain and elsewhere
  • The Department of Anthropology has been placed in the UK's top 15 universities for this subject area (Complete University Guide league table 2014) and in the 2014 National Student Survey, anthropology at Goldsmiths received a high score of 95% for the overall quality of our teaching
  • You'll have the opportunity to investigate anthropology in relation to politics, religion, knowledge, philosophy and psychology
  • You'll explore links between theoretical issues and ethnographic studies, enabling you to think critically about your own culture and society
  • Our graduates have gone on to work for the UN, World Bank, NGOs, law companies, media companies and CSR consultancies, while others have gone on to pursue academic careers

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Gabriel Dattatreyan

Modules & structure


In the first two years, you'll concentrate on basic anthropological concepts – such as kinship, politics, economics and religion, as well as world systems and development – and on methods of studying and analysing these. You will also study ethnography and at least one region of the world in depth. 

There's a substantial practical component to this degree, constituting a sixth of the course load in all three years. This includes training in:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Editing
  • Specialist software

In your final year you can specialise by choosing from a selection of option topics, and will produce a documentary film and dissertation based on individual study.

Level 4 

Module title Credits
  Introduction to Social Anthropology 30 credits
  Anthropological Methods 15 credits
  Ethnographic Film 15 credits
  Anthropological Ideas 15 credits
  Introduction to Visual Practice 30 credits

Level 5

Module title Credits
  Politics, Economics and Social Change 30 credits
  Thinking Anthropologically 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual 1 15 credits
  Advanced Visual Practice 30 credits
  Anthropology at Work 15 credits

You also choose one of the following modules:

Module title Credits
  Ethnography of a Selected Region II 15 credits
  Anthropology of Religion 15 or 30 credits

Level 6

This level is made up of 120 credits. 

You take an Individual Studies with Practice module, worth 30 credits. This module is a research project of your own choosing and design, the topic to be agreed with the member of the department who acts as supervisor.

You also take option modules, recent examples of which include: 



Module title Credits
  Anthropology of Art I 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Art II 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Development 15 credits
  Anthropology of Development 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Environment 15 credits
  Anthropology and Gender Theory 15 or 30 credits
  Anthropology of Violence 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual II 30 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  The Anthropology of Rights 15 credits
  Anthropology of Human Animal Relations 15 or 30 credits
  Health, Medicine and Social Power 15 credits
  Anthropological Approaches to History 15 or 30 credits
  Ideology and the Secular 15 credits
  Indian and Peasant Politics in Amazonia 15 or 30 credits
  Myth and Ritual 15 credits
  Urban Anthropology 15 credits
  Anthropology and the Visual: Production Course 15 credits
  Environmental Anthropology 15 or 30 credits
  Psychological Perspectives in Anthropology 15 credits
  Borders and Migration 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Learning from Social Movements 15 credits (UG) 30 credits (PG)
  Digital Anthropology Level 6 15 credits
  Staff/Student Research Project 15 credits


Seen and unseen papers, extended essays, practical projects, dissertations and coursework.

Credits and levels of learning

An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

A-level: BBB
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655

We don't assume you have any knowledge of anthropology or visual practice and welcome applications from anyone with arts, social sciences or science backgrounds. 

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above. This includes:

Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.0 with a 6.0 in writing and no element lower than 5.5

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


Anthropology at Goldsmiths is ranked: 1st in the UK for effective teaching* 6th in the UK for the quality of our research** 30th in the world for this subject area***


Investigate a variety of fascinating areas that have real relevance to modern life.

As a department we’re interested in pushing the discipline forward. We’re known for pioneering new fields including visual anthropology and the anthropology of modernity. And we tackle other contemporary issues like urban planning, development, emotions and aesthetics, and new social movements.

Find out more about the Department of Anthropology

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


Learning & teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning in lectures and seminars, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing essays or project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers


Our Anthropology programmes and courses aim to equip you with a range of specialist and transferable skills.

As part of your studies, seminars and course work, you'll develop skills in:

  • communication (including public speaking, developing and presenting an argument, note taking, report writing)
  • analytical thinking
  • awareness of social, political and cultural processes
  • awareness of social and cultural difference
  • thinking 'outside the box'

These skills provide a good foundation for a number of career paths. You can find out more about the careers this course prepares you for on our Anthropology careers pages.


Our students have been successful in a range of areas, from postgraduate research and teaching in higher education, to film making and other media careers, journalism, and museum curating, to applied or advocacy work for NGOs and development agencies.

Our particular emphasis on public anthropology encourages our students to explore options in a range of practice-based and public sector career paths.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student profiles


"Something that’s been particularly significant to me is the friends that that I’ve made on my course"

Goldsmiths was a one off kind of thing, because all of the other courses that I applied to were photography courses. I was reading about the Anthropology and Visual Practice course and I thought ‘this sounds really interesting’. It was more like I didn’t want to completely do a photography course but I also didn’t want to like completely not do photography either. But this sounded like a great mix of the two.

Something that’s been particularly significant to me is the friends that that I’ve made on my course, and also the course itself. I’ve always been interested in studying people and culture and stuff like that but I’ve never done it in depth and at Goldsmiths you cover so much material and so many different places as well. There’s such a diverse group of people at here, which has been really really nice.

I’ve come to learn, from studying anthropology, that you have to leave your bias’s and your own ethnocentric opinions when you’re looking at other cultures because in no way is it the same experience to yours and I think that would be very helpful if everyone could have a deeper cultural understanding and knowledge.

Fees & funding

Related content links

University statistics for this course